Hong Kong’s chief executive has accused what he calls “external forces” of involvement in the pro-democracy movement.
Leung Chun-ying’s claims were made on TV on Sunday night, after renewed clashes between police and protesters at the weekend left at least 20 people injured.
“There is obviously participation by people, organisations from outside of Hong Kong, in politics in Hong Kong, over a long time. This is not the only time when they do it, and this is not an exception either,” Leung said.
Protest leaders have strongly denied the accusations, calling on the chief executive to back up his claims with proof.
Hong Kong police have accused ‘radicals’ of infiltrating the protests.
By Monday morning calm had returned to the Mong Kok district amid an uneasy stand-off.
The demonstrations, which began at the end of September, are in objection to the Chinese central government’s plans to screen candidates running in Hong Kong’s first direct elections in 2017.
“In this movement it is all about Hong Kong people. The Hong Kong people come out because they are saying they need democracy. They need to protect the students. Not the foreign power telling people to come out because of the students,” said freelance photographer Neil Chu as he sat in the road as part of the pro-democracy protest.
Sunday night saw a different rally: about 1,000 people turned out to show their support for the police.
Some accused pro-democracy protesters of disturbing public order and of wanting to destroy Hong Kong’s prosperity.