Last August 6, top agency officials in charge of Hong Kong affairs held a closed-door meeting in Shenzhen to discuss the current situation in Hong Kong.
Senior officials from China have threatened that Beijing would intervene if the local government office failed to end the ongoing protests in the city.
The turmoil in Hong Kong was triggered by the decision of the legislature to discuss the passage of a bill which would extradite fugitives to China and stand trial.
For many of the protesters, the passage of the bill meant further eroding freedoms and civil rights to China.
Zhang Xiaoming, the director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of China’s State Council issued the following opening statement:
“The central government is highly concerned about Hong Kong’s situation, and trying to study, make decisions and arrangements from a strategic and across-the-board level.”
“Hong Kong is facing the most serious situation since its return to China. Therefore, today’s seminar is very important.”
During the meeting Zhang warned that if the situation worsens and there is turmoil the Hong Kong government is unable to control, the central government would not remain on the sidelines and not do anything about it.
“The most pressing and overriding task at present is to stop violence, end the chaos and restore order, so as to safeguard our homeland and prevent Hong Kong from sinking into an abyss,” he stated.
Although Zhang did not elaborate on intervention methods, he stressed that Beijing has “ample methods as well as sufficient strength” to quickly quell the anti-government demonstrations which has been going on for nine weeks.
Yang Guang, a spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council warned protesters that China has the power to put down the protests and warned anyone who engages in violence and crimes would be held accountable.
When reporters asked about using military force in Hong Kong, Yang responded: “We will not let any acts attacking the principle of ‘one country, two systems’ go unpunished.”