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Beijing Backs Hong Kong Chief Executive and Insists June 12 Protest Was a “Riot”

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a regular press conference on June 17. The mainland Chinese media has kept silent about the Hong Kong protests, but foreign media, Taiwan’s media, and Hong Kong’s media questioned the spokesperson at least five times. With regard to the fact that more than two million Hong Kong people took to the streets on June 16 asking chief executive Carrier Lam to step down, spokesperson Lu Kang said, “The Central Government gives full recognition to and will continue its firm support for the Chief Executive and the SAR government in carrying out their work according to law.”

Those at the June 16 parade also demanded an investigation into the responsibility of the Hong Kong police who fired guns and tear gas at the June 12 protesters and also that they retract the statement that the June 12 protest was a “riot.” The Central News Agency asked whether China still believes that the June 12 protest was violent or whether its position has changed. Lu said “the Central Government strongly condemns the violent behavior. We firmly support the police in lawfully punishing the perpetrators and safeguarding the rule of law, the social order, and the security in Hong Kong. You asked whether our position has changed. I can assure you that it hasn’t changed, not even a little bit.”

Source: Central News Agency, June 17, 2019