Published: Sat, November 16, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

UBC urges exchange students to leave Hong Kong as violent protests continue

UBC urges exchange students to leave Hong Kong as violent protests continue

The district council elections are seen as a barometer of public sentiment in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory, which has been riven by anti-government protests for more than five months.

Footage circulating on social media showed fans roundly booing the Chinese anthem.

China retains a garrison of about 10,000 soldiers in the city, but they can't operationally deploy without a request from the Hong Kong government.

Hong Kong government officials called the assault "barbaric".

The cacophony - in a partially-filled stadium - ended as the announcer implored fans to "please enjoy the game".

The five-month crisis has entered a new phase in recent days with hardcore protesters embarking on a campaign to "blossom everywhere" across the city in a bid to stretch police resources.

Protesters, including thousands of office workers, were on the streets again on Friday, many of them chanting "stand with Hong Kong".

The Chinese University of Hong Kong has been described as a war zone.

"That just makes people even more angrier and they come out even more to protest, so it's this endless cycle that we're seeing".

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Bernice Chan, a former CBC reporter working as a journalist in Hong Kong, said the government has offered no political path out of the quagmire.

One non-student protester, Fung, also 18, said he was also shocked at the decision to allow the highway to reopen.

The University of Bristol will book flights home for its 15 students students now studying and working in Hong Kong, should they wish to return.

It said: "In view of the uncertain and unsafe traffic conditions for travelling to HKU, we are suspending classes on the main campus for the rest of the semester and making teaching and learning accessible online". Protesters' actions have been accompanied by intensifying violence from both sides - two people have died in a week in incidents linked to the protests. "The thing I hear (people) express is guilt, anger, helplessness, and there's nothing you can control".

A Hong Kong police spokesperson on Wednesday said the violence at Chinese University is spreading to other campuses "like a cancer cell", mentioning specifically Hong Kong University and Baptist University.

A 70-year-old man has died after being hit in the head with a brick in clashes between Hong Kong's pro and anti-government groups.

The exodus began earlier in the week when a general strike snarled major roads and transit lines, causing chaos that ended with riot police chasing protesters onto campuses.

Protesters are also demonstrating against police tactics cracking down on the rallies. But anger against the police has been growing, with many accusing them of using excessive force against protesters.

Activists saw it as an erosion of Hong Kong's autonomy under the "one country, two systems" formula implemented in 1997, when Britain returned the territory to China.

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