China tells U.S. to stop trying to ‘mess up’ Hong Kong

A mass protest over the issue had been planned for Sunday.

Lam apologized for what she said were failures in her government's work to convince and reassure the public, but said she has not withdrawn the bill. Lam said the government would study the matter further, for the "greatest interest of Hong Kong".

The Civil Human Rights Front, which organized a mass demonstration that drew hundreds of thousands of people into the streets last weekend, said it had applied for police permission to stage a similar event. "I think probably not", she added. TV networks showed members of the Executive Council, or cabinet, headed by auto into a government compound.

"At the very least we should not escalate the antagonism", Executive Council convenor Bernard Chan was also quoted as saying.

The pro-Beijing newspaper Sing Tao Daily reported that Lam on Friday had a meeting with senior Beijing officials in Shenzhen, the Chinese city that borders Hong Kong, followed by a meeting with her city's top officials late that night to discuss the bill.

"We will support the police fearlessly exercise their responsibility to maintain public order and protect residents", she said.

"These aren't mainland Chinese clients who might be politically exposed, but wealthy Hong Kong clients", the banker said. Her government had backed it out of "passion for Hong Kong and empathy for Hong Kong people", she said.

Feng Chongyi, associate professor of China studies at the University of Technology Sydney, told the Chinese-language Epoch Times on June 13 that Liu's words were likely the Chinese regime's way of backing out after the recent clashes between police and protesters drew worldwide attention.

The sit-in is in response to a proposed law in Hong Kong that would make it easier for individuals to be extradited into Mainland China to face trial under Chinese law.

Freeweibo.com, which tracks censored posts on the Weibo platform, said "Hong Kong" was the most-searched topic in the past few days.

US lawmakers have introduced a bill requiring that the secretary of state report on the status of Hong Kong's autonomy from mainland China.

The dissent created an opening for the protesters, while worrying the government that it might not muster enough votes to get the bill through the legislature.

"If the China renditions law is really implemented, then some of us who have protested on the streets or come out on strike are in big trouble", Cheung said.

"The rights and freedoms of Hong Kong people and foreigners in Hong Kong, including their assets, are fully protected by the Basic Law", the spokesman added, referring to Hong Kong's mini-constitution. Finally, Xinhua notes that the second reading of the draft bill had to be postponed because of protesters near the Legislative Council chambers "occupying roads, provoking trouble, and violently attacking the police's defensive line". "We urge the United States to view the relevant amendment in a fair and just manner, exercise caution in its words and deeds, and stop in whatever form interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China's domestic affairs".

The government's headquarters was closed through Friday, but several main thoroughfares shut down by Wednesday's standoff were reopened. An estimated 1 million people protested this week against the extradition bill, in demonstrations that led to clashes with police.

The young woman says, however, the protest movement should not alienate police officers and still believes non-violence is the way to achieve the goal of the protesters.

Opposition lawmakers have repeatedly called for Lam to withdraw the bill.

"China deplores and firmly opposes the irresponsible and erroneous comments on the amendment and other Hong Kong affairs made by the U.S. side", Geng continued.

The standoff between police and protesters is Hong Kong's most severe political crisis since the Communist Party-ruled mainland took control in 1997 with a promise not to interfere with the city's civil liberties and courts.

Beijing on Friday denounced what it called "violent interference" by U.S. lawmakers, who are critical of what they see as a worsening human rights environment in Hong Kong. UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt spoke with Lam on Thursday and called on Hong Kong to engage in a dialogue with protesters.

  • Leroy Wright