Protesters in Hong Kong have clashed with police on the second consecutive night of confrontations, as China issued fresh warnings over the months-long unrest plaguing the international financial hub.
The clashes occurred on Sunday evening when protesters attempted to close in on lines of security forces, including those guarding Beijing’s Liaison Office. The office, which represents Beijing, has been vandalized by protesters once before.
During the newer protests, police fired brief volleys of tear gas at the demonstrators in the well-heeled Sheung Wan district.
On Sunday afternoon, demonstrators also held two large rallies in Tseung Kwan O and Kennedy Town, which were peaceful at first but soon descended into violence as the protesters took over nearby roads.
In Tseung Kwan O, small crowds of masked protesters pelted the local police station with bricks and eggs, smashing several windows.
Demonstrators also vowed to keep hitting the streets.
On Saturday evening, police had a hard time dispersing small crowds of hardcore protesters in Tsim Sha Tsui — a harbor-side district known for its luxury malls and hotels — after they laid siege to a police station and hurled bricks at the building using a giant slingshot.
Hong Kong has for weeks been the scene of protests over a proposed extradition bill. While the government of the semi-autonomous Chinese region has effectively backed away from the bill, protests have persisted, with individuals sometimes resorting to violence and vandalizing government buildings.
Demonstrators are demanding the resignation of Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam and a permanent withdrawal of the controversial bill.
Beijing, which has sovereignty over Hong Kong, has warned that it is ready to quell the “intolerable” unrest if requested.
The Sunday clashes occurred as China’s official Xinhua news agency published a new commentary on the clashes, saying “ugly forces” were threatening the country’s “bottom line.”
“The central government will not sit idly by and let this situation continue,” it said.
Hong Kong, a former British colony, was returned to China in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” deal that guarantees it a level of autonomy, including a separate and independent legal system.
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