The head of China’s cabinet office responsible for Hong Kong has said the territory is facing its “most severe situation” since the handover from British rule in 1997.
Zhang Xiaoming spoke out over the crisis to Hong Kong residents attending a seminar in the mainland city of Shenzhen.
He said the central government is “highly concerned” over two months of daily street protests against the administration of the city’s chief executive Carrie Lam, and is considering further measures.
Hong Kong was returned to China from British rule under the framework of “one country, two systems”, which promised the city political, civil and economic freedoms not allowed under Communist Party rule on the mainland.
However, many Hong Kong residents feel Beijing has been increasingly encroaching on their freedoms, fuelling the protests set off by proposed extradition legislation.