Published: Tue, October 08, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Lam says in control of Hong Kong, but no options ruled out

Lam says in control of Hong Kong, but no options ruled out

Lam on Friday invoked the emergency powers for the first time in more than 50 years in a dramatic move meant to quell escalating violence in the Chinese-ruled city.

The warning came as the global financial hub remained partly paralysed from three days of protests in which the city's rail network and business outlets are seen as pro-China were badly vandalised.

She appealed to property developers and landlords to offer relief to retailers whose businesses had been hit.

Hong Kong's government says the number of such visitors between October 1 and 6 - holidays for the anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China - exceeded 600,000.

Asked if she would rule out asking the government in Beijing for help if Hong Kong authorities were not able to quash the protest movement, Lam said that for now she believed her government could handle the situation.

China dismisses such accusations, saying foreign governments, including Britain and the United States, have fanned anti-China sentiment.

US President Donald Trump earlier urged a "humane solution" to the crisis, telling reporters: "I think they have to do that in a peaceful manner".

And an increasing number of USA lawmakers voiced anger on Monday over the National Basketball Association's response to a Houston Rockets official's tweet backing the protests.

Ip Kwok-him, a veteran pro-Beijing politician and member of Hong Kong's executive council, fuelled those concerns when he said controls on the internet could be introduced.

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Lam said today: "I still strongly feel that we should find the solutions ourselves.but if the situation becomes so bad, then no options could be ruled out if we want Hong Kong to at least have another chance".

'I can not tell you categorically now under what circumstances we will do extra things, including. calling on the central government to help, ' she said.

The Sunday night protests, the second night of violence since the imposition of emergency laws, saw scores of protesters arrested and the first warning from Chinese military personnel stationed in the territory.

That followed the decision by authorities to impose a ban on face masks, which protesters use to protect their identity, on Friday under colonial-era emergency powers.

The High Court denied an application for an interim injunction by all 24 pro-democracy lawmakers on the ban of wearing face masks during protests, Radio Television Hong Kong reported.

Two teenage protesters have been shot and wounded, one in the chest and the other in the leg, during skirmishes with police in some of the recent violence. Many restaurants and malls closed early over what was typically a very busy holiday period.

Hong Kong's metro, which carries about 5 million passengers a day, said on Tuesday some stations would not open for service because damaged facilities needed to be repaired. Train services would also end at 8:00pm, more than four hours earlier than normal. The closures largely paralyzed transportation. Although the protesters appear to have nearly universally ignored the anti-mask law put in place on Friday, Lam said it was too early to gauge whether the law would work.

On Monday, two anti-government protesters, an 18-year-old male university student and an unemployed 38-year-old woman, were charged in court with illegally wearing a mask, making them the first to be charged under the new law.

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