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China supports Hong Kong’s Carrie Lam amid calls for her resignation

Protesters have continued with their demand seekign Lam’s resignation despite her apology where she said sorry to the public with “utmost sincerity and humility” for the way the city police handled the large demonstration.

world Updated: Jun 17, 2019 19:27 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Beijing
beijing,carrie lam,hong kong
Protesters attend a demonstration demanding Hong Kong's leaders to step down and withdraw the extradition bill, in Hong Kong, China, June 17, 2019.(REUTERS/ file photo)

Beijing on Monday said it “firmly” supports Hong Kong’s embattled leader Carrie Lam after protesters demanded she resigns over an extradition bill that has triggered massive demonstrations in the city.

Protesters have continued with their demand seeking Lam’s resignation despite her apology where she said sorry to the public with “utmost sincerity and humility” for the way the city police handled the large demonstration.

Her apology failed to placate the protesters.

The Communist Party of China (CPC) leadership, however, has continued to support Lam.

“The central government will continue to firmly support the chief executive and efforts by the government of the Special Administrative Region to govern according to law,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Lu Kang told a regular briefing on Monday.

Hong Kong’s first woman leader, Lam took over as the chief executive in March 2017 when a committee stacked with Beijing loyalists voted her into office.

Beijing had earlier backed Lam’s decision to suspend the bill saying it was an attempt to “listen more widely” to different views and “restore calm”.

Spokesperson Lu said the protests were “not in line with the mainstream public opinion in Hong Kong.”

“Many facts have shown that foreign governments and even some politicians have been making inflammatory remarks since the decision of the Hong Kong government to start amending the extradition ordinance in February,” Lu said.

China’s state-controlled media and the foreign ministry have generally blamed the unrest on foreign interference, repeatedly alleging that Washington was inciting the demonstration and linking it to the ongoing trade war between the two countries.

“If Washington believes it can take the recent incident in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) as a bargaining chip in the game between China and the US; if it thinks playing the Hong Kong card can force China to make compromises in trade negotiations with the US, it had better think twice. The riots in Hong Kong will only consolidate Beijing’s tough stance against Washington,” the nationalistic Global Times said in an opinion piece.

“The riot in Hong Kong is taking place amid the escalating China-US trade war. This made certain Americans and people in Hong Kong excited, believing their opportunity had arrived,” it added.

“What happened in Hong Kong reveals that the fundamental purpose of Washington is to achieve ‘America First’ through eroding China’s core interests. That’s why the US has been and will continue to threaten China via maximum pressure and all-around containment.”

First Published: Jun 17, 2019 19:13 IST