A HONG Kong politician had his ear bitten off and at least three others were injured in a knife attack as protesters clashed with police in a shopping centre.
Lo Kin-Hei, vice chairperson of the democratic party of Hong Kong, said district councillor Andrew Chiu had been injured after an assailant appeared to bite off part of his ear.
Pictures taken in and around the City Plaza shopping centre on Hong Kong island’s Taikoo district, show wounded protesters and a discarded knife where a peaceful protest had been taking place as part of the ongoing pro-democracy campaign.
Dr Chiu, who oversees the Taikoo Shing area and had been supporting the protesters, was seen covered in blood and his severed ear held in a plastic bag.
Footage of the incident show the attacker clinging around the politician’s neck during the apparent assault while protesters tried to overpower the assailant by punching and throwing him to the ground.
The knifeman is reportedly the same person who attacked Dr Chiu.
The attack has been blamed on opponents of the protests that have been taking place in the semi-autonomous state since March.
Lo Kin-Hei said: “Pro-Beijing camp complains about violence, but so far, the most brutal physical violent acts, were done by police and their supporters.
“Just now, District Councillor Andrew Chiu was attacked, his left ear halved from a bite”.
Activist Joshua Wong said: “My close colleague Dr Andrew Chiu was assaulted in his constituency, Taikoo Plaza. His left ear was brutally halved. I strongly condemn these violent attacks especially targeting election candidates”.
The attack took place as a number of peaceful protests took place in the state’s shopping centres where people met to sing and chant pro-democracy slogans.
Violence though erupted after riot police stormed a number of shopping centres.
At the Taikoo Shing centre, police said protesters had vandalised a restaurant.
HONG KONG HISTORY
Hong Kong became a British colony with the end of the First Opium War in 1842.
The British fought the war to preserve the right of the East India Company to sell opium into mainland China.
The establishment of the colony gave Britain control over a number of ports to which foreign merchants could deliver goods.
Britain obtained a 99-year lease for the territory in 1898, and relinquished control when that lease expired in 1997.
Hong Kong now operates as a semi-autonomous territory, with control over its own trade, tax, and immigration policy.
Under the terms of the 1997 handover, that status is protected until 2047.
What happens after then is currently undecided, but opponents of the Beijing government fear that China will seek to gain control of the territory.
Police made several arrests and fired tear gas as protesters shouted “black police!”, a reference to their perceived brutality.
There were also scuffles, confrontations and vandalism in malls in the New Territories towns of Tai Po, Tuen Mun and Sha Tin, where police fired pepper spray as protesters hurled abuse.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam will fly to China this week to discuss how to make it easier for Hong Kong people to live and work on the mainland, her office said on Sunday.
Lam, despised by pro-democracy protesters, will arrive in Beijing on Tuesday for a meeting the next day of the “leading group” for developing the Greater Bay Area of southern China.
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The group has already met twice, “endorsing a number of measures to facilitate Hong Kong people to develop, work and reside in the mainland cities of the Greater Bay Area, as well as strengthen the convenient flow of people and goods”, her office said.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping recently issued a veiled threat to protesters in Hong Kong, saying anyone trying to “divide” China will “end in crushed bodies and shattered bones”.
The protests, sparked by China’s attempt to introduce a law to extradite criminals in Hong Kong to mainland China, have been raging for four months.