But protesters may have pushed Beijing's patience to the limit yesterday as they ransacked Hong Kong's legislature, hung the colonial-era flag in the chamber and spray-painted anti-Beijing messages. They effectively besieged the building, as a large crowd of several hundred watched from a distance, before eventually smashing their way through the glass facade.
The Chinese government also reiterated that no foreign nation should comment or intervene in protest actions in Hong Kong, saying the issue were exclusively Chinese affair and other countries "must not support any violent criminals in any form, and not send any misleading signals or take any erroneous actions". "We strongly condemn it", Geng told reporters at a daily briefing.
"This is an insult to LegCo (Legislative Council), an insult to Hong Kong rule of law", she said.
A man uses a loudspeaker as he stands next to a colonial flag of Hong Kong and a banner displayed inside a chamber, after protesters broke into the Legislative Council building during the anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China in Hong Kong, China July 1, 2019. Even though we are having one country two systems now... Its coverage of the protests and the publication of a harsh editorial in the official Communist Party newspaper Global Times may indicate it is prepared to take a tougher line against the demonstrators following days of forbearance.
Hua said the Hong Kong and central governments will play up and publicise the scenes of violence to win over public opinion.
Veteran opposition figure Joshua Wong acknowledged that the damage to the legislative offices has drawn criticism from some sectors in the Asian financial hub. Many clapped as protesters held up a poster of Lam inside a bamboo cage. Protesters, who have staged a series of demonstrations since mid-June, are demanding that she resign over the extradition bill.
Protesters came face-to-face with law enforcement wearing helmets and armed with shields.
State news agency Xinhua wrote an upbeat Chinese-language report about a government-arranged concert in Hong Kong to celebrate the handover anniversary, complete with descriptions of the audience singing the national anthem and how the performers showed their "ardent love of the motherland".
After Hong Kong students occupied Hong Kong's Legislative Council (LegCo), drawing many comparisons to Taiwan's Sunflower Student Movement, Chinese dissident artist Badiucao (巴丢草) posted an illustration of demonstrators ramming a cart into the glass window of LegCo. Hunt reiterated his support for the demonstrations but called on the protesters to be peaceful. Asked to give details, Hunt said: "You have to allow me some latitude as foreign secretary to make a decision on that when the appropriate time comes".
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The peaceful marchers who share numerous same goals with the much smaller group that lashed out on Monday struggled to defend the violence. Organizers put the turnout at 550,000.
Although Hong Kong returned from British to Chinese rule on July 1, 1997, it is still administered separately under an arrangement known as "one country, two systems".
Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Hong Kong's embattled leader, denounced the violence at an early-morning press conference.
The authorities announce the government headquarters will be closed on Tuesday due to security considerations.
A protest march has been called for later Monday, the third in three weeks.
She has suspended the bill and said it would lapse next year, but protesters want it scrapped altogether and have pressed her to step down.
Opponents of the extradition bill, which would allow people to be sent to mainland China for trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party, fear it is a threat to Hong Kong's much-cherished rule of law. Police said there were 190,000 at their peak. He added: "None of us support the violence that we saw on TV last night but we do understand the reason for people's anger".
"We are unswerving in our determination to oppose foreign interference".