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Hong Kong's Lam Sees No Benefit in Conceding to Protest Demands

19 September 2019

"Human rights and freedoms in Hong Kong are fully protected".

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday welcomed Hong Kong pro-democracy activists to the U.S. Capitol, sending a message to Beijing that Congress supports the protesters in their months-long campaign for human rights. But they have since broadened into calls for universal suffrage. And Pelosi warned others in the US government not to allow "commercial interests" to drive foreign policy in the region.

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a press briefing Thursday that the United States should "stop supporting violent radical forces and Hong Kong independence separatists, and stop adding fuel to the fire to the words and deeds that damage the prosperity and stability of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region".

Beijing warned the USA not to get involved, a day after a group of activists including former student leader Joshua Wong and Hong Kong pop singer Denise Ho appealed to Washington to support their fight. "America stands with you", he said.

Dozens of supporters of China waved Chinese flags and sang the national anthem in a mall on Wednesday, while anti-government protesters booed them.

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Against the backdrop of the 30-year anniversary of the Tiananmen Square uprising, with its brutal and bloody crackdown on young democracy protesters a generation ago, the USA lawmakers are prominently backing today's young activists.

Ho has called for Hong Kong "clean-up day" on Saturday, targeting anti-government graffiti in 18 districts.

"We will continue our uphill battle until the day we enjoy freedom and democracy", Wong said.

"Beijing should not have it both ways, reaping all the economic benefits of Hong Kong's standing in the world while eradicating our sociopolitical identity" said Joshua Wong, secretary-general of Hong Kong's Demosisto party and leader of the "Umbrella Movement". Bloomberg's Karen Leigh reports on "Bloomberg Markets: China Open".

The Jockey Club said it had been "monitoring the situation" closely in the Chinese-ruled territory.

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Republicans and Democrats on the panel, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, expressed their support.

FILE - Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 7, 2014.

Smith's bill would require the US secretary of state to certify each year whether Hong Kong should continue to receive its special treatment under USA law, require sanctions against individuals in either Hong Kong or China who crack down on the territory's autonomy and freedoms, and make sure anyone arrested for participating in peaceful protests is not denied a visa to enter the USA because of it.

The spark for the latest protests in June was planned legislation, now withdrawn, that would have allowed people to be sent to mainland China for trial. "Much more must be done". China has benefited from this, and lawmakers believe, used it to evade USA export controls and sanctions.

The move by To, known as the "godfather" of Hong Kong gangster films, also comes during a prolonged period of political unrest in the city.

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Hong Kong's Lam Sees No Benefit in Conceding to Protest Demands