Hong Kong's last stand - The Signal

Classic outdoor seating at a traditional restaurant in Sheung Wan

The protests have plunged Hong Kong into political crisis, just as the 2014 demonstrations did, heaping pressure on Lam's administration and her official backers in Beijing.

Concern over the unrest prompted Hong Kong's Tourism Board to call off its dragon boat carnival this weekend and index provider MSCI to cancel a Thursday conference at a hotel near the skirmishes.

A police officer checks the bag of a pedestrian following a day of violence over an extradition bill that would allow people to be sent to mainland China for trial, in Hong Kong, China June 13, 2019.

Police fired tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets after well-organised protesters breached their cordon. "One thing that the Beijing government does not accept is a challenge to its authority".

For now, protesters are calling for another mass rally on Sunday, and it remains to be seen whether the government will back down as it did in 2003. But for those in the sprawling city, the extradition bill is the latest in a long line of examples of creeping Chinese control. Pavel Durov, Telegram CEO shared that the "state-actor sized" attack was traced to China as IP addresses show.

Chinese University of Hong Kong adjunct professor Willy Lam told CNN that handling the Hong Kong situation badly would reflect "very poorly" on Xi, who has been "subjected to internal criticism by senior party members for failing to handle Donald Trump, for failing to handle the larger Cold War between China and the U.S".

Protesters gather near the Legislative Council in Hong Kong.

But Chan maintains that unlike the Umbrella Movement rallies, this time around numerous protesters are "first-timers" or young adults.

Police in riot gear block a street near the Legislative Council.

The proposed law has faced widespread protest for infringing upon the rights of Hong Kong residents, who have their own separate government as "special administrative region" of China.

Protesters succeeded in delaying debate on the bill temporarily amid arrests and dozens of injuries, as Hong Kong police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowds.

The only recent incident in which Hong Kong police deployed potentially lethal force came during the 2016 Lunar New Year holiday, when protesters clashed with police in the city's gritty Mong Kok neighborhood and an officer used his gun to fire warning shots into the air.

"This is a sensitive issue, with potentially far-reaching consequences for Hong Kong and its people, for European Union and foreign citizens, as well as for business confidence", it said in a statement.

Of those, 41 were later released, it added.

A Hong Kong legislator said on Thursday that young people there have lost faith in the police and their government following the violent clashes. "If there's no hope for Hong Kong, this is the last chance for us to fight for (it)", said Daniel Lee, a doctor. About 70 people were hurt.

And the protests have also won worldwide support online.

Hu Xijin, the chief editor of Chinese government mouthpiece Global Times, criticized the protesters on his Twitter account, saying this kind of violent demonstration was not supposed to happen in Hong Kong.

"This result is a nightmare for Hong Kongers", Joshua Wang, the leader of the city's Umbrella Movement said when she was sworn in, which was around the time that Lam's third nickname, "the puppet", really began to take hold.

"It's much more wary of dissent and less likely to give in to protests and other forms of popular demands, for fear that it might encourage and embolden civil society".

Many protesters masked their faces to avoid facial recognition and avoided using public transit cards that can be voluntarily linked to their identities.

A former British colony, Hong Kong was returned to China under the principle of "one country, two systems", in which Hong Kong received semi-autonomy and greater freedoms than mainland China.

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