HK can handle crisis itself: Lam
Violence in Hong Kong’s anti-government protests is becoming more serious but the government is confident it can handle the crisis itself, the embattled leader of the former British colony said yesterday.
Carrie Lam was speaking in public for the first time since demonstrations escalated on Sunday, when police fired water cannon and volleys of tear gas in running battles with protesters who threw bricks and petrol bombs.
The Chinese-ruled city is grappling with its biggest political crisis since its handover to Beijing in 1997 and Communist Party authorities have sent a clear warning that forceful intervention is possible to quell the violence.
Hong Kong’s Beijing-backed leader said she would not give up on building a platform for dialogue, although the time was not right to set up an independent inquiry into the crisis, one of the cornerstone demands of protesters.
More demonstrations are planned over coming days and weeks, posing a direct challenge to authorities in Beijing, who are eager to quell the unrest ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on Oct 1.
Beijing warned again yesterday against foreign governments interfering in the Hong Kong protests, after the G7 called for violence to be avoided.
Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing was “strongly dissatisfied and resolutely opposed” to the G7 “making thoughtless remarks and gesticulating” about Hong Kong matters.