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Strike grips Hong Kong as leader warns protests challenge China's sovereignty

5 August 2019 - 26   - 0

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong was plunged into fresh chaos on Monday as a general strike followed another weekend of violent protests, paralyzing transport, leading to more than 200 flight cancellations and bringing the city to an unprecedented standstill.

Beijing-backed leader Carrie Lam addressed the media for the first time in two weeks and warned again that the protests gripping the city are a challenge to China’s sovereignty and pushing it to the verge of an “extremely dangerous situation”.

Embattled Lam remained defiant as she rejected calls from protesters for her to resign and said the government would be resolute in maintaining law and order.

She warned the protests were putting the Asian financial center on a path of no return and had hurt the city’s economy.

“They claim they want a revolution and to restore Hong Kong, these actions have far exceeded their original political demands,” said a stern-faced Lam, who was flanked by senior members of her administration.

“These illegal acts that challenge our country’s sovereignty, and jeopardize ‘one country two systems’, will destroy the stability and prosperity of Hong Kong,” she said, referring to Hong Kong’s administrative system since 1997 when the former British colony was handed back to China.

In her first news conference since July 22, Lam said the protests are “pushing our city, the city we all love and many of us helped to build, to the verge of a very dangerous situation”.

Some protesters accused Lam of again fuelling the crisis by ignoring public sentiment, and they pledged to continue with their movement.

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