SHAFAQNA- Press TV: There are no plans to enact new laws based on emergency powers more than a ban on wearing masks during increasingly violent protests, Hong Kong’s leader said.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam enforced the ban on face masks last Friday under emergency powers that allow authorities to make any regulation deemed in the public interest.
Lam said at a news conference on Tuesday that there were no plans to introduce more laws.
She did not rule out seeking help from mainland China to stop violent riots, however.
“At this point in time, I still strongly feel that we should find the solutions ourselves. It is also the position of the central government (in Beijing) that Hong Kong should tackle the problem on her own,” she said.
If the “situation becomes so bad, then no options can be ruled out if we want Hong Kong to at least have another chance,” Lam said.
Since they started in June, protests over an extradition bill — since withdrawn — have taken on an increasingly violent form, with masked individuals vandalizing public and private property and attacking government buildings.
The Chinese government says Western countries, mainly the United States and Britain, have been provoking the protesters by issuing statements of support. Beijing has asked those countries to stop meddling in Hong Kong’s affairs.
Earlier this month, the European Union (EU) issued a statement in which it criticized Hong Kong’s police for “the use of live ammunition” against rioters. The French Foreign Ministry refereed to the statement last week, calling the situation “troubling.”
In reaction, the Chinese Embassy in Paris criticized France and other European nations for supporting the rioters in Hong Kong but cracking down on riots within their own borders.
“We express our deep dissatisfaction and our profound contempt for the hypocrisy of the European statement and the darkness of the intentions of some vis-à-vis China,” the embassy wrote in an online statement.
The statement specifically pointed to France’s handling of large-scale protests known as “Yellow Vest” rallies, during which police often used anti-riot methods to quell the protests.