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Communist Party has full confidence in Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam: China

File photo. Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Beijing Aug 06, 2019, 10.39 AM (IST)

China's ruling Communist Party once again underlined its wholesale support for Hong Kong's embattled leader  Carrie Lam on Tuesday as it struggles to contain increasingly violent anti-government unrest.

The two-month crisis has become the biggest threat to Beijing's rule of the semi-autonomous southern Chinese city since its handover from the British in 1997.

One of the protesters' key demands is for Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam to stand down.

But, a day after a series of rallies that included bloody clashes between protesters and pro-government men brandishing poles, the Communist Party's mouthpiece published a front-page commentary in Beijing defending Lam.

"All kinds of evildoing go beyond peaceful demonstrations. No civilisation or society governed by law will tolerate this," said the commentary in the People's Daily.

"The (party's) central committee has full confidence in chief executive Carrie Lam and fully affirms her work."

Officials from China's cabinet-level State Council were also due to hold a press conference on Tuesday afternoon in Beijing about the unrest. 

Such media briefings are normally very rare but Tuesday's will be the second in as many weeks.

The demonstrations were triggered by opposition to a planned law that would have allowed extraditions of criminals to mainland China.

They evolved into a wider movement for democratic reform and a halt to eroding freedoms, with protesters' anger fuelled by Lam's refusal to publicly acknowledge their grievances.

In a press conference, Lam on Monday warned the city was nearing a "very dangerous situation" as she framed the protests as a challenge to China's sovereignty.