The Latest: 1 arrested in Hong Kong legislature break-in
HONG KONG (AP) — The Latest on protests in Hong Kong (all times local):
Police say a 31-year-old man has been arrested after storming into Hong Kong’s legislature building in a July 1 break-in involving hundreds of protesters who vandalized offices and the main chamber.
Police said Wednesday that the local man surnamed Poon was arrested in Mong Kok for assaulting police, criminal destruction, misconduct in public places and forced entry of the Legislative Council Complex.
Hundreds of protesters poured into the locked legislature building Monday night by smashing thick glass walls and prying open metal security curtains.
The building was left with extensive damage, including spray-painted slogans on the walls, turned over file cabinets in offices and strewed documents on floors.
The semi-autonomous Chinese territory has been wracked for weeks by demonstrations that began over an extradition bill that has been shelved.
The U.K. government has summoned China’s ambassador for a dressing-down after Beijing officials accused Britain of meddling in Hong Kong’s affairs.
The Foreign Office says Ambassador Liu Xiaoming was summoned Wednesday over “unacceptable and inaccurate” comments relating to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests.
Liu accused British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt of interfering in Hong Kong’s affairs and supporting “violent lawbreakers.”
And Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Hunt was “basking in the faded glory of British colonialism and obsessed with lecturing others.”
Hunt has condemned vandalism by some protesters but said people in Hong Kong, a former British colony, fear “their basic freedoms are under attack.”
After the ambassador’s comments, Hunt tweeted that “good relations between countries are based on mutual respect and honoring the legally binding agreements between them.”
Hong Kong police say they have arrested 18 people, including 12 for a July 1 morning protest that preceded the storming of the city’s legislature.
Police said Wednesday that 11 men and one woman were taken into custody over a “violent incident” that occurred near the Legislative Council Complex and involved assaulting and obstructing police officers.
They said the offenses also included possession of offensive weapons, unlawful assembly and failing to carry identification.
Police said six others were arrested for disrupting a public meeting on June 30.
The semi-autonomous Chinese territory has been wracked for weeks by demonstrations that began over an extradition bill that has since been shelved.
Workers boarded up shattered windows and police carted away evidence on Wednesday during a massive cleanup and criminal investigation of damage caused to Hong Kong’s legislative building by several hundred pro-democracy protesters.
The government took journalists on a tour of the first two floors of the building to show the extent of the damage.
At almost every turn, slogans had been spray-painted on the walls in Chinese and English. “Destroy the Chinese Communist Party,” read one. “Hong Kong is not China” said another.
In scenes Monday that shocked people in Hong Kong and around the world, the protesters vented their anger and frustration in the legislature at a government that hasn’t responded to their demands. They hammered at thick glass walls and pried open metal security curtains to break into the locked facility. Once inside, they stood on the desks in the main chamber and climbed high to cover the city’s official emblem with black spray paint.