Published: Sun, July 02, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

'Sabotage' won't be tolerated, China's Xi warns Hong Kong pro-democracy rebels

'Sabotage' won't be tolerated, China's Xi warns Hong Kong pro-democracy rebels

At the same time, the continued presence in Hong Kong of what doesn't - and can't - appear on the mainland shows there's still a gap (if no longer a chasm) between this and other Chinese cities.

What has transformed Hong Kong, according to Li in a 2013 interview with Jeffrey Garten of the Yale School of Management, is the ability of both the city's and the mainland's regulatory authorities to make decisions to encourage State-owned mainland companies to float in the city.

A huge security operation shut down large parts of the city, with thousands of police deployed to keep away demonstrators angry at Beijing's tightening grip.

Chang said that the freedom and jurisdiction of Hong Kong have been seriously compromised.

His visit received mixed emotions, ranging from celebrations to mass demonstrations as pro-democracy volunteers feared that it would increase Chinese encroachment on the city's autonomy - guaranteed under a framework known as "one country, two systems".

Wong told government broadcaster RTHK that the pro-Beijing protesters were from criminal gangs loyal to the Communist Party.

"Now Hong Kong has returned to the motherland's embrace for 20 years, the Sino-British Joint Declaration, as a historical document, no longer has any practical significance and it is not at all binding for the central government's management over Hong Kong", Lu said. During Xi's visit, he swore in Hong Kong's new pro-Beijing leader. "His message is clear: if you do not do what we want, watch the consequences".

Hong Kong's reputation as a free-market haven was challenged during the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, while the 2008 global financial crisis tested the health of its banks.

The failure of the democracy movement to win concessions has led some young campaigners to call for self-determination or even independence for the mainland, which has infuriated Beijing.

But two decades later, there's no sign of that aim.

Chan is not alone; immigration experts say an approximate 20 percent of emigration from Hong Kong is because of politics - politics influenced by China.

There is growing concern that the Chinese central government is undermining Hong Kong's more politically liberal traditions, despite its promise to give it a high degree of autonomy.

Lam, speaking in Mandarin instead of the Cantonese dialect widely used in Hong Kong and southern China, said she wanted to create a harmonious society and bring down astronomical housing prices that have also sown social discord.

"On the part of the central government, we are ready to talk to anyone who loves the country, loves Hong Kong and genuinely supports the principle of "one country, two systems" and the Basic Law of the HKSAR, no matter what political views or position he or she may hold". The pro-democracy protesters were released on Friday.

Lam has been in Hong Kong since ducking bail previous year and revealing how he had been seized, blindfolded and detained for eight months without a lawyer. The protesters, including activist Joshua Wong, a leader of Hong Kong's pro-democracy Umbrella Movement, managed to obscure the statue from view. Hong Kong had maintained its "capitalist system and way of life and its laws have remained basically unchanged". The news that Nobel prize victor and Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo is terminally ill and has only recently been granted medical parole has been another source of discontent.

Hailing "one country, two systems" a great pioneering initiative by China, Xi said its practice, featuring socialism in the main body of the country and capitalism in certain regions, is unprecedented in human political history.

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