Hong Kong’s leader says she’s setting up a “communication platform” to resolve differences in the city after months of anti-government protests.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam also said on Tuesday (August 20) a fact-finding study will look at the causes of the protests and the police response to them.
The movement held a massive but peaceful rally on Sunday (August 18) after earlier protests had been marked by violence. Lam and other officials have conditioned dialogue on the protest movement remaining peaceful.
Lam’s comments fell short of the protester’s demands, including for her resignation and an independent inquiry into what they say was police brutality.
Clashes broke out between police and hardcore protesters but the movement won few concessions from Beijing or the city’s unelected leadership.
On Tuesday (August 13), protesters blocked passengers from boarding flights at the city’s airport and later assaulted two men they accused of being Chinese spies. The images damaged a campaign that until then had largely only targeted the police or government institutions, and prompted some soul-searching among protesters.
China’s propaganda apparatus seized on the violence, with state media churning out a deluge of damning articles, pictures and videos. State media also ran images of military personnel and armoured personnel carriers across the border in Shenzhen, prompting the United States to warn Beijing against sending in troops, which analysts say would be a reputational and economic disaster for China.