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HONG KONG leader Carrie Lam warned today that the Chinese military may be forced to step in if the violence “becomes so bad,” but insisted that the government could resolve the crisis.
She said foreign critics must now accept that the four months of rioting that have rocked Hong Kong were not “a peaceful movement for democracy.”
While the constitution allows for Chinese intervention in its sovereign territory, Ms Lam remained tight-lipped over the circumstances in which she would call for Beijing’s support.
“I still strongly feel that we should find the solutions ourselves. That is also the position of the central government, that Hong Kong should tackle the problem on her own, but if the situation becomes so bad, then no options could be ruled out if we want Hong Kong to at least have another chance,” she said.
Protests started over plans to introduce an extradition Bill that would have allowed Hong Kong to repatriate those suspected of major crimes to the countries in which they were allegedly committed in order to stand trial.
But it was soon hijacked by US-backed anti-China and Hong Kong independence groups which launched violent attacks on government buildings, businesses and the police.
Protests were marked by attacks on pro-China supporters, with the Chinese flag desecrated and calls for US and British intervention to “Make Hong Kong great again.”
Leaders of the movement, including Demosisto co-founder Joshua Wong, have close links to Washington and are backed with funding from the National Endowment for Democracy, a US-funded organisation which presses for regime change across the globe.
Police regional chief Kwok Yam-yung said that 241 people had been detained in widespread “atrocities” over the last four days that saw ferocious attacks on officers and those with opposing views.
With the violence continuing to escalate, Ms Lam used a colonial-era law to introduce a ban on people wearing face masks, which has been prevalent among those rioting.
Since June, 2,363 people have been arrested, with more than 200 charged with rioting.
“Ruthless and reckless acts are pushing the rule of law to the brink of total collapse,” Mr Kwok said.
Late on Monday night the rail network was shut down after masked protesters smashed the windows of a train heading to mainland China and threw objects onto the track.
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