Beijing calls on all Hong Kong institutions to fight 'violent criminals' and end protests

Jun Mai
Kinling Lo and Tony Cheung
September 4, 2019 11:21 AM SGT
Beijing has called on all Hong Kong institutions with public authority, including the judiciary, to fight "violent criminals" with no mercy to put an end to more than 13 weeks of anti-government protests and violence.
"The Hong Kong government, including the executive, legislative and judiciary branches, as well as all sectors of society must take 'bridling turmoil and curbing violence' as the city's most pressing task and the overwhelming priority," Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO) spokesman Yang Guang said on Tuesday.
"Especially to those key violent criminals and their backstage masterminds, organisers and agitators, [we] must show no mercy and pursue till the end."
It was the fourth press conference on the crisis called by Beijing's top office on Hong Kong affairs under the State Council, China's cabinet, and its first appeal to the city's legislative and judicial institutions to rally behind the government's efforts to end the violence and chaos.
Hong Kong's Legislative Council has an active and vocal opposition that is strongly supportive of the protest movement, and the city's courts have a strong reputation for being independent.
A spokeswoman for the judiciary said it would not comment on Yang's remarks. "The courts will always handle cases fully in accordance with the law," she added.
Separately on Tuesday, President Xi Jinping listed Hong Kong and Macau issues, along with economic, political, military and foreign affairs, as areas that would face massive and "complex" conflicts as he rallied cadres to struggle against any forces that would threaten Communist Party rule.
"There will be many major struggles in areas of economics, politics, culture, society, ecology, national defence, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, diplomacy, party building, and so on, and they are getting more and more complicated," Xi told the Central Party School, which trains senior and medium-ranking officials.
HKMAO spokesman Yang Guang said "violent criminals" must be shown no mercy and be pursued "till the end". Photo: Simon Song alt=HKMAO spokesman Yang Guang said "violent criminals" must be shown no mercy and be pursued "till the end". Photo: Simon Song