Beijing warning does not stop protests in Hong Kong

A spokeswoman of the organization that has led the protests in Hong Kong guaranteed today that Beijing's warning to restore the order didn't deter the activists who will continue to fill the streets.

"Of course we will continue. Our demands have not yet been met and the police continues to gain strength with each protest," Bonnie Leung told Lusa in reaction to the press conference of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the Chinese State Council.

This morning, at the first press meeting since the transfer of sovereignty from the United Kingdom to China in 1997, the Office warned that the protesters "exceeded the acceptable limits," reinforcing Beijing's support for the local police and government.

For nearly two months filling the city streets, protesters have five claims: the final withdrawal of the extradition bill; the release of detained protesters; that the protests of June 12 and July 1 are not identified as riots; an independent inquiry into police violence and the dismissal of Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

At today's meeting, the Office also accused some Western politicians of encouraging unrest in Hong Kong to create obstacles to China's development.

For the sub-coordinator of the Civil Human Rights Front, the message is no longer new and, in the case of Hong Kong, a major world financial center, loses all value.

"Whenever another government says something that Beijing does not like to hear, the argument is the same: mean foreign powers trying to intervene in internal affairs," she said.

"Hong Kong is an international city, many people live here and invest a lot of money. These people have the right to comment, especially when it comes to the expatriates' safety," said the activist.

For Leung, police abuse is dangerous not only for protesters, but also for foreigners living in the city, as well as tourists, so the Civil Human Rights Front will continue to draw the attention of the international community.

"By alerting other countries about what is happening, we are doing the most responsible thing possible," he said.

On Sunday night, protesters and police clashed for the second day in a row, featuring the most violent scenes to date in the territory.

The street protests were initiated against a bill that would allow the Government and courts of the Chinese Special Administrative Region to extradite suspected criminals to jurisdictions without prior agreements, as is the case of mainland China.

The proposal has, however, been suspended, but demonstrations have become widespread and now denounce what protesters say is an "erosion of freedoms" in the former British colony.

The transfer of Hong Kong and Macau to the People's Republic of China in 1997 and 1999, respectively, took place under the "one country, two systems" principle, which is precisely what opponents of the law changes now claim to be at stake.

For the two special administrative regions of China, a period of 50 years with a high degree of autonomy at executive, legislative and judicial levels was agreed, with the central Chinese government being responsible for foreign affairs and defense.

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