Chinese military holds drills across Hong Kong border
Hong Kong braced on Thursday for more mass demonstrations through the weekend, as China again warned against foreign interference in the city’s escalating crisis and as mainland paramilitary forces conducted exercises just across the border.
A MOVE TO WARN HONG KONG PROTESTERS
Across a bridge linking Hong Kong’s rural hinterland with the booming mainland city of Shenzhen, hundreds of members of the paramilitary People’s Armed Police conducted exercises at a sports complex in what was widely seen as a warning to protesters in Hong Kong.
Ten weeks of increasingly violent confrontations between police and protesters have plunged Hong Kong into its worst crisis since it reverted from British to Chinese rule in 1997, and police tactics have been toughening. The protests represent the biggest populist challenge for Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012 and show no immediate signs of abating.
Late on Wednesday night, police and protesters faced off again on the streets of the financial hub, with riot officers quickly firing tear gas.
Seventeen people were arrested on Wednesday, bringing the total detained since June to 748, police told a news conference, adding that police stations have been surrounded and attacked 76 times during the crisis.