US Worried By Reports Of Chinese Paramilitary Movement Along Hong Kong Border- State Dept.

US Worried by Reports of Chinese Paramilitary Movement Along Hong Kong Border- State Dept.

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th August, 2019) The United States is greatly concerned about reports of Chinese paramilitary movement near Hong Kong and calls on all sides to refrain from violence, a US Department of State spokesperson told Sputnik on Wednesday.

"The United States is deeply concerned by reports of Chinese paramilitary movement along the Hong Kong border," the spokesperson said. "We condemn violence and urge all sides to exercise restraint, but remain staunch in our support for freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly in Hong Kong."

The State Department spokesperson said it encourages China and all parties in Hong Kong to respect the liberty of Hong Kong's residents and the city's high degree of autonomy.

"It is important for the Hong Kong government to respect the freedoms of speech and peaceful assembly, as enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration, and for China to respect Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy," the spokesperson said.

In addition, the spokesperson said the United States reject all claims that foreign forces are behind the protests in Hong Kong.

The protests began more than two months ago after a local legislature opened a debate on a bill that would have allowed extradition to mainland China.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam declared the bill "dead," but the protesters are demanding the measure to be withdrawn completely. The protesters have also said they want Hong Kong authorities to implement universal suffrage and retract criminal charges against them.

On Tuesday, China's permanent mission to the United Nations accused the protesters of having displayed a "tendency of resorting to terrorism" by destroying public facilities, paralyzing Hong Kong's airport, blocking public transport and using lethal weapons.

The Chinese authorities have also accused the United States of fomenting the protests and have made public personal information of a US diplomat who was pictured among the protesters.

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