LONDON (Reuters) - China will use its power to quell Hong Kong protests if the situation deteriorates further after some protesters have shown signs of terrorism, China’s ambassador to London said on Thursday.
“Should the situation in Hong Kong deteriorate further ... the central government will not sit on its hands and watch,” ambassador Liu Xiaoming told reporters.
“We have enough solutions and enough power within the limits of (the) Basic Law to quell any unrest swiftly,” Liu said. “Their moves are severe and violent offences, and already show signs of terrorism.”
He added: “the central government of China will never allow a few violent offenders to drag Hong Kong down a dangerous road, down a dangerous abyss.”
Ten weeks of confrontations between police and protesters have plunged Hong Kong into its worst crisis since it reverted from British to Chinese rule in 1997 after being governed by Britain since 1842.
They have also presented the biggest popular challenge to Chinese leader Xi Jinping in his seven years in power.
China’s ambassador accused unidentified foreign forces of fomenting violent protests in Hong Kong, warning them that their “conniving” efforts had been noticed and that they would end up damaging themselves.
“Foreign forces must stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs,” he said. “Stop conniving in violent offences - they should not misjudge the situation and go down the wrong path otherwise they will lift the stone only to drop it on their own feet.”
He added: “evidence shows the situation would not have deteriorated so much had it not been for the interference and incitement of foreign forces. Hong Kong is part of China. No foreign country should interfere in Hong Kong’s internal affairs.”
Liu also accused Western media of being unbalanced in their reporting and of confusing right and wrong.
Reporting by Estelle Shirbon and Costas Pitas; writing by Kate Holton and Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Stephen Addison