Hong Kong fans turn back on Chinese anthem

People crowd around a popular tourist spot on Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Maas' "political show" with Wong displayed disrespect to China's sovereignty and was an interference in its internal affairs.

Hong Kong visitor arrivals plunged almost 40% in August from a year earlier, deepening from July's 5 per cent fall, the finance secretary said as sometimes violent anti-government protests take a rising toll on the city's tourism, retail and hotel businesses.

Hong Kong returned to China in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" framework that guarantees the city freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland. We hope Hong Kong people will be able to ride out the storm.

July tourist arrivals fell 4.8pc on the year, according to the Hong Kong Tourism Board, the first annual decline since January 2018 and the biggest percentage drop since August 2016.

The protests present no indicators of abating, and Ms Lam has struck an uncompromising tone for a lot of the final three months.

The latest sign of unrest in the former British colony followed another weekend of sometimes violent clashes, in which police firing tear gas engaged in cat-and-mouse skirmishes with protesters who at times smashed windows and started fires in the streets.

'It's extremely inappropriate for foreign parliaments to interfere in HKSAR internal affairs in any way, and (we) will not allow (the United States) to become a stakeholder in HKSAR matters, ' she said, referring to Hong Kong by its status as a special administrative region of China.

Some carried banners reading, "President Trump, please save Hong Kong" and "Make Hong Kong great again" as the protests, now in their 14th straight week, continue to roil the Asian financial powerhouse.

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The U.S. State Department said in a travel advisory Friday that Beijing has undertaken a propaganda campaign "falsely accusing the United States of fomenting unrest in Hong Kong". The protests were originally triggered by a draft law that would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China.

That bill has now been fully withdrawn by Chief Executive Carrie Lam, but the move has been dismissed as too little, too late by activists. China denies the accusation of meddling in the city. They have also warned outsiders to keep out of what they call an internal matter. Carrying U.S. flags and placards, the demonstrators also called on Congress to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019. Hong Kong visitor arrivals plunged almost 40 per cent in August from a year earlier.

Anger over the now-shelved bill has rekindled opposition to Beijing that had waned after 2014, when authorities faced down 79 days of pro-democracy protests in the city's central business district.

In a rare public appearance, Mrs Lam walked around with Transport and Housing Secretary Frank Chan and metro officials to inspect the damaged station.

"The escalation and continued violence can not solve the current problems faced by society, and would cause societal conflicts, rift and even hatred to deepen, making our work to resume order and mend rifts more hard".

Some of the city's powerful tycoons have begun to appeal for calm.

She said her decision to formally withdraw the extradition bill and her other initiatives reflected her sincerity to heal society by initiating a direct dialogue with various communities, including protesters.

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