Ahead of the planned massive pro-democracy rally on the 22nd anniversary of the city’s handover to China, the anti-government demonstrators in Hong Kong marched onto the streets that caused clashes between the police and protesters in the early hours of Monday.
Thirteen police officers were hospitalised after they were splashed with an unidentified liquid that was believed to be a drain cleaner during the violent clashes on Lung Wo Road, Tim Mei Avenue, and Harbour Road around the city’s legislative and administrative centre, South China Morning Post reported.
The semi-autonomous city has been shaken by historic demonstrations in the past three weeks when protesters have demanded the withdrawal of a bill that would allow extraditions to the Chinese mainland.
The ongoing rallies are the latest manifestation of growing fears that China is stamping down on the city’s freedom and culture with the help of the financial hub’s pro-Beijing leaders.
The city’s leader, Chief Executive Carrie Lam gave a six-minute speech in which she largely concentrated on the lessons she would learn from the political crisis that has engulfed her administration as a result of the bill.
Carrie Lam said, “I will learn the lesson and ensure that the government’s future work will be closer and more responsive to the aspirations, sentiments and opinions of the community.”
Thousands of protesters paralysed central Hong Kong by blocking major roads in a defiant show of strength against government plans to allow extraditions to China early this month.
However, Carrie Lam apologised for the political unrest that had shaken Hong Kong.
The handover, on this day in 1997, marked the end of British rule in Hong Kong.