The US government on Thursday warned travelers to Hong Kong due to escalating violence around pro-democracy demonstrations in the Chinese city.
The State Department’s Level 2 travel advisory issued Thursday urges – “increased caution in Hong Kong due to civil unrest” and asks passengers to avoid demonstrations and “take unexpected precautions around large gatherings or protests.” “
The protests were triggered two months ago by a proposed extradition law that sent suspects to mainland China, where protesters say they could face torture and unfair political trials. They have since turned into calls for comprehensive democratic reforms in the former British colony, with the resignation of Chief Executive Carrie Lam and an investigation into alleged police misuse of the force.
The region’s significant travel industry has suffered as tourists stopped their travel, with Australia, Ireland, Britain and Japan also issuing travel advisories for their citizens.
Hong Kong police say that a total of 589 people have been arrested in this demonstration from June 9 to the age of 76. He faces several charges including rioting, which allows for a jail term of up to 10 years. Police fired tear gas, rubber bullets and other launchers at the protesters, including protesters carrying metal rods, bricks, petrol bombs and carts full of burning debris.
On several occasions, protesters have been attacked by unknown people who were linked to organized crime groups, while the police took no action to stop them.
The central government has yet to intervene in the situation in Beijing, although in editorial and public comments it has slammed protesters and protest organizers as criminals, clowns and “violent fanatics” and accused them of being in the US. , Inflamed by leaders from Taiwan and elsewhere.
On Wednesday, the head of Beijing’s cabinet office responsible for the region said Hong Kong was facing its “most serious situation” since its handing over to British rule in 1997 and the central government was currently considering further measures. .
Under the structure of Hong Kong, China was returned to [one country, two systems, “which promised political, civil and economic freedom to the city, not allowed under Communist Party rule on the mainland. However, many Hong Kong residents Beijing is increasingly believed to be encroaching on its independence.
Pro-democracy protesters said Thursday that they plan to hold demonstrations at Hong Kong’s international airport over the weekend, as well as processions elsewhere in the region.
A protesting spokesman known only as his surname Chan, to avoid detection by authorities, said such action would continue until Lam met the movement’s demands.
“The only way to gain public confidence in the government and the Hong Kong Police Force is to properly, directly and honestly address the five demands,” Chan said at a press conference where representatives of the movement Wore helmets and face masks. Hide their facilities.
“The Hong Kong government’s attempt to achieve the impossible, by trying unceasing exit, will not prevail,” he said. [“In our struggle for autonomy, democracy and the rule of law, we will continue to fight to the end.
The police spokesperson said that no application for protest has been received at the airport and no participants have been requested to remain peaceful.
Also on Thursday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry office in Hong Kong issued a formal protest over an alleged meeting between opposition personalities, including US consular officials and prominent activist Joshua Wong in the city.
The statement calls for the United States to clarify the purpose of the meeting, and to stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs immediately.
Wong was sentenced to two months in 2014 for his involvement in protests, advocating a more democratic election process known as the Umbrella Movement.