BEIJING – Mainland China’s central government has told Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters “Those Who Play with Fire will Perish by it”, after widespread protests and unrest.
Beijing said the resolve of the central government should not be underestimated.
Hong Kong has been plunged into chaos by weeks of protests triggered by opposition to a planned law that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China.
The protests in Hong Kong have now evolved into a pro-democracy movement for democratic reform and the protection of freedoms.
The Hong Kong Police have reported they arrested 148 protestors on Monday, following clashes with police.
Police stations were a particular target, with protesters hurling stones, eggs and bottles, and using giant improvised slingshots to catapult bricks over walls.
Beijing Warns Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Protestors
At a press briefing in Beijing, a spokesman for the Central Government, said the “Radical Protests” are severely impacting Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability.”
The central government still “firmly supports” both the Hong Kong police force and Carrie Lam, the city’s pro-Beijing leader.
“We would like to make it clear to the very small group of unscrupulous and violent criminals and the dirty forces behind them: Those who play with fire will perish by it,” the spokesperson told reporters.
“Don’t ever misjudge the situation and mistake our restraint for weakness… Don’t ever underestimate the firm resolve and immense strength of the central government.”
In Beijing, the press conference held by China’s cabinet-level State Council was the second in as many weeks, highlighting their concern.
The clashes have piled pressure on Chinese President Xi Jinping, and led to speculation that Beijing might be forced to intervene, even militarily.
Source: DW, AP