Hong Kong protests: Police fight protestors as China warns it will not tolerate dissent

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Police have fired tear gas at protesters in Hong Kong as hundreds of pro-democracy campaigners march between the busy districts of Wan Chai and Causeway Bay. Many observers fear the new laws imposed by Beijing, that criminalise any political dissent, will sound the “death Knell” for the city’s autonomy. The ‘one country, two systems’ mechanism for Hong Kong seems to be fast eroding and there is now the distinct anxiety the city will soon be assimilated into the laws and values of CCP controlled mainland China.

There have been words of condemnation from the international community at China’s disregard for the internationally recognized Sino-British joint declaration that guarantees Hong Kong’s autonomy until 2049.

But there has been no concrete action, only signatures on documents and petitions to protest the latest draconian laws from Beijing.

Many suggest that nations are either too distracted by the coronavirus pandemic or tied up financially with Beijing’s Belt Road Initiative projects to take action.

Former British Hong Kong Governor Chris Patten has warned that a new Chinese security law for the city is a “comprehensive assault” on its rights and freedoms and “cannot be tolerated”.

Mr Patten said: “The statement shows a growing and widespread international outrage at the decision by the Chinese government to unilaterally impose national security legislation in Hong Kong.”

The crack-down against any political dissent from the strict line dictated by Beijing has escalated.

Hong Kong police have been ordered to arrest Jimmy Lai, the owner of the pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily.

And, the democracy advocate, the Hong Kong Labour Party vice-chair Lee Cheuk-yan, was also arrested at his home on Friday.

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Both have been arrested for allegedly taking part in an illegal assembly during an anti-extradition law demonstration last August.

Water cannon and armoured vehicles have been reported driving towards Wan Chai from central Hong Kong.

This is part of the huge police presence deploying throughout Hong Kong island.

Reports suggest that the police are approaching the current demonstrations with zero-tolerance.

On the periphery of the protest, police have performed stop and search on journalists, shoppers, and other passers-by.

Young people have been particularly targetted with many stopped and searched in the Causeway Bay district of the city.

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