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China Says Hong Kong Protests Show ‘First Signs of Terrorism’

Police firing teargas inside a train station. One young man got hit badly in the face and sustained serious trauma near his eye. via Joshua Wong, Twitter

BEIJING— Chun Han Wong reports: Chinese authorities condemned violent weekend demonstrations in Hong Kong as “deranged” acts that marked the emergence of “the first signs of terrorism” in the semiautonomous city, vowing a merciless crackdown on the perpetrators.

The escalating rhetoric from Beijing followed a day of heated protests in Hong Kong, including the hurling of petrol bombs, and came as thousands of protesters gathered at Hong Kong’s international airport on Monday, prompting officials to cancel all flights for the rest of the day apart from those already en route to the air-travel hub.

“Radical Hong Kong protesters have repeatedly used extremely dangerous tools to attack police officers,” a spokesman for the Chinese government’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office told a news briefing on Monday, according to Chinese state media. “The first signs of terrorism are starting to appear.”

On Sunday, police in riot gear fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds of protesters across Hong Kong, some of whom threw bricks and what police identified as Molotov cocktails and smoke bombs. Police said an officer was hospitalized with burns to his legs after being hit by a Molotov cocktail hurled by a protester.

Clashes between protesters and police have entered a more violent phase, as Beijing has signaled its growing intolerance for dissent. Meanwhile, public discontent is mounting over the police’s handling of the unrest. Photo: Jeff Cheng/Associated Press

The spokesman, Yang Guang, expressed “intense condemnation” for such “deranged and severe criminal activities committed without regard for the consequences.” Such violence must be severely punished, “without leniency, without mercy,” he said …. (read more)

Source: WSJ

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