China’s red line: President Xi Jinping warns Hong Kong not to challenge Beijing’s authority as thousands in region protest against the nation’s ‘one party rule’ on 20th anniversary of region’s handover from British

Saturday, July 1, 2017
By Paul Martin

President Xi spoke as he swore in Hong Kong’s new leader 20 years after taking back region from the British
He warned any activities threatening China’s sovereignty and stability would be ‘absolutely impermissible’
Meanwhile thousands marched through the streets of Hong Kong to denounce the nation’s ‘one party rule’
Some of the demonstrators marched with yellow umbrellas, a symbol of democratic activism in Hong Kong

By JAY AKBAR
DAILYMAIL.COM
1 July 2017

President Xi Jinping has warned Hong Kong not to challenge Beijing’s authority, 20 years after it took back the colony from Britain.

During a swearing-in ceremony for Hong Kong’s new leader, he said any activities threatening China’s sovereignty and stability would be ‘absolutely impermissible’.

Thousands marched through the streets of Hong Kong to denounce the nation’s ‘one party rule’ as he issued the warning while swearing in Hong Kong’s new leader.

Police blocked roads to stop pro-democracy protesters from getting to the harbour-front venue close to where the last colonial governor, Chris Patten, tearfully handed back Hong Kong to China in the pouring rain in 1997.

In a speech marking two decades since the city became a semi-autonomous Chinese region after its handover from Britain, Xi pledged Beijing’s support for the country’s ‘one country, two systems’ blueprint.

He said Hong Kong had to do more to shore up security and boost patriotic education, in a veiled reference to legislation long-delayed by popular opposition.

And he appeared to put on notice a new wave of activists pushing for more autonomy or even independence, saying challenges to the power of China’s central government and Hong Kong’s leaders wouldn’t be tolerated.

‘Any attempt to endanger China’s sovereignty and security, challenge the power of the central government… or use Hong Kong to carry out infiltration and sabotage activities against the mainland is an act that crosses the red line and is absolutely impermissible,’ Xi said.

He also referred to the ‘humiliation and sorrow’ China suffered during the first Opium War in the early 1840s that led to the ceding of Hong Kong to the British.

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