Protesters yesterday smashed windows in a subway station and a shopping mall, and police made arrests across Hong Kong amid anger over a demonstrator’s death and the arrest of pro-democracy lawmakers.
Hong Kong is in the sixth month of protests that began in June over a since-shelved extradition bill and have expanded to include demands for greater democracy and other grievances.
Authorities closed the subway station in Sha Tin District after protesters broke windows and damaged a ticket machine.
Reporters saw police arrest three men at a residential complex elsewhere in Sha Tin, but the reason was not clear.
In Tuen Mun, about three dozen people dressed in black, the symbolic color of the protests, stormed through the Citywalk shopping mall.
Most were peaceful, but one used a club to smash windows while others overturned tables in a restaurant.
Spectators on the street outside shouted “Cockroaches!” at police.
In Tsuen Wan, police fired tear gas and took away four men and one woman suspected of vandalizing shops, the Apple Daily reported.
Inside the Festival Walk shopping mall in Kowloon Tong, reporters saw a man lying on a public walkway beside a small pool of blood, with police standing over him. His condition and the reason for possible injuries were unclear.
There were brief shoving matches between police and protesters, some of whom thrust their fists into the air in a gesture of defiance. Police pointed cans of pepper spray at onlookers and reporters.
Protesters are demanding the resignation of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥).
They mourned the death on Friday of university student Alex Chow (周梓樂), 22, who on Monday last week fell from a parking garage when police fired tear gas at protesters.
The circumstances of the death are unclear, but many accuse police of using heavy-handed tactics, including widespread use of tear gas and pepper spray.
Police denied pushing the student during the incident or delaying emergency treatment.
On Saturday, police announced the arrest of six lawmakers on charges of obstructing the local assembly during a raucous May 11 meeting over the extradition bill. All were freed on bail.
CALL FOR LEGISLATION
Meanwhile, China said the lack of tough security laws in Hong Kong is a key reason for the increasingly violent demonstrations and that the enactment of such legislation is an “urgent task.”
The call came in a lengthy statement issued late on Saturday by the head of the Chinese government department that oversees Hong Kong.
The statement by Hong Kong Liaison Office Director Zhang Xiaoming (張曉明) acknowledged that governance in the territory must be improved, saying that factors such as high housing costs and a growing wealth gap had contributed to the unrest.
However, Zhang also backed a firmer hand, saying laws outlawing subversion and other challenges to Chinese central government control were needed, and stressed that the territory’s leader and legislature must be “patriots” loyal to Beijing.
Efforts by Hong Kong’s Beijing-controlled government to introduce tough security laws in 2003 caused major protests before being shelved.
The lack of such legislation “is one of the main reasons for the intensification of activities of local radical separatist forces,” Zhang said.
“The need to safeguard national security and strengthen law enforcement have become prominent issues and urgent tasks facing the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and people from all walks of life,” he said.
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
PROBE LAUNCHED: An officer who served as a supervisor in the drill died in an apparent suicide after the accident, which was caused by unexpected waves Two marines who were on Friday injured in a military exercise in the waters off Kaohsiung passed away yesterday, Navy Command said. The marines — surnamed Tsai (蔡), 26, and a sergeant surnamed Chen (陳), 36 — were in a seven-member Marine Corps team that encountered rough seas during a simulated response to enemy forces landing on Taiwan. Their rubber craft overturned in waters off Taoziyuan (桃子園) beach in Zuoying District (左營), injuring four of the marines. They were rushed to hospital, where three of them — Tsai, Chen and a 34-year-old sergeant — were taken to an intensive care unit
MORAL COURAGE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the global community to face China’s intention to subdue Taiwan and reject such irrational requests The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday strongly condemned the Chinese government for meddling with US officials’ interactions with Taiwan after FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed China’s efforts to discourage US officials from visiting Taiwan. The greatest long-term threat to the US’ information security and intellectual property, as well as its economic vitality, is China’s counterintelligence and economic espionage operations, Wray told a video event at the Hudson Institute in Washington. Beijing is engaged in a highly sophisticated and maligning foreign influence campaign, with methods that include bribery, blackmail and covert deals, he said. Giving an example, Wray said that when a US official
CAUTION: Taiwan had zero cases of death from food poisoning for six years until last year, when two people died after eating wildlife, an FDA official said The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday urged the public not to eat wildlife or unidentified wild plants, as they could be fatal, with nearly 7,000 people affected by food poisoning last year, including two deaths due to wildlife consumption. The number of food poisoning incidents increased by nearly 50 percent last year, from 398 cases involving 4,616 people in the previous year to 503 cases involving 6,944 people, FDA data showed. That figure was the second-highest in history, the FDA said, adding that the highest number was recorded in 1997, with 7,235 people. Among the 503 cases, 87 were food poisoning clusters