Protesters Took Control of Hong Kong Parliament

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China warned Tuesday that it will be “only a matter of time” before it punishes those behind two months of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong that have increasingly devolved into violent clashes with law enforcement. The comments by Yang Guang, spokesman for the Chinese Cabinet’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, are a further indication that Beijing will take a hard line against the demonstrators and has no plans to negotiate over their demands for political reforms. “We would like to make it clear to the very small group of unscrupulous and violent criminals and the dirty forces behind them: Those who play with fire will perish by it,” Yang said. “Don’t ever misjudge the situation and mistake our restraint for weakness.” Singling out “brazen, violent and criminal actors” and the “meddling hands behind the scenes” as the focus law enforcement efforts, Yang said, “As for their punishment, it’s only a matter of time.” China so far has not visibly intervened in the situation, though it has published a series of strongly worded editorials in state media condemning “violent radicals” and “foreign forces” allegedly inflaming them. Speculation has grown that the Communist Party-led central government will deploy the military to quell demonstrators after Chinese officials pointed to an article in Hong Kong law that allows troops already stationed in the city to help with “public order maintenance” at the Hong Kong government’s request. While Hong Kong authorities have said they don’t anticipate any need to bring in troops or police…

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