Left Menu
Development News Edition

University campus siege nears end as Hong Kong gears up for election

Reuters | Hong Kong | Updated: 23-11-2019 08:24 IST | Created: 23-11-2019 08:22 IST
University campus siege nears end as Hong Kong gears up for election
Image Credit: Wikipedia

A Hong Kong university campus under siege for more than a week was a deserted wasteland on Saturday, with a handful of protesters holed up in hidden refuges across the trashed grounds, as the city's focus turned to local elections.

The end of the siege at Polytechnic University on the Kowloon peninsula was approaching as some protesters desperately sought a way out and others vowed not to surrender, days after some of the worst violence since anti-government demonstrations escalated in June. "If they storm in, there are a lot of places for us to hide," said Sam, a 21-year-old student, who was eating two-minute noodles in the cafeteria, while plotting his escape.

Police have set up high plastic barricades and a fence on the perimeter of the campus, which they have surrounded for more than a week. Early on Saturday, a Reuters witness saw three police vans drive in as about a dozen officers stood guard. About 1,000 people have been arrested in the siege in the Chinese-ruled city, about 300 of them younger than 18.

A single armed Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldier stood guard inside the Gun Club Hill Barracks next to the police fence on the edges of the university. Rotting rubbish and boxes of unused petrol bombs littered the grounds, where many levels of the buildings resemble abandoned hideouts littered with items such as rucksacks, masks and water bottles.

In the early hours of Saturday, fire department officers inspected part of a sewer system through which some students had tried to flee earlier in the week, leaving backpacks, masks and other belongings scattered nearby. The university standoff is nearing an end as a record 1,104 people gear up to run for 452 district council seats in elections on Sunday.

A record 4.1 million Hong Kong people, from a population of 7.4 million, have enrolled to vote, spurred in part by registration campaigns during months of protests. Young pro-democracy activists are now running in some of the seats that were once uncontested and dominated by pro-Beijing candidates.

The protests snowballed from June after years of resentment over what many residents see as Chinese meddling in freedoms promised to Hong Kong when the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997. Beijing has said it is committed to the "one country, two systems" formula by which Hong Kong is governed. It denies meddling in the affairs of the Asian financial hub and accuses foreign governments of stirring up trouble.

In an interview with Fox News Channel on Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump said he had told Chinese President Xi Jinping that crushing the protests would have "a tremendous negative impact" on efforts to end the two countries' 16-month-long trade war. "If it weren't for me Hong Kong would have been obliterated in 14 minutes," Trump said, without offering any evidence.

"He's got a million soldiers standing outside of Hong Kong that aren't going in only because I ask him, 'Please don't do it, you'll be making a big mistake, it's going to have a tremendous negative impact on the trade deal,' and he wants to make a trade deal."

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)



China: A savior for emerging markets or a poison pill?

... ...

Future of Urban Planning: Artificial Intelligence guiding the way

Advances in emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can help us understand our cities better and derive useful insights from real-time data collected through automated models....


Latest News

China registers 144 new COVID-19 cases, 113 asymptomatic infections

Beijing China, January 21 ANISputnik Chinese health officials on Thursday registered 144 new COVID-19 cases in addition to 113 cases of asymptomatic infections detected over the past 24 hours. This is up from 103 new symptomatic and 58 asym...

Dollar Smuggling Case: Court grants Customs permission to arrest M Sivasankar

Additional Chief Magistrate Court Economic Offences granted permission to the Customs Department for arresting former principal secretary at the Kerala CMO M Sivasankar in connection with the Dollar Smuggling Case. He is already in judicial...

Can COVID-19 vaccines be mixed and matched?

Can COVID-19 vaccines be mixed and matched Health officials say both doses should be of the same vaccine.The COVID-19 vaccines rolling out in the United States, the United Kingdom and other parts of the world so far require two shots given ...

India's gift of 1 million Covishield vaccines reaches Nepal

Indias gift of one million Covishield vaccines to Nepal, under the Vaccine Maitri initiative, has reached Kathmandu, said S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs said on Thursday. Nepal receives Indian vaccines. Putting neighbours first,...

Give Feedback