United Kingdom warns China of serious consequences if Hong Kong rights not honoured

Riot police try to disperse protesters on the anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China

Riot police try to disperse protesters on the anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China

Around 2 million people showed up at a march last month, shocked at a police crackdown on young protesters who surrounded the legislative buildings a few days before.

A small group of mostly students wearing hard hats and masks had used a metal trolley, poles and scaffolding to charge again and again at the compound's reinforced glass doors, which eventually gave.

LegCo president Andrew Leung has said that all meetings scheduled for the next two weeks will be cancelled because of the extensive damage, including to fire safety and power supply, to the building. "The fix and the rebuilding of the LegCo complex is expected to take a long time".

"But we urge the authorities not to use what happened as a pretext for repression, but rather to understand the root causes of what happened, which is a deep-seated concern by people in Hong Kong that their basic freedoms are under attack", he said.

Hundreds of people stormed government offices just before 9 p.m. local time.

Monday's demonstrators left no doubt as to the future they prefer: They draped the city's pre-handover flag, featuring the UK Union Jack in its upper-left-hand corner, on the podium where the Legislative Council president sits.

"I feel that in the longer run, any kind of unrest in society can not be resolved without considering some kind of political structure reform, especially for the young people", said Michael Tien, a pro-Beijing lawmaker, in an interview.

"The Chinese government say this is an internal affair and it's not for Britain to meddle in this, but we signed an agreement ensuring 'one nation, two systems' for 50 years, so I hope there are not changes which undermine that legally binding agreement". "We express our vehement condemnation against this".

Demonstrations flared up originally on June 9 over a controversial law that would extradite criminal suspects to mainland China. She later told reporters she was voicing the grievances and opinions of the protesters, who could not get into the event. "But I want to be absolutely clear that our values are not negotiable and we expect all countries to honour their legal agreements with the United Kingdom".

Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam has condemned what she called the "extreme use of violence" by protesters who stormed and vandalised the territory's parliament on Monday night.

Peaceful demonstrations had been planned for Monday, the 22nd anniversary of Hong Kong's handover from British to Chinese rule.

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We once again warn [all] countries to be careful and not interfere in Hong Kong's domestic affairs in any way.

But Lam and Beijing can seize on it to justify a crackdown.

The violence trampled on Hong Kong's legal system, disrupted social order and defied the "one country, two systems" framework of governance in the city, the spokesman said.

However, government offices, where protesters smashed computers and spray-painted "anti-extradition" and slurs on the walls, were closed. He described the police's decision to withdraw as a trap to discredit the opposition, saying "this is exactly what the government wants".

Monday's protests began with tens of thousands of people marching in temperatures of around 33 degrees Celsius from Victoria Park in an annual rally.

Many Hongkongers are anxious that if the bill were to pass, Beijing could potentially pressure the city government to hand over citizens of any nationality to face trial in the Chinese regime's courts under false pretenses.

Similar pleas earlier in the day failed to stop protesters from smashing their way through glass entryways surrounding the legislative complex. Police form lines in the building.

Demonstrators removed the Chinese flag from a flagpole, and replaced it with a black one featuring a withered, black Bauhinia, the flower on Hong Kong's emblem.

"In the long term, (this) will impact Hong Kong's business environment. I have learned that even with good intentions, I have to be open and inclusive".

Tensions spiralled on June 12 when police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters near the heart of the city, sending plumes of smoke billowing among some of the world's tallest skyscrapers.

-With assistance from Fion Li, Sophie Kamaruddin, Stuart Biggs, Sebastian Chau, Edith Moy, Natalie Lung, Simon Lee, Bill Faries, Larry Liebert, Dominic Lau, Jon Herskovitz, Qi Ding and Kari Lindberg.

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