'Totally irresponsible': Lam slams U.S. senators

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on October 15, 2019 - Duration: 02:16s

'Totally irresponsible': Lam slams U.S. senators

Hong Kong's embattled leader Carrie Lam condemned visits by U.S. senators whom she said had arrived with "preconceived views" about the Hong Kong situation, after senator Josh Hawley said the city is becoming a "police state".

Michelle Hennessy reports.


'Totally irresponsible': Lam slams U.S. senators

(SOUNDBITE) (English) HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE, CARRIE LAM, SAYING: "...totally irresponsible and unfounded" That's the word from Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday (October 15).

She took a hardline against U.S. Senator Josh Hawley for saying the city was sliding into a police state.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE, CARRIE LAM, SAYING: "I will challenge every politician to ask themselves if the large extent of violent acts [...] happened in their own country, what would they do?

What would their policemen do?" Her comments at a weekly news conference came after Republican Senators Hawley and Ted Cruz visited the city over the weekend.

Hawley tweeted videos from the protests, and on Monday (October 14) compared Hong Kong to Cold War Berlin - saying the fate of one city can define the challenge of an entire generation.

Lam said she hoped the senators' visit would show them the actual situation in Hong Kong.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE CARRIE LAM, SAYING: "But unfortunately, the feedback that I've got is most of them, or several of them coming here, they have very preconceived views about Hong Kong's situation." It's the latest flashpoint between the U.S. and Hong Kong's Beijing-backed government.

For months, U.S. flags have waved at demonstrations.

With protesters pleading for Washington's help.

On Monday, tens of thousands rallied peacefully to urge U.S. lawmakers to pass a Hong Kong human rights act.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) HONG KONG DEMONSTRATOR, ARTHOR CHAN, 35, SAYING: "We wish that the people of the United States and the senators of the U.S. congress, they can support and support us and pass the bill because we really need it." Protests originally attracted millions onto the streets, but even as that number is dropping - the violence is escalating.

Over the weekend a police officer had his neck slashed by a protester - and a crude explosive device was remotely detonated Sunday (October 13) night.

Beijing has also escalated its verbal attack against people seeking to split the country.

President Xi Jinping said anyone attempting to split China will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones.

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