French president Macron urges Chinese counterpart to engage in dialogue and ‘de-escalate’ situation
A firebrand pro-Beijing politician in Hong Kong was stabbed by a man pretending to be a supporter on Wednesday, the latest tit-for-tat political violence in a city engulfed by seething pro-democracy protests.
Leading up to the incident, a man holding a bouquet approached pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho as the politician was campaigning in his constituency near the border with China.
Footage posted online showed the man handing Ho the flowers and asking for a picture. He then pulled a knife from his bag before striking Ho in the chest.
Police said three people were wounded in the incident, including the attacker, who was subdued by Ho and his aides as he shouted in Cantonese: “Junius Ho, you scum!”
The attack came as the Hong Kong’s unpopular leader Carrie Lam said her resolve to crack down on the protesters had been bolstered by a recent meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Lam condemned the stabbing at a press briefing in Beijing and said regardless of political stand, “any violent action… should not be tolerated by any civilized society.”
Elsewhere, French President Emmanuel Macron said that he told Xi that dialogue, restraint and a “de-escalation” were needed in Hong Kong after months of pro-democracy protests.
Macron said he raised the issue with Xi “on several occasions” during his official visit to China — ignoring prior warnings from Beijing that sensitive topics such as Hong Kong should not be on the agenda.
“I obviously conveyed our concerns, which are shared by Europe,” Macron said at a news conference at the French embassy.