Xi Jinping meets with Carrie Lam, signals that she’s not going anywhere

Xi Jinping meets with Carrie Lam, signals that she’s not going anywhere

Beijing supports more bold measures to tackle the unrest that has rocked Hong Kong for months, a senior Chinese official says, just hours after a knife-wielding man attacked a pro-Beijing lawmaker in the financial hub.

Chinese President Xi Jinping onthrew the weight of his public support behind visiting Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam and her administration, as official state media denounced former protest leader Joshua Wong as a "separatist".

In one bloody incident outside a mall in the eastern suburb of Taikoo Shing on Sunday, a man with a knife slashed several people and bit off part of a politician's ear. A 48-year-old suspect has been charged with wounding.

One person is in critical condition and two others are in serious condition among the at least 30 casualties suffered on Sunday.

The head of the boy's university called on authorities to investigate the matter in a heated dialogue with students on Monday evening.

The number of people who take part in the mostly weekend rallies has dwindled from the millions who participated in June, but violence and vandalism have escalated.

More than 3,300 people have been arrested since the protests began. China denies doing so, and has blamed Western countries for stirring up trouble.

Lam abandoned the bill three months into the protests, but the movement by then had grown into calls for greater democracy and police accountability, and had become one of Xi's biggest challenges since he rose to power in 2012.

"We really see that people are very heavy-hearted. Our colleagues tried to ask them [what was going on] but police did not listen to them", the manager, surnamed Ho, said.

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"Xi Jinping. has to let the people of Hong Kong know that he is in charge", Liu said.

Protesters have circulated plans on social media to mark Guy Fawkes Day on Tuesday by putting on now-banned face masks in areas around Hong Kong.

After gatecrashing Halloween festivities on Oct 31, a few hundred protesters marked Guy Fawkes Day yesterday in the Tsim Sha Tsui tourist district of Kowloon by wearing white, smiling Guy Fawkes masks made popular by anti-establishment hackers, the film V For Vendetta and protesters globally.

Also Sunday, Chinese Communist Party newspaper People's Daily published commentary stating that civil servants who side with the protesters will "burn with" them.

There were reports last week of Beijing planning to replace Ms Lam, after months of anti-government protests that have at times crippled Hong Kong.

Protesters have largely ignored the ruling and worn masks. Some protesters were detained while others ran off.

Beijing portrays the protests as a separatist movement backed by foreign "black hands", primarily aiming their ire at the USA and Britain. "We will certainly investigate this case fully and do all we can to find out the truth", Foo said.

Elsewhere, pro-democracy demonstrators smashed a ticketing counter in a subway station and were pursued by police into a shopping mall where demonstrators and mall patrons flashed laser beams at the officers. They also set fire to metro stations and vandalized buildings, including an outlet of USA coffee chain Starbucks.

China's official Xinhua news agency reported that Xi expressed his government's "high degree of trust" in Lam to stabilize the situation after she briefed him on the crisis.

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