China has issued a powerful warning to Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters against continuing what it called “illegal” demonstrations.
“There will be unimaginable consequences” according to a newspaper editorial in Beijing.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi who is visiting Washington also warned that what was going on in Hong Kong was an internal affair for China.
“Secretary Kerry mentioned Hong Kong. The Chinese government has very firmly and clearly stated its position. Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs. All countries should respect China’s sovereignty,” said China’s foreign minister.
His US counterpart US Secretary John Kerry had earlier urged restraint in dealing with the protesters:
“We believe an open society with the highest possible degree of autonomy and governed by rule of law is essential for Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity . And we have high hopes that the Hong Kong authorities will exercise restraint and respect the protesters’ right to express their views peacefully.”
Wednesday’s National Day holiday in the Asian financial hub attracted huge numbers of demonstrators. They are angry that Beijing is to vet candidates for the territory’s 2017 leadership elections. They’ve vowed to step up their action and begin occupying government buildings unless Hong Kong’s chief executive steps down.