Chaos in Hong Kong sees tear gas, attack on Chinese news agency
HONG KONG: anti-government protesters attacked the Hong Kong The Chinese official's office for the first time on Saturday after the outbreak of chaos in the center, with police firing tear gas and demonstrators throwing gasoline bombs as the protest movement approached the five-month mark.
The streets of the luxury shopping area of Causeway Bay and nearby Victoria Park were clouded with tear gas, which caused thousands of protesters to flee while riot police moved quickly to hamper a rally that required significant autonomy after Beijing He indicated that he could tighten the Chinese territory more.
Police deployed at least two trucks with water cannons nearby. They had issued warnings to protesters occupying the area that they were attending an unauthorized demonstration and violating the government ban on facial masks.
Some protesters stormed the Xinhua office in the Wan Chai neighborhood of the city. They broke the entrance and windows of the glass doors, splashed red ink, sprayed graffiti and set fire to the office lobby.
Chinese banks and businesses linked to China have been frequently targeted by protesters as anger has built up against Beijing. The demonstrators accuse the central government of infringing on the freedoms guaranteed to Hong Kong when Britain returned the city to China in 1997.
Earlier on Saturday, some protesters dug up a goal post from a soccer field and metal bars to block the park entrance.
Democracy candidates who stand in the district council elections this month - who can meet with groups of 50 people or less without a police permit - kept husbands in the park to try to avoid the ban on the manifestation. A candidate was sprayed with pepper on his face after he argued with the police and was arrested.
Unconditional protesters in full swing quickly regrouped nearby, using plastic cones and metal railings to establish road barriers. In Wan Chai and other areas, protesters threw petrol bombs at police, who responded by firing more tear gas and a water cannon. Several protesters were arrested.
Police said in a statement that some masked protesters also damaged the stores, committed arson and put nails on the roads, threatening the safety of road users.
The chaos underlined the depth of dissent that began in early June over a now-shelved plan to allow extraditions to mainland China but have since swelled into a movement seeking other demands, including direct elections for Hong Kong's leaders.
A move last month by Hong Kong 's leader,, to invoke emergency powers to impose a face mask ban was seen as crimping the protesters' rights to assemble.
While street battles continued on Saturday night, thousands gathered in a public square overlooking the city's port for a concentration approved by the police. Some carried American flags to push for the approval of a US bill that could impose diplomatic actions and economic sanctions in the city for human rights violations. US lawmakers passed the bill, which still needs Senate support.
The increasingly violent unrest in Hong Kong has hurt the reputation of one of the world's top financial hubs. The city has slipped into recession for the first time in a decade as it grapples with the turmoil and the impact from the US-China trade war.
More than 3,000 people have been detained in the protests. The civil disobedience has posed a big challenge to Beijing, which vowed Friday to prevent foreign powers from sowing acts of `` separatism, subversion, infiltration and sabotage '' in Hong Kong.
In a Communist Party document released after its Central Committee meeting this past week, Beijing said it would establish and strengthen a legal system and enforcement mechanism '' to safeguard national security in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong, which has a separate legal system from mainland China, has tried to enact anti-subversion legislation before, only to have the measure shelved amid formidable public opposition. Beijing may be indicating it is preparing to take matters into its own hands by having the National People's Congress issue a legal interpretation forcing the enactment of such legislation.