China's president warns Hong Kong's pro-democracy rebels 'sabotage' won't be tolerated

China's president warns Hong Kong's pro-democracy rebels 'sabotage' won't be tolerated
Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, and Hong Kong's new Chief Executive Carrie Lam. Pic: AP

China's president Xi Jinping has said there will be no tolerance for any acts seen as jeopardising stability and security.

The president employed some of his harshest language yet towarsd pro-democracy activities in the former British territory.

In his address during a swearing-in ceremony for Carlie Lam as Hong Kong's chief executive, Mr Xi pledged Beijing's support for the "one country, two systems" blueprint under which the territory was returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

But he said Hong Kong had to do more to shore up security and boost patriotic education, apparently referring to pieces of legislation long delayed by popular opposition.

And he warned that anyone threatening China or Hong Kong's political stability would be crossing a red line and their actions would be considered "absolutely impermissible" - words certain to concern those already wary of tightening restrictions on political life in the city.

Any attempt to challenge China's sovereignty, security and government authority 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", he said.

Mr Xi's three-day visit aimed at stirring Chinese patriotism prompted a massive police presence.

Protesters fear Beijing's ruling Communist Party is increasing its control over Hong Kong's political and civil affairs, undermining a pledge to allow it to retain its own legal and other institutions for 50 years.

Ms Lam was sworn in as Hong Kong's new leader on the city's 20th anniversary of its handover from British to Chinese rule in a ceremony presided over by Mr Xi.

Chinese President Xi Jinping poses with Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam ahead of a meeting in Hong Kong today. Pic: AP
Chinese President Xi Jinping poses with Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam ahead of a meeting in Hong Kong today. Pic: AP

She and her cabinet swore to serve China and Hong Kong and to uphold the Basic Law, the territory's mini-constitution.

In a short speech, she reviewed the dynamic financial centre's achievements and challenges, pledged to support central government initiatives and declared that "the future is bright".

The career bureaucrat was selected through a process decried by critics as fundamentally undemocratic, involving just a sliver of a per cent of Hong Kong's three million-plus voters.

A little over a mile away, a small group of activists linked to the pro-democracy opposition clashed with police and counter-protesters.

AP

More in this Section

Officer resigns after fatal shooting of black woman playing video gameOfficer resigns after fatal shooting of black woman playing video game

Officer who killed black woman playing video game ‘should be charged’Officer who killed black woman playing video game ‘should be charged’

Jeremy Corbyn hits out over Queen’s Speech ‘farce’ led by Boris JohnsonJeremy Corbyn hits out over Queen’s Speech ‘farce’ led by Boris Johnson

Syrian army moves north amid fears of clash with TurkeySyrian army moves north amid fears of clash with Turkey


Lifestyle

Fiann Ó Nualláin follows in the footsteps of the Fianna as he explores a province’s hills and vales.Munster marvels: Plants that are unique to a province

Cupid must be something of a motoring enthusiast, as he had most definitely steered his way in the neighbourhood when Amie Gould and Shane O’Neill met at the Rally of the Lakes 12 years ago.Wedding of the Week: Cupid steers couple to right track

When it comes to podcasting, all it takes is one idea — and who knows where it can take you.Podcast Corner: Crimes and creatures rule at Cork’s first podcast fest

Claymation meets science fiction in this enchanting film, writes Esther McCarthy.Latest Shaun adventure is out of this world

More From The Irish Examiner