A pro-Beijing Hong Kong lawmaker Junius Ho (centre left) and pro-democracy lawmakers arguing in Hong Kong. File photo/AFP
A knife-wielding man on Wednesday attacked a pro-Beijing lawmaker who has taken a tough stand against anti-government protests in Hong Kong, police said, as more demonstrations were planned for the Asian financial hub.
Legislator Junius Ho, his assistant and the alleged attacker were taken to hospital with unspecified injuries following the assault, police said.
The attacker’s motive was unknown but Ho gained notoriety among anti-government protesters in July when he was filmed laughing and shaking hands with suspected triad gang members who assaulted peaceful demonstrators.
The attack on Ho comes amid more than five months of sometimes violent political unrest in the former British colony-turned semi-autonomous Chinese territory.
Further protests were planned on Wednesday at some of Hong Kong’s universities, activists said. Police fired water cannon to disperse protesters at a Guy Fawkes-themed march on Tuesday.
China’s Communist Party said on Tuesday it would not tolerate any “separatist behaviour” in Hong Kong, after some of the protesters called for independence.
What started as a protest against a proposed China extradition bill has widened into the gravest challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s rule since he came to power in 2012.
Protesters are demanding an end to perceived Chinese meddling in the territory’s affairs, as well as universal suffrage and an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality, among other demands.
Beijing denies interfering and blames foreign governments for fuelling the unrest.
Xi met Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday in Shanghai, vouching support for her administration.
Following the meeting, Lam denied rumours that the government was considering an amnesty for protesters charged with offences.
The pro-democracy camp announced their decision in a news conference, hours after the Hong Kong government said it would be disqualifying Alvin Yeung, Dennis Kwok, Kwok Ka-ki and Kenneth Leung from the legislature.
The protesters chanted pro-democracy slogans in Causeway Bay, one of the city's busiest shopping districts, as riot police warned them with loudspeakers and flags that the gathering was unlawful and that they should disperse.
Police, widely criticised for failing to better protect the public from the triad raid in Yuen Long, have refused to allow the latest march on safety grounds.
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