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Thursday, November 13, 2014, 09:04

Xi supports HK enforcing law over ‘Occupy’

By Luis Liu in Hong Kong
Xi supports HK enforcing law over ‘Occupy’
President Xi Jinping meets Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying prior to their discussion in Beijing on Sunday. Xi pledged full support for Leung and his administration in ruling the SAR according to the law. (GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES)

President Xi Jinping declared the “Occupy Central” protests illegal on Wednesday and again showed the central government’s firm support of the HKSAR Government to handle the events according to the law.

“In my talks with President Obama I pointed out that ‘Occupy Central’ is an illegal movement,” Xi said, at the end of a press conference after a summit meeting with US President Barack Obama in Beijing.

“We firmly support the efforts of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government to handle the situation, maintain social stability and protect the lives and properties of Hong Kong residents in accordance with the law,” Xi said.

Xi also stressed that any external forces should not interfere in Hong Kong affairs.

“Hong Kong affairs are exclusively internal matters for China, and foreign countries should not interfere in any form.” Xi said. “In any case, law and order must be maintained, not just in Hong Kong but also elsewhere in the world.”

Obama said the US had “no involvement in fostering” protests in Hong Kong, adding that the US as a matter of foreign policy will “consistently speak out for the right of people” to express themselves.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, also in Beijing, said he was reassured after talks with central government leaders that Beijing has a clear grasp of the different opinions in Hong Kong, including those of the opposition camp.

Speaking to the press after meeting Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC), Leung revealed that Zhang urged him to firmly pursue the Basic Law and the “One Country, Two Systems” principle, push forward the democratic development according to the law and maintain the city’s stability and prosperity.

With new interim injunctions empowering the police to assist in the clearance of barricades in Mong Kok and some parts of Admiralty, Leung said it was clear that the police had the responsibility to enforce court orders.

“The judge had made clear his reasons for making the decision. And it is the duty of the police to enforce the order,” Leung said. “It is part of Hong Kong’s spirit and tradition of the rule of law.”

Enforcement of the injunctions is not possible until Friday since the city’s High Court will not issue formal orders before Thursday afternoon.

Phyllis Kwong Ka-yin, the lawyer representing one of the taxi groups that filed the applications, says the court should give directions to all parties on Thursday afternoon regarding the anticipated enforcement action.

Even if the court were to immediately approve the order, injunction applicants would still have to place newspaper ads before requesting enforcement by bailiffs. Cable TV reported that the authorities will not be ready to clear protests in Mong Kok until next week.


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