Without pointing a finger at any specific country or individuals, Chinese government spokesman Yang Guang said "irresponsible people" in the West had shown sympathy to "violent crimes" of what Beijing considers wanton rioters in Hong Kong. He stressed that governance by law was the foundation of Hong Kong's sound business environment, and an important cornerstone for the region to maintain its prosperity and stability.
Beijing's veiled threat last week to use the military to suppress the Hong Kong protests underscores the necessity of a political fight to unifying the Chinese working class-in Hong Kong and on the mainland where workers confront also face oppressive social conditions and the ruthless suppression of their democratic rights.
Bruce Lui, a senior journalism lecturer at the Hong Kong Baptist University, said he could not recall a news conference on Hong Kong being called by the HKMAO.
Xu added that most members from the Hong Kong Retail Management Association have seen significant declines in sales in the past month.
Younger generations have also developed a Hong Kong-centric identity strengthened by their knowledge of and resistance to corruption, abuses of power, crackdown on civil society and lack of rule of law in mainland China.
As the unauthorised protest occurred, the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office - China's top policy unit for the two cities - said in an unusual move that it would hold a press conference on Monday afternoon in Beijing.
Hong Kong has been a part of China since the British handed control of the former colony back to Beijing in 1997, but operates under a "one country, two systems" agreement with the Communist Party government.
Yang said Hong Kong's top priority was to "punish violent and unlawful acts", adding that some Western politicians were stirring unrest in hopes of creating difficulties that would impede China's development.
Yang said the Chinese government firmly supports the police in Hong Kong.
If Hong Kong asks for Beijing's help, mainland China could get involved, a defense ministry official said last week.
The demonstrators are demanding, among others, direct elections for the semi-autonomous Chinese territory's leader, Lam's resignation, and an investigation into police use of force to quell the protest movement.
What began as a movement to oppose the extradition law has taken on broader demands. In total, 24 people were sent to the hospital, with those injured ranging in age from 15 to 60.
Man-kei Tam, director of Amnesty International Hong Kong, stated, "There were repeated instances today where police officers were the aggressors; beating retreating protesters, attacking civilians in the train station and targeting journalists".
In statement Saturday, Hong Kong police reiterated that the demonstration had been an "unauthorized assembly" and accused protesters of throwing bricks and "hard objects" at officers during violent clashes. Earlier that day a Hong Kong independence flag was prominently flown.
Public anger reached new levels a week ago when a pro-government mob of men wearing white shirts and armed with sticks attacked protesters in Yuen Long, in Hong Kong's rural New Territories where numerous surrounding villages are known for triad gang connections and their staunch support for the pro-Beijing establishment. Protesters were reportedly at the mercy of the mob for nearly an hour before police arrived and at least 45 people were injured, some seriously.
Ventus Lau, 25, one of the organizers of Sunday's protest, called the police decision "unreasonable", saying such logic would prevent "peaceful protests" in the future.
21 July- Protesters deface China's Liaison Office in Hong Kong.
Police fired rubber-coated rounds and volleys of tear gas after thousands of pro-democracy protesters gathered near China's main representative office as authorities appealed to people to stay indoors with their windows shut.