Leung Chun-Ying Gives Warning On Violence

June 16, 2015

NewsStandOnline.Net (16-June-2015): Hong Kong’s Leung Chun-Ying has warned violence will not be tolerated, a day after authorities arrested 10 people and seized suspected explosives ahead of a crucial vote on a China-backed electoral reform package this week.

Security has been stepped up across the Chinese-ruled city, including at government buildings and train stations, as it braces for a fresh showdown over plans for how its next leader is elected in 2017.

Authorities are taking no chances after mass pro-democracy protests crippled parts of the former British colony late last year and presented China’s Communist Party leadership with one of its biggest political challenges in decades.

Leung Chun-Ying Says Poor Would Dominate Free Vote

“Hong Kong society should not tolerate any illegal activities. Whether these are violent or non-violent, we should not allow any illegal activities to be justified,” Chief Executive Leung Chun-Ying said in a televised briefing ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting.

Ten people were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to manufacture explosives, police said on Monday, adding that some belonged to a radical group. They did not elaborate and no charges have been laid.

Hong Kong’s legislature is due to begin debate on the electoral reform package in the Legislative Council on Wednesday, with a vote due by the end of the week. Pro-democracy protesters are staging evening rallies throughout the week.

“We hope it can pass smoothly,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters in Beijing. “This is beneficial for Hong Kong’s long-term development.”

Beijing has proposed a direct vote for Hong Kong’s next leader in 2017, but only from among pre-screened, pro-Beijing candidates. Democracy activists say they want a genuinely democratic vote.