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HK man arrested for allegedly stabbing officer in security law protests

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: Hong Kong police turned out in force to quash protests of China's new security law - The Thaiger
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Police in Hong Kong arrested a man aboard a flight to London this morning on suspicion of stabbing a police officer during protests of the Chinese territory’s new security law. About 370 people were arrested during and after yesterday’s protests against the new laws, imposed by China to curb activities surrounding the anti-government protests that have racked Hong Kong for over a year. 10 of them were arrested for allegedly violating the new law, some of whom were in possession of material advocating Hong Kong’s independence.

The law, which took effect Tuesday, outlaws secessionist, subversive and terrorist acts, and “collusion with foreign forces” intervening in the city’s affairs. It has brought concern from the Special Administrative Region’s former colonial ruler Britain and other governments. Critics say it effectively ends the “one country, two systems” framework, under which the city was promised a high degree of autonomy when it reverted to Chinese rule in June 1997.

Police yesterday posted a photo on Twitter of a police officer bleeding from his arm, claiming that he was stabbed while making arrests during the protests and that the suspects fled.

The 24 year old suspect, surnamed Wong, was arrested on a London-bound Cathay Pacific flight, according to a police officer who spoke anonymously as he was not authorised to speak publicly. He said Wong bought the ticket yesterday and boarded the flight with no check-in luggage. He did not respond to air crew who called him by name, and was not in his designated seat. Police identified him after a sweep of the plane. Local media report that a relative tipped police off to his travel plans.

In a related development, Britain announced yesterday that it is extending residency rights for up to 3 million Hong Kong citizens eligible for the British National Overseas passport, saying that it will “uphold its historic duty to the former British colony”. Those eligible will be allowed to live and work in the UK for 5 years, before applying for settled status and subsequently for citizenship. China today threatened “counter measures”.

Australian PM Scott Morrison said today his government is considering a similar move, and Taiwan has opened an office to help Hong Kongers relocate to Taiwan for work and other purposes.

SOURCE: AP

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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