The attacker bites the politician's ear, others cut in Hong Kong

HONG KONG: A man who was holding a knife cut several people and bit the ear of a pro-democratic politician in Hong Kong on Sunday, while riot police stormed several commercial centers to thwart protesters who have been demanding government reforms for nearly five months

The bloody attack broke out outside one of those commercial complexes, Cityplaza. Local media said the attacker told his victims that Hong Kong belongs to China.

Television images showed the man biting the ear of district councilor Andrew Chiu, who had tried to prevent him from leaving after stabbing. The attacker was hit by a crowd before the police arrived.

The government, condemning the attack, said five people were hospitalized, including two in critical condition, and urged people to remain rational and set aside their political differences. They must abide by the law and not resort to vigilantism, a government spokesman said in a statement.

The attack came on Sunday night, a day in which online protesters were urged to meet in seven locations, including shopping centers, to sustain a boost to political reform.

Most of the demonstrations did not work as dozens of riot police took positions, searched and arrested people, dispersed crowds and blocked access to a park next to the city leader's office, Carrie Lam.

Some small pockets of unconditional protesters did not change.

While protesters sang slogans at the New Town Plaza mall in Sha Tin, police said they moved in after some rioters masked with fire extinguishers shattered the turnstiles and smashed windows at the subway station linked to the mall.

In two shopping centers in the New Territories in the north, protesters destroyed stores, threw paint and attacked a branch of the Japanese fast-food chain Yoshinoya, which has been frequently attacked after the chain's owner expressed support for Hong Kong police.

Police rushed into one of the shopping centers after objects were thrown at them. In another, protesters used umbrellas and bridles to close the entrance to the mall and prevent police from entering.

Later in the day, police broke into Cityplaza after some protesters sprayed graffiti in a restaurant. A human chain made up of dozens of people broke down and angry shoppers interrupted the police.

In the early hours of Monday, police fired after some protesters threw bricks and other objects at another district. A woman was injured after she allegedly jumped from a balcony to escape tear gas, local media said.

Protests began in early June on a plan now filed to allow extraditions to mainland China, but since then they have become a movement that seeks other demands, including direct elections for Hong Kong leaders and an independent investigation into police behavior. .

Lam has refused to give in and instead has focused on measures that, according to her, contributed to the anger of the protesters, such as creating jobs and alleviating housing problems in one of the most expensive cities in the world. He invoked emergency powers last month to ban facial masks at demonstrations, causing more anger.

His office said Sunday that Lam, currently in Carry off , will head to Beijing on Tuesday. He plans to hold talks with Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng on Wednesday and join a meeting on the development of the Great Bay area that aims to unite Hong Kong, Macao and nine other cities in southern China.

The project will help make it easier for Hong Kong residents to work and reside in cities in mainland China, and will strengthen the flow of people and goods, Lam's office said in a statement.

But the plan has also raised concerns about China's growing influence on the territory. Many protesters fear that Beijing is slowly infringing guaranteed freedoms to Hong Kong when the former British colony returned to Chinese control in 1997.

On Saturday, protesters attacked China's state-owned Hong Kong office in a show of anger against Beijing, a day after China warned of tightening its control over the city to calm the riots.

In a statement, Xinhua strongly condemned the barbaric acts of crowds that had shattered and set fire to the lobby of its Asia-Pacific office building. The Hong Kong Journalists Association also deplored `` any act of sabotage against the media '' and called for an end to violence against the press.

Protesters have frequently targeted banks and Chinese companies. In July, protesters threw eggs at the Chinese liaison office in Hong Kong and disfigured the Chinese national emblem in a movement criticized by Beijing as a direct challenge to its authority.

On Friday, the Communist Party in Beijing promised to establish and strengthen a legal system and enforcement mechanism to prevent foreign powers from sowing acts of separatism, subversion, infiltration and sabotage in Hong Kong.