Hong Kong malls hit by protests, as clashes leave injuries

The Xinhua News Agency office in Wan Chai was vandalised

The Xinhua News Agency office in Wan Chai was vandalised

Although Hong Kong officials have started cracking down on the protests-by increasing arrests, loosening search warrant requirements and banning face masks-it has been reported that Beijing officials have drafted a plan to replace Lam with an "interim" chief executive by March 2020.

"People are losing patience and throwing rational judgment to the wind", said Willy Lam, an adjunct professor at the Center for China Studies at Hong Kong's Chinese University.

On Friday, after a meeting of China's top leadership, a senior Chinese official said it would not tolerate separatism or threats to national security in Hong Kong and would "perfect" the way it appointed the city's leader.

The bloody violence broke out on the day hundreds of protesters took to the streets in unauthorised citywide demonstrations against the government.

HONG KONG (AP) - A knife-wielding man slashed several people and bit off part of the ear of a pro-democracy politician in Hong Kong on Sunday, as riot police stormed several malls to thwart protesters who have been demanding government reforms for almost five months.

The attacker's motive was not known but Ho gained notoriety among anti-government protesters in July when he was filmed laughing and shaking hands with suspected triad gang members who assaulted young demonstrators.

An IHS Markit survey published on Tuesday showed business activity in Hong Kong's private sector fell to its weakest in 21 years in October, weighed down by anti-government protests and softening global demand.

We have seen that the unrests between Hong Kong police and the protestors have reached a peak in the last few weeks. "But Hong Kong is different", he said. "In simple terms, it will not happen", she said.

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"There is still a strong chance Lam could step down early", Sing said.

Democratic Party lawmaker Helena Wong agreed.

The city's embattled Chief Executive Carrie Lam last month announced plans to help first-time home buyers break into what is the world's least affordable property market - a move some analysts say will only send prices higher.

Chinese state media called on Monday for a tougher line against the protesters who vandalized the local offices of state-run Xinhua news agency and other buildings, saying the violence damaged the city's rule of law.

Protesters there had initially formed a human chain before facing off with police in skirmishes up and down escalators and spraying graffiti on a restaurant. However, the statement from Hong Kong Secretary Matthew revealed that "The reverse is true". Still, the idea that Hong Kong's protests are foreign-funded and not a popular revolt permeates the blue ribbon camp.

Public anger has continued to simmer in Hong Kong as Beijing has warned of a political crackdown as anti-government protests enter their fifth month. Riot police stormed shopping malls, and a district councillor had his ear partly bitten off when he tried to stop a man with a knife.

Hong Kong's government strongly condemned the attack on Ho and said in a statement members of the public should "express their views in a peaceful and rational manner with respect for each other".

More than 66 percent of 700 respondents expressed "dissatisfaction" with Lam's administration, compared with 33 percent in the same period past year. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.

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