As the situation in Hong Kong continues to deteriorate, Beijing has issued a warning that protesters would soon be punished for "criminal acts," and has refused to rule out military force to quell ongoing anti-government demonstrations, according to The Telegraph.
According to a spokesman for the Beijing-controlled Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, demonstrators are causing "Hong Kong to slide into a dangerous abyss," adding "As for their punishment, it’s only a matter of time."
The Chinese government will never allow any acts that challenge national unity, sovereignty or security, he said, sternly reminding residents that the People’s Liberation Army was a “strong and reliable force that defends every inch of its territory.”
In a jab at protesters, Mr Yang referred to their main slogan, “Reclaim Hong Kong, revolution of our times,” by reminding them Hong Kong was a part of China, saying, “I want to ask those people shouting this, ‘what of Hong Kong do you want to reclaim? Where exactly do you want to reclaim Hong Kong to?” -Telegraph
Meanwhile, over 12,000 Shenzhen police officers conducted a publicly broadcasted crowd-control drill - offering protesters a taste of what's to come.
"A drill will be held to increase troop morale, practise and prepare for the security of celebrations, [and] maintain national political security and social stability," according to police.
In live videos of the police drills shown on the Yizhibo network, officers in body armour, helmets and shields confronted groups of people in black shirts and red or yellow construction safety helmets – similar to those worn by Hong Kong protesters – who were holding flags, banners, batons and wooden boards. -SCMP
Police on Monday fired over 800 rounds of tear gas, 140 rubber bullets and 20 sponge rounds (according to official figures), while 148 people were arrested between the ages of 13 and 63.
Monday represented a significant escalation of violence. Until then, police had fired 1,000 rounds of tear gas, 150 of sponge grenades and 160 rounds of rubber bullets in two months of protests. -SCMP
Hong Kong authorities, meanwhile, have refused to meet any of the protesters' demands - after what began as a protest against an extradition bill - and has expanded into a general anti-government protest.
Beijing has accused foreign actors - including the United States - of "meddling" in Hong Kong in order to destabilize Chinese rule over the region. Also blamed? Poor family values and education for encouraging degeneracy among the youth, while "stressing that better national education was needed to promote patriotism," according to the report.
The ominous words came as official state media circulated a video of mainland Chinese police engaging in anti-riot drills in Shenzhen, a city just across the border from Hong Kong, shooting tear gas and charging at protesters dressed in black in scenes that resemble the current clashes.
On Monday, Hong Kong was paralysed with more than 200 flights cancelled, widespread disruption to subway services, and tumult on the roads as protesters cut electricity to traffic lights and flooded main avenues. -Telegraph