HONG KONG, Sep. 8 (Reuters / EP) –
Hong Kong protesters calling for democracy for the city ruled by China plan to take their message to the US Consulate this Sunday after a new violent day of protests.
United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has urged the Chinese government to act in moderation in Hong Kong on Saturday.
Esper made this appeal at a time when Hong Kong authorities were registering travelers and visitors at the city's international airport to avoid a new demonstration at the airfield. The Pentagon chief launched this message at a press conference in Paris accompanied by his gala counterpart, Florence Parly.
This week, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has announced a series of concessions to protesters in an attempt to put an end to the mobilizations, including the final withdrawal of the extradition law, the norm that caused the mobilization to begin . Protesters have said that the rectification of the Hong Kong government is too late.
Hong Kong returned under Chinese sovereignty in 1997 thanks to an agreement with the United Kingdom whereby China undertook to maintain the regime of rights and freedoms enjoyed by the territory during colonial rule, which resulted in the beginning of 'a country , two systems'. However, many Hong Kong citizens fear that Beijing is destroying that autonomy.
China, on the other hand, denies the charge of interference and insists that Hong Kong is an “internal matter.” He has also denounced the protests, accusing the United States and the United Kingdom of fostering this situation of instability, and has warned of the damage it is causing in the economy.
In recent years, Hong Kong people have taken the streets massively to preserve this special status. They already did it in 2014, with the so-called Umbrella Revolution, in which many saw the 'Chinese Spring' although it was finally deactivated. The current protests threatened to resurrect this movement on the eve of the celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
In addition to calling for the withdrawal of the extradition bill and the release of detainees for violence, protesters want an independent investigation into the perception of police brutality, the withdrawal of the word “mutiny” to describe the demonstrations and the right of Hong Kong people to choose their own leaders. Protests have caused Chinese President Xi Jinping to face his biggest popular challenge since he came to power in 2012.
The United States Department of State updated its travel notice for Hong Kong at the beginning of August, noting that United States citizens and consular employees had been the subject of a recent propaganda campaign by China in which it was “falsely accusing the United States of fomenting the riots.”
The overall level of risk remains at the second lowest of a four-level indicator, after it rose on August 7 to reflect the escalation of violence.