Surrounded by cops, protesters holed up at Hong Kong campus

Hong Kong, November 21

Fewer than 100 protesters remained holed up in a Hong Kong university today as riot police encircled the campus, with some activists desperately searching for ways to escape while others hid. Protesters said they were holding out not for a showdown with police, but because they were innocent and looking for an escape route.

“I won’t consider surrendering. Surrendering is for people who are guilty. None of us inside are guilty,” Michelle, a 20-year-old student, said on the campus of Polytechnic University on the Kowloon peninsula.

Some protesters have surrendered while others were held during escape attempts Rubbish has piled up around the campus, with trash and debris from homemade petrol bombs strewn across the grounds.

Demonstrators are angry at what they see as Chinese meddling in freedoms promised to Hong Kong when the British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997. Beijing has said it is committed to the “one country, two systems” formula granting Hong Kong autonomy.

Meanwhile, China has accused the United States and Britain of stirring up trouble in Hong Kong and it has criticised the US House of Representatives over its passing of two bills aimed at supporting the protesters and sending a warning to China about human rights. China resolutely opposed the bills and would never allow anyone to undermine the “one country two systems” principle, or to destroy Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability, senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said.

China’s state Xinhua news agency said a top Chinese official in Hong Kong, Xie Feng, had summoned the US consul-general to denounce the legislation as gross interference and a violation of international law. — Reuters

12-yr-old youngest to be convicted

Beijing: A 12-year-old boy became the youngest protester to be convicted in the six-month-long pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong as a court in the former British colony reserved orders to place him under counselling and supervision for up to three years. The probation order, if clamped, would also leave the minor with a criminal record, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported on Thursday. PTI

Beijing pushing for initial ‘phase one’ trade deal with US 

Beijing: China on Thursday said it was striving for an initial ‘phase one’ deal with the US as both sides continue to maintain close communication. “China is ready to work with the US side to properly address each other’s core concerns on the basis of equality and mutual respect and will strive to reach a phase one deal, which serves the interests of both countries and the rest of the world,” Xinhua quoted Chinese Commerce Ministry Spokesperson Gao Feng as saying to reporters. IANS

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