China warns against ‘illegal’ National Day protests in Hong Kong

Hong Kong, Sep 29 (efe-epa).- Chinese authorities on Tuesday warned they would not tolerate “illegal protests” in Hong Kong on the occasion of National Day later this week.

National Day celebrates the founding of the People’s Republic of China but in recent years has been marked in Hong Kong by pro-democracy protests and demonstrations against Beijing’s political influence in the semi-autonomous city.

This year will be the first time the 1 October National Day events will go ahead since the Chinese government implemented a new national security law in Hong Kong, which clamped down on pro-democracy protests.

China’s Hong Kong Liaison Office published a statement Tuesday saying it was “intolerable that some anti-China forces… insisted on inciting illegal protests on 1 October.”

According to the government department, the same “anti-China forces” who had requested permission to hold protests had also asked for the release of 12 Hong Kongers detained for allegedly making an illegal border crossing to mainland China last month.

According to local press in Hong Kong, the detainees were stopped in Guangzhou while on their way to Taiwan.

“Those that break the law will be punished by the law,” the government statement said.

Hong Kong’s police force has already prohibited any pro-democracy marches on National Day, turning a request from the Civil Human Rights Front.

The activist platform had wanted police permission to stage a protest against the controversial Hong Kong national security law, which was applied on 30 June.

The special-status territory was rocked by huge pro-democracy protests, triggered by a now-shelved extradition deal with mainland China, for over a year. The demonstrations subsided with the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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