Hong Kong metro partially reopens, city struggles after violent weekend

People stand next to Mong Kok metro station entrance during an anti-government rally in Mong Kok district. (Reuters)

Hong Kong struggled to recover on Monday, with the metro only partially functioning and infrastructure extensively damaged, after scores of protesters were arrested in violent clashes overnight that drew the first warning from the Chinese military.

Tens of thousands of protesters marched peacefully through the center of the Chinese-ruled city on Sunday, wearing face masks in defiance of colonial-era emergency powers that threaten them with a maximum of one year in prison for hiding their faces.

However, the rallies deteriorated into running clashes as night fell. Police fired tear gas and used baton charges in an attempt to disperse petrol bomb-throwing protesters in several locations across the Asian financial hub.

Scores of protesters were arrested and bussed away under the new emergency laws, which came into effect on Friday night, after some of the most violent clashes in four months of protests virtually shut the city down on Saturday.

The protests have plunged the former British colony into its worst political crisis in decades and pose the biggest popular challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.

The Hong Kong government said in a statement early on Monday, a public holiday in the city, “public safety has been jeopardized and the public order of the whole city is being pushed to the verge of a very dangerous situation”.

Further protests are planned in different districts on Monday evening.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:56 - GMT 06:56