Hong Kong’s Carrie Lam refuses to rule out asking China for help to quell protests
No options can be ruled out according to Carrie Lamhaswhen it comes to Chinese intervention in the Hong Kong Protests. Lam has said that the aspect of asking the Chinese government for help in the protests is a possibility, but she hopes that the city authorities are able to handle the situation. She said that she would not be using her emergency powers to put laws into place for now as a ban on masks being worn out in public caused mayhem in Hong Kong.
The chief executive of the city has warned that the economy of Hong Kong is entering a bitter winter, with tourism being affected by the protests in the first week of October, a traditional holiday in mainland China. Visitor numbers in July decreased by 4.8% each year but reduced by almost 40% in August and September.
Retail figures and hotel occupancy were both decreased by the quarter each year. Earlier in the month, a member of the Lam cabinet, Ip Kwok-him, floated the idea of curbing internet access in order to curb the Hong Kong Street Protests which do not have a steady leader and is controlled and organized through online forums and message encryption.
In a press conference, Lam has said that it is still early to say whether the mask ban was effective. However, she showed no regrets for her decision. On Monday, the Police saw clashes with numerous Hong Kong nationals, and according to Lam, the face masks need go in order to maintain the rule of law in the streets. Critics of the move maintain that this is a dangerous assault on the civil rights of the people which is only due to spark more protests.
Lam is against the serious and widespread damage and calls the protesters ‘lawless’ rioters who are trying to create a climate of fear, preventing the city from returning to its normal hustle and bustle. Some parts of the metro are still shut and this has created mass queues for other public transport, creating massive traffic jams. The economy of the island is also suffering badly, with tourism and retail sectors compounding the effects of the US-China trade wars. A recession, the first in the decade, is on its way.
Prosecutors, on Monday, brought forth the first charges filed under the face mask law. Supporters who were wearing these masks entered the courtroom, putting on a show where two people were being charged with a crime about by dozens around them.
Tear gas was also used by the riot police in three areas as demonstrators were arrested from several other parts. Protestors built themselves barricades and attacked businesses which are pro-China.
Originally, these protests were sparked by an extradition bill that would have permitted China to pick up citizens for trials in mainland China, but have since grown into a broader movement with goals to achieve democracy and investigation of police brutalities.
This is the largest political crisis for Hong Kong since 1997, when it was separated from Britain and given to China.