HONG KONG (Reuters) – Cleaners swept up damaged glass at the Hong Kong office of China’s official information company Xinhua on Sunday, one of many buildings vandalised in a violent day of protests which additionally noticed activists hurl petrol bombs and set fireplace to metro stations.
A policeman stands in entrance of graffiti throughout a march billed as a world “emergency call” for autonomy, in Hong Kong, China November 2, 2019. Picture taken November 2, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
More than 200 folks had been arrested in one of many worst outbreaks of violence in current weeks as round 5 months of protests present no indicators of abating. Demonstrators are offended at perceived Chinese meddling with Hong Kong’s freedoms for the reason that metropolis returned from British to Chinese rule in 1997, a cost which China denies.
While protesters have beforehand vandalised buildings of mainland Chinese corporations or these perceived as pro-Beijing, the concentrating on of Xinhua is among the most direct challenges to Beijing but. Protesters daubed China’s Liaison Office, the important thing image of Chinese sovereignty, with graffiti in July.
Xinhua condemned the assault by what it mentioned had been “barbaric thugs” who broke doorways and safety programs and threw fireplace and paint bombs into the foyer.
“The practice of the black rioters once again shows that ‘stopping the violence and restoring order’ is Hong Kong’s most important and urgent task at present,” a spokesperson for Xinhua mentioned in a Facebook submit.
When Reuters visited on Sunday, a handful of cleaners may very well be seen by means of shattered glass doorways and home windows sweeping the ground, watched over by workers members talking on their telephones. Outside, some vacationers and different media curiously eyed the destruction.
There aren’t any main demonstrations deliberate for Sunday, though some teams had known as for a protest stroll in a number of districts of town beginning within the afternoon.
Cat-and-mouse clashes between riot police and demonstrators continued into the early hours of Sunday morning after police broke up an meeting of 1000’s on Saturday afternoon by firing tear gasoline right into a park.
Hong Kong police mentioned they’d arrested greater than 200 folks in a single day for offences together with illegal meeting, possession of offensive weapons, prison harm, and sporting masks which is now unlawful beneath a revived colonial-era emergency regulation.
Police fired tear gasoline, rubber bullets and deployed a water cannon at protesters throughout Saturday and early Sunday, they mentioned, because the violence spilled from Hong Kong island throughout the water to the northern Kowloon aspect.
While the protests have broad help, the destruction and impression on transport networks has irritated some native staff.
“It’s good that they are doing the protest but (there are) also the bad things,” mentioned 30-year previous Bikash, a Hong Kong resident initially from Nepal who works in a bar district focused by masked Halloween protesters earlier this week.
“The worst was I need to go to work (and)…everything was closed. That was very bad because our bosses they don’t understand.”
Reporting by Joyce Zhou, Farah Master, David Lague, Twinnie Siu and Jessie Pang; Writing by John Geddie; enhancing by Jane Wardell & Simon Cameron-Moore