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Hong Kong: Chief Executive Rejects "Concession" After Two Months of Demonstrations
Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam speaks at a press conference in Hong Kong on August 9, 2019. Kin Cheung / AP

Two months to the day after the start of the pro-democracy protest movement in Hong Kong, the head of the executive, Carrie Lam, ruled out Friday, August 9th. Â "Â concession" protesters, mobilized against the growing influence of Beijing on the territory.

"With regard to a political solution, I do not think we should make concessions in order to silence violent protesters"said Carrie Lam at a press conference held without being announced on Friday.

The special status territory, which was handed over to China by the United Kingdom in 1997, is experiencing its worst political crisis since then with almost daily demonstrations and actions, which have repeatedly degenerated into violence between radical activists and law enforcement. Several parades are still expected in the city, Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 August.

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Drop in tourist attendance

Speaking after a meeting with the business community, the Hong Kong leader also warned that the economic impact of the social movement could be worse than that of the epidemic. of Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) occurred in 2003. "The slowdown this time came very quickly. Some have compared it to a tsunami. AT" "The economic recovery will take a very long time", she said, eclipsing the concerns of the private sector, especially tourism.

Hong Kong-based company Cathay Pacific has announced a drop in reservations, and travel agencies have reported declines of up to 50% for group visits. Several countries have warned their nationals on their way to Hong Kong, especially Washington, which urged its citizens this week to "Be extra careful".

Carrie Lam, whom the protesters demanded to resign, received in this crisis a total support from Beijing, who muscled his speech and intensified his threats to the protesters. which did not extinguish the mobilization for all that. On Friday, thousands of protesters launched a sit-in at the international airport â € "one of the worldâ € ™ s busiest â €" to educate foreign visitors about their cause.

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 € œNot thrives, only tyrannyâ €chanted protesters, some of whom wore masks and yellow helmets. Their action, unauthorized, is supposed to continue Saturday and Sunday. Mostly dressed in black, their emblematic color, they sat on the floor in the arrivals hall, holding placards condemning police violence in Chinese and English.

Extended mobilization

Born of the rejection of a controversial draft law of the pro-Beijing Hong Kong executive who wanted to authorize extraditions to China, the mobilization has since become considerably broader. , with a focus on Chinese central power.

The protesters claim the election of a successor to Carrie Lam by direct universal suffrage, and not his appointment by Beijing, as it is the case now. They also demand an investigation into the violence they accuse the police and the outright abandonment of the controversial bill, which is currently suspended.

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