- Radical protesters offended all Chinese people and challenged central government’s authority, said director of Beijing’s liaison office Wang Zhimin
- He praised those who took part in pro-establishment rallies on June 30 and July 20
Beijing's top official in Hong Kong has slammed Sunday's unprecedented attack on his office by anti-government protesters who defaced the national emblem on the building front, saying their radical actions had offended all Chinese people.
In a rare personal statement in front of the cameras on Monday, liaison office director Wang Zhimin said he was confident the "rioters" who pelted the liaison office building in Western District with eggs and paintballs would be punished by local authorities.
While Wang said his office would continue to serve Hong Kong people, he did not touch on Sunday night's savage attacks on protesters and passengers by a mob of men wearing white at Yuen Long MTR station.
"Last night, some people with extreme ideas besieged the liaison office, while a minority of them threw eggs and black paintballs to deface our stately national emblem," he said.
"They destroyed our security facilities, and wrote words to insult the nation and national integrity … The liaison office and various sectors in Hong Kong issue strongest condemnation of such acts."
Wang said he firmly believed the Hong Kong government, police and judiciary would "strictly punish and go all the way after the accused".
"The recent intense protests in Hong Kong completely went beyond the limits of peaceful demonstration. Some protesters publicly challenged the bottom line of the city's rule of law, the authority of the constitution and the Basic Law, as well as the central government's authority, sovereignty, national security, dignity and symbols," he said.
"These damaged the spirit of the rule of law in Hong Kong, the interest of the local people, and seriously hurt the feelings of all Chinese people, including 7 million Hongkongers."
Wang believed various sectors in Hong Kong would "absolutely not agree" with what the protesters did.
"Last night, members of the liaison office staff, just like many Hong Kong residents, were deeply shocked and angered," he said.
The recent intense protests in Hong Kong completely went beyond the limits of peaceful demonstrationWang Zhimin, liaison office director
"But we have put up a new national emblem to show that as the sun rises this morning, the stately national emblem would still be hung outside our building, which is still unmoved and located on the harbourfront."
Wang said the liaison office would "not let people down" as it continued to perform its duties, such as firmly supporting the city's government and law enforcement agencies in maintaining public order.
He said he appreciated those who took part in the pro-establishment camp's rallies on June 30 and July 20, and said he had received a lot of messages supporting the liaison office since Sunday night.
In a statement issued on Sunday, a spokesman for the liaison office said the protesters' act touched on the bottom line of Beijing's "one country, two systems" principle on Hong Kong.
Lawmaker Leung Che-cheung, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said the liaison office was referring to China's sovereignty over Hong Kong.
"We have 'one country' first, before we have 'two systems'. When they were defacing the symbol of the country, they were saying they didn't want 'one country, two systems' and only wanted Hong Kong's independence," Leung said.
"But Beijing would not allow them to challenge the nation's security like that."
Federation of Trade Unions (FTU) lawmaker Michael Luk Chung-hung echoed Leung's view.
"The bottom line of the 'one country, two systems' principle was the central government's sovereignty over Hong Kong … Beijing would not abandon the principle or adopt 'one country, one system', but we still need to respect the central government so that the principle can work well," he added.
In a joint statement issued on Monday, the pro-Beijing camp said when protesters were laying siege to the liaison office, they defaced the emblem, tried to storm the building, and chanted slogans about staging a revolution to "reclaim" Hong Kong.
"These acts seriously contravened the national constitution, destroyed Hong Kong's social order, and harmed the people's interest," the statement read.
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