China’s Xi talks tough on Hong Kong

CityPress - - News -

Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping swore in Hong Kong’s new leader on Satur­day with a stark warn­ing that Bei­jing would not tol­er­ate chal­lenges to its au­thor­ity in the di­vided city as it marked the 20th an­niver­sary of its re­turn from Bri­tain to China.

Po­lice blocked roads, pre­vent­ing pro-democ­racy pro­test­ers from get­ting to the har­bour-front venue close to where the last colo­nial gov­er­nor, Chris Pat­ten, tear­fully handed back Hong Kong to China in the pour­ing rain in 1997.

“Any at­tempt to en­dan­ger China’s sovereignty and se­cu­rity, chal­lenge the power of the cen­tral gov­ern­ment ... or use Hong Kong to carry out in­fil­tra­tion and sab­o­tage ac­tiv­i­ties against the main­land is an act that crosses the red line and is ab­so­lutely im­per­mis­si­ble,” Xi said.

He also re­ferred to the “hu­mil­i­a­tion and sor­row” China suf­fered dur­ing the first Opium War in the 1840s, which led to the ced­ing of Hong Kong to the Bri­tish.

Hong Kong has been racked by de­mands for full democ­racy and, more re­cently, by calls from some pock­ets of pro­test­ers for in­de­pen­dence, a sub­ject that is anath­ema to Bei­jing.

– Reuters

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