HONG KONG – The chief executive of the Hong Kong government said on Tuesday that the radical means employed by some protesters in the city has only made her administration more determined to bring an end to the violence.
Responding to a question posed by a reporter at her weekly press conference, Carrie Lam said that the “escalating violence and the use of these home-made bombs and also the very deadly attacks on the policemen” has given the government “even stronger determination to end the violence.”
“Violence will not give us the solution. Violence will only breed more violence,” she added. “So, for concessions to be made simply because of escalating violence will only make the situation worse.”
Meanwhile, an internal report of the European Union cited by the South China Morning Post daily on Monday revealed that Lam does not consider a debate on universal suffrage – one of the demands of the protesters in the city – “feasible.”
According to the report, Lam told the head of the EU office in Hong Kong, Carmen Cano, that it was not feasible to relaunch a debate on universal suffrage at the moment as it would require China’s legislature to undertake constitutional steps that Beijing’s authoritarian regime was opposed to.
Meanwhile, rally organizers said around 130,000 people gathered in downtown Hong Kong on Monday evening urging United States lawmakers to pass the 2019 Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which would serve to punish those Chinese and Hong Kong officials that undermine the rights of the inhabitants of the special administrative region.
The Hong Kong protests, which have been drawing massive crowds since June following a contentious proposed extradition law, have mutated into a movement that seeks to improve the democratic mechanisms that govern Hong Kong and safeguard – or expand – the region’s partial autonomy from Beijing.
However, some demonstrators have opted for more radical tactics than peaceful civil disobedience and violent clashes with the police have been frequent.