China state media blames Hong Kong protests on 'lawlessness'

China state media blames Hong Kong protests on 'lawlessness'

Hong Kong protests tear gas (1)
A protester throws back a tear gas canister during clashes with police outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong on Jun 12, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Anthony Wallace)

SHANGHAI: Protests in Hong Kong over planned new extradition laws with China are "hammering" the city's reputation, with outbreaks of "lawlessness" undermining rule of law, Chinese state media said in editorials published on Thursday (Jun 12). 

Hong Kong riot police and protesters braced for possible further clashes on Thursday after a day of violence over the extradition Bill that would allow people to be sent to mainland China for trial.

Tear gas is fired by  Hong Kong police after protesters try to storm Hong Kong's parliament.
Tear gas is fired by police after protesters try to storm Hong Kong's parliament. (Photo: CNA reader)

READ: Tensions simmer between Hong Kong police and protesters after day of violence, 72 injured

Explainer: Why proposed changes to Hong Kong's extradition law are fueling protests

Police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray in a series of skirmishes to clear demonstrators from around the city's legislature. It was some of the worst violence in Hong Kong since Britain handed it back to Chinese rule in 1997.

The Hong Kong Hospital Authority said 72 people had been hospitalised by 10pm on Wednesday.

The English-language China Daily said the new amendments were in line with international conventions but "the opposition camp and its foreign masters seem willing to oppose it for their own purposes at the expense of the city's rule of law, public safety and justice".

"It is lawlessness that will hurt Hong Kong, not the proposed amendments to its fugitive law," it said.

READ: Hong Kong authorities shut government offices due to protests

The state-owned tabloid the Global Times blamed "radical opposition forces" and "the Western forces behind them" for hyping up and politicising the amendments.

"Playing with uncontrolled street politics is to push Hong Kong to backwardness and disturbance," it said. 

"This is not a wise direction for Hong Kong."

Hong Kong has been rocked by three nights of violence since a protest on Sunday drew what organisers said was more than a million people.

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