Protesters have vandalised the Hong Kong office of China’s official Xinhua News Agency for the first time during the months-long anti-government demonstrations.
Local media showed scenes of the aftermath that included a fire in the lobby of the Xinhua office in Hong Kong’s Wan Chai district, with shattered windows and graffiti sprawled over the wall.
Protesters have been targeting Chinese banks and businesses perceived to be linked to mainland China as anger builds up against Beijing, which the protesters accuse of infringing on the freedoms guaranteed when Britain returned Hong Kong to China in 1997.
Earlier, police fired tear gas and a water cannon in the area after some protesters hurled petrol bombs at them in another weekend of chaos.
Streets in the upmarket Causeway Bay shopping area were clouded with tear gas, prompting protesters to flee as riot police marched down the road.
Police had warned protesters who occupied the area that they were attending an unauthorised rally and violating a government ban on face masks.
Tear gas was also fired to disperse a huge crowd in nearby Victoria Park after protesters unearthed a goal post from a football field and metal railings to block the park’s entrance. Several protesters were detained.
Saturday’s protests marked the 22nd straight weekend of increasingly violent unrest that has hurt the reputation of one of the world’s top financial hubs. The city has slipped into recession for the first time in a decade as it grapples with the turmoil and the impact from the US-China trade war.
More than 3,000 people have been detained in the protests. The civil disobedience has posed a big challenge to Beijing, which vowed on Friday to prevent foreign powers from sowing acts of “separatism, subversion, infiltration and sabotage” in Hong Kong.