(BBC) – China has issued a strong warning to Hong Kong’s protesters, saying their attempts “to play with fire will only backfire”.
A spokesman for China’s top policy office on Hong Kong told protesters not to “underestimate the firm resolve [of] the central government”.
Hong Kong has seen nine consecutive weeks of anti-government protests. On Monday, a call for a general strike caused severe disruption, and more than 200 flights were cancelled.
Protesters want an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality, the complete withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill, and the resignation of Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam.
The demonstrations have frequently ended in violent clashes with police. They are seen as a challenge to Beijing’s authority in the territory – and a reflection of how many Hong Kongers fear that their freedoms are being eroded.
The former British colony is part of China but enjoys unique freedoms not seen on the mainland.