Hong Kong leader to hold dialogue with community aimed at easing tensions

Joshua Wong secretary-general of Hong Kong’s Demosisto party and leader of the ‘Umbrella Movement’ and Denise Ho pro Democracy activist and Cantopop singer testify before the Congressional Executive Commission on China about the pro Democracy mov

Joshua Wong secretary-general of Hong Kong’s Demosisto party and leader of the ‘Umbrella Movement’ and Denise Ho pro Democracy activist and Cantopop singer testify before the Congressional Executive Commission on China about the pro Democracy mov

Lam said authorities would hold their first community dialogue session next week, after the South China Morning Post reported that the government had set up a "dialogue office" Monday on a "time-limited basis". "And sanctions or punishment are not going to help lift Hong Kong out of this very hard situation". "The government wants to block us with the ban, but I want to say that the people will not be afraid", said one protester, Winnie Leung, 50.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam and her government have been widely criticised for their response to protesters.

Thousands of anti-government protesters, many clad in black masks, caps and shades to obscure their identity, had raced through the streets, engaged in cat-and-mouse tactics with police, setting street fires and blocking roads in the heart of the former British colony where many key business districts are located.

Police fired tear gas again later in the nearby North Point area when protesters obstructed traffic after brawling there earlier with pro-government supporters.

The protests began in June in opposition to a proposed bill, which would have made it possible for people in Hong Kong to be extradited to mainland China.

At least 18 people were injured, three of them seriously, during Sunday's violence, according to the Hospital Authority.

But resentment remains even after the government scrapped the controversial extradition bill that would have allowed suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial.

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Around 20 "radical protesters" had attacked two police officers on Sunday evening, hurling petrol bombs, bricks, and threatening the safety of the officers, the statement said.

Earlier Sunday, hundreds of protesters waved British flags, sang "God Save the Queen" and chanted "UK save Hong Kong" outside the British Consulate as they stepped up calls for global support for their campaign.

The U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China will hold a hearing on Hong Kong on Tuesday in Washington featuring testimony by Wong.

Last week, Wong urged the Trump administration to include a "human rights clause" in any trade agreement with China and to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.

Demonstrators held similar rallies September 1 at the British Consulate and last weekend at the U.S. Consulate. And why so many people?, Mr. Chan asked in an interview with the outlet.

The clashes amid the mid-autumn festival holiday came after several nights of peaceful rallies that featured protesters belting out a new protest song in mass singing at shopping malls.

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