Hong Kong wore the wounds on Monday of another night of violent protests, with hard hats, umbrellas and water bottles scattering some central streets, as Beijing was set to make an announcement on the Asian financial center’s worst crisis since 1997.
In a rare move, the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office in Beijing, which has cabinet-level authority over the former British colony, is because of hold a news conference at 0700 GMT about the unrest gripping the city.
That follows another weekend of clashes between protesters and police, who again fired rubber bullets and tear gas because the demonstrations grow increasingly violent.
Police sought to defend China’s principal representative workplace in Hong Kong from protesters on Sunday for the second consecutive weekend, with the building near the heart of the city reinforced with barricades.
Police stated they’d arrested at least 49 people over Sunday’s protests for offenses including unauthorized meeting and possession of offensive weapons.
Millions have taken part in street protests against a now-suspended extradition bill that will have allowed prison suspects in Hong Kong to be sent to China to face trial in Communist Party-controlled courts.
The protests, during which hundreds stormed the city’s legislature on July 1, are the most severe political crisis in Hong Kong since it returned to China 22 years ago.
They also pose the most significant widespread problem to Chinese leader Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.
Hong Kong returned from British to Chinese rule in 1997 under a “one nation, two systems” method that promised wide-ranging freedoms denied to citizens in mainland China.
Many fear Beijing is increasingly breaking away at those freedoms.