China condemned violent protests in Hong Kong as an “undisguised challenge” to the formula under which the city is ruled, saying illegal actions that trample on the rule of law cannot be tolerated.
“Seriously violating the law, the act tramples the rule of law in Hong Kong, undermines social order and the fundamental interests of Hong Kong, and is an undisguised challenge to the bottom line of ‘one country, two systems’,” state media cited a spokesman for China’s Hong Kong affairs office as saying, Reuters reports.
“We strongly condemn this act,” the Chinese spokesman said a day after protesters stormed and trashed Hong Kong’s legislature when the city was marking the 22nd anniversary of its return to Chinese rule.
Beijing supports bringing criminal charges against those responsible for the violence, the spokesman said.
Following Monday’s mayhem, which saw protesters occupy the legislature and spray graffiti inside the premises, officials said the House will remain closed for the next two weeks.
Millions of people took to the streets in Hong Kong in the past few weeks to voice their concern about a proposed law that would allow criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial.
The bill triggered a backlash against Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, taking in the business, diplomatic and legal communities that fear corrosion of the legal autonomy of Hong Kong and the difficulty of guaranteeing a fair trial in China.
Lam has since suspended the bill and said it would lapse next year, but protesters want it scrapped altogether and have pressed her to step down.
Following Monday’s violent protests, a state newspaper in China called for “zero tolerance”.
“Out of blind arrogance and rage, protesters showed a complete disregard for law and order,” the Global Times, published by the Communist Party’s People’s Daily, said in an editorial.
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