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
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.”