Protesters block a road in Hong Kong on Sunday, July 21, 2019. The violence and radical behavior of protesters was widely condemned. Photo: AP
In separate statements on Sunday night, central government bodies and the Hong Kong government condemned the malicious encirclement and impact on the China central government liaison office by radical protestors and their tarnishing of the national emblem of China that amounted to an open challenge to national sovereignty.
On its official website on Sunday, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government vowed to seriously deal with the behavior and pursue it according to the law.
The statement said the government was worried that a small number of radicals were instigating the masses, challenging law and discipline and even attacking central government agencies in Hong Kong.
This behavior posed a threat to Hong Kong law and order and "one country, two systems," the statement said. "Society will never accept it," it said.
In a separate statement, the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council urged Hong Kong police to take relevant actions in a timely manner, firmly support the HKSAR government in taking all necessary measures to ensure the safety of the central government agencies in Hong Kong, safeguard the rule of law in Hong Kong and punish criminals.
The liaison office of the central government in HKSAR condemns the violent acts that have completely exceeded the scope of peaceful demonstrations, not only violating the Basic Law and local laws of Hong Kong, but also seriously challenging 'one country, two systems' as well as the bottom line and the central governments' authority, the office said.
The governments' statements came as more protests evolved into violence on Sunday.
The protest route on Sunday that permitted by the police is from Victoria Park at Causeway Bay to Southern Playground at Wan Chai, but many protesters didn't stop when arriving at Southern Playground, and continued marching to the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government at Sai Ying Pun to conduct illegal and radical activities.
They damaged surveillance cameras near the building to cover their illegal activities from being exposed.
Some threw bags of filthy water and eggs at the China national emblem at the gate of the liaison office, while others wrote offensive words on the walls near the building.
Apparently, those protestors knew that their behaviors are illegal, so they used umbrellas and masks to cover their faces and besieged strange faces in the crowd and ordered them to delete photos, to make it difficult for collecting evidence and escape the punishment of laws.
At about 8pm, the Hong Kong police released a statement saying that in the face of escalating violence it would conduct a clearance moving east starting from the western district. Police appealed to the public to avoid traveling to the area.
Anti-mainland political activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung also appeared outside the liaison office and when police arrived, he told protestors to leave the venue and move to Central District immediately or they would risk being arrested.Violent rioters
The violence and radical behavior of protesters was widely condemned as the riot seriously challenged not only Hong Kong society and government but also the authority of the central government. The liaison office represents the central government in Hong Kong.
Leung Chun-ying, former chief executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, condemned rioters for tarnishing the national emblem. "These scums will be severely punished by law and disdained and rejected by history," Leung posted on Facebook.
Throwing eggs at the office and leaving graffiti on the wall were serious crimes, Li Xiaobing, expert on Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, from Nankai University in Tianjin, told the Global Times on Sunday.
A Hong Kong district councilor denounced protesters for throwing eggs at the liaison office and said Hongkongers feel heartbroken when they see such behavior.
"It's outrageous how every protest has to lead to these intimidating acts and end with violence in an escalating form," said Nixie Lam, Tsuen Wan district councilor.
Such a movement "that seriously insulted the country and damaged the facilities of the liaison office is already challenging national security," Cheung Yuen Sum, a convener at IDEA4HK, a Hong Kong-based think tank, told the Global Times on Sunday.
"If the police haven't enough capability to safeguard the city, it is time to consider and plan how to let the PLA [People's Liberation Army] Hong Kong Garrison provide reinforcement," Cheung said.
By intimidating, humiliating and provoking, protesters would surely not resolve issues, said Lam, the district councilor.
"I urge people of Hong Kong to think through: Are we going to destroy our one and only home?"Rebuilding
Amid the escalating tensions in the city, Li noted that many people were furious about such a riot, which was hurting the foundation of Hong Kong society and might ruin its future.
"It's time for the society to adjust , to rebuild and find a way out," Li said.
Some 316,000 people gathered on Saturday at Tamar Park in Admiralty in support of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government and to condemn the violence.
Li said the majority of Hongkongers must speak out for justice so as to restore confidence that violence and radicalism will never win.