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WorldChina Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit

21:05  14 august  2019
21:05  14 august  2019 Source:   newsweek.com

China rejects US Navy request for Hong Kong port visits amid protests

China rejects US Navy request for Hong Kong port visits amid protests Amid ongoing unrest in Hong Kong, Chinese officials have rejected a US request to have two US Navy ships make port visits there in the coming weeks. "The Chinese Government denied requests for port visits to Hong Kong by the USS Green Bay and USS Lake Erie, which were scheduled to arrive in the next few weeks," Cmdr. Nate Christensen, the deputy spokesman for the US Navy's Pacific Fleet, told CNN in a statement on Tuesday. The amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay was scheduled to visit Hong Kong on August 17 and the guided missile-cruiser USS Lake Erie was scheduled to visit next month.

China has harshly condemned the recent violence that shuttered Hong Kong's international airport for two days as protesters and police clashed, leaving several injured as the U.S. Navy sought to dock in the restive city.

China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit© MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images Protesters take on riot police firing tear-gas shells in the Sham Shui Po Area of Hong Kong, August 14. While Hong Kong's airport was able to reopen after being paralyzed by unrest for two days, more than 10 weeks of sometimes-violent demonstrations have continued elsewhere in the semi-autonomous city, where demonstrations called for looser election laws and more government accountability.

Tuesday's flare-up in what has been a months-long series of demonstrations against Hong Kong's semi-autonomous government saw protesters hunting for suspected spies and undercover cops used by Beijing to infiltrate the movement. In one instance, demonstrators attacked and detained a reporter from China's ruling Communist Party tabloid Global Times, drawing anger from the official outlet as well as "great indignation and strong condemnation" Wednesday from Chinese State Council Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office spokesperson Xu Luying.

Twitter, Facebook: China used platforms against Hong Kong protests

Twitter, Facebook: China used platforms against Hong Kong protests Twitter and Facebook on Monday said they uncovered campaigns by China to use the social media platforms against pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Facebook said in a separate post that a tip from Twitter led to the removal of Facebook pages, groups and accounts involved in "coordinated inauthentic behavior as part of a small network that originated in China and focused on Hong Kong." Read More

"We express our strongest condemnations of these terrorist-like acts and express our deepest condolences to the injured mainland compatriots and Hong Kong police officers," Xu told said in a statement, arguing such actions have "broken the bottom line of the law, morality and humanity."

"It is shocking and chilling to openly commit serious violent crimes in plain sight," she added. "Their behavior shows an extreme contempt for the rule of law, seriously damaging Hong Kong's international's image and offending a vast number their mainland compatriots. Such extremely violent crimes must be severely punished according to the law."

China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit
China Warns Hong Kong Violence Will 'Be Severely Punished' As U.S. Navy Tries to Visit

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Hong Kong's protests began earlier this year in response to a proposed bill that would allow residents accused of a crime in the special administrative region to be extradited to other parts of China to face trial. While Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has since agreed to suspend the bill, protesters have demanded it be scrapped entirely and have called for resignation as well as looser election laws, more government accountability and overall greater distance from Beijing, which claimed sovereignty over the city as part of a "one country, two systems" framework following a handover from its colonizer, the United Kingdom, in 1997.

The protests have grown increasingly violent, however, and Yang Guang, also from the Chinese State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, just days ago expressed a similar sentiment to Xu in response to a petrol bomb attack against several police stations over the weekend. He warned the recent unrest across Hong Kong "has begun to show signs of terrorism."

Meanwhile, officials in Beijing have also increasingly warned against external influence from the West, where officials and politicians from the U.S. and the U.K. have cheered on the demonstrations. Various news outlets cited U.S. Pacific Fleet deputy spokesperson Commander Nathan Christensen as saying Tuesday that China rejected a scheduled port visit by two ships.

Trump, Trudeau discussed developments in Hong Kong, Canadians held in China

Trump, Trudeau discussed developments in Hong Kong, Canadians held in China U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discussed the Hong Kong protests and the ongoing detention of two Canadians by the Chinese government, a statement from Trudeau's office said on Friday. © Reuters/JONATHAN ERNST U.S. President Trump meets with Canada's Prime Minister Trudeau at the White House in Washington The Hong Kong protests started as a peaceful rebuke of the government in April but have evolved into a direct challenge to Communist Party rule over this former British colony.

San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay and Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie were reportedly set to stop in Hong Kong in the coming weeks and was Christensen was quoted in outlets such as Fox News, CNN and Bloomberg as saying that "the U.S. Navy has a long track record of successful port visits to Hong Kong, and we expect them to continue."

Yang Yujun, a former Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson and dean of the academy of media and public affairs at the Communication University of China, told Global Times on Wednesday, however, that "the security situation in Hong Kong is very severe" and, pointing to the State Department's issuance last week of a travel warning to the troubled city, said "the U.S. request to have warships stop by in Hong Kong is contradictory to the warning and very inappropriate."

Yang argued that "the role the U.S. has been playing in the turmoil in Hong Kong" was obvious, calling Washington's motives "highly suspicious." Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University's Institute of International Relations, told Global Times that the "U.S. knows perfectly well what is happening, but still tries to send warships to Hong Kong to back up the creators of chaos," calling on Washington to "stop interfering in China's internal affairs before China-U.S. relations suffer an even more serious and irreversible blow."

U.S. politicians like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Mitch McConnell, Senator Marc Rubio, Representative Ted Yoho and Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke have expressed support for the protests in Hong Kong. Top members of President Donald Trump's administration such as Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House national security adviser John Bolton have also met with opposition supporters, while a U.S. diplomat in Hong Kong was recently caught on camera meeting with local activists participating in the demonstrations.

Such actions have been met with deep criticism in Beijing. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying called out U.S. lawmakers Tuesday, saying their comments "provided the world with new and powerful evidence on the country's involvement" in the demonstrations.

"By neglecting and distorting the truth, they whitewashed violent crimes as a struggle for human rights and freedom, and deliberately misinterpreted the work of Hong Kong police as violent repression when the police were only enforcing the law, fighting crimes and upholding social order," Hua argued, saying "they even incited the Hong Kong residents to engage in confrontation" with the Hong Kong and central government in China.

Trump himself claimed he "can't imagine why" he was being implicated in the unrest, but then shared news article relating to the story, including one highlighting the presence of U.S. flags at the protest. The president also warned that U.S. intelligence "has informed us that the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong" as various videos circulating online showed Chinese military personnel amassing at the city of Shenzhen, just outside of Hong Kong.

Security in Hong Kong has so far been handled by the local police force, but the commander of the Chinese military garrison in the city has warned his troops may intervene if deemed necessary. Late last month, the garrison released a video detailing "anti-riot" training that included the use of heavy weaponry, tanks, warships and aircraft.

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Trump, Trudeau discussed developments in Hong Kong, Canadians held in China.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discussed the Hong Kong protests and the ongoing detention of two Canadians by the Chinese government, a statement from Trudeau's office said on Friday. © Reuters/JONATHAN ERNST U.S. President Trump meets with Canada's Prime Minister Trudeau at the White House in Washington The Hong Kong protests started as a peaceful rebuke of the government in April but have evolved into a direct challenge to Communist Party rule over this former British colony.

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