Canada raises travel warning amid escalating protests in Hong Kong

Residents and protesters face riot police after they gathered to demand the release of a student leader outside a police station at Sham Shui Po district in Hong Kong on Aug 7 2019

China blames US for backing Hong Kong 'violent separatists'

"It is not credible to think that millions of people are being manipulated to stand for a free and open society".

The US State Department urged increased caution by citizens traveling to the city-state.

"It will be a peaceful protest as long as the police do not show up", one protester, Charlotte Lam, 16, told Reuters.

Hong Kong is reassuring visitors of their safety after several countries issued travel warnings related to ongoing pro-democracy protests, potentially devastating the city's crucial travel industry. The Hong Kong-based Ta Kung Pao newspaper, which is linked to China's Communist Party, published a photo of Eadeh meeting with opposition leaders in Hong Kong, along with two other photographs of her. The report also included information about the diplomat's family members.

Responding to China's reaction to the meeting, U.S. State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said at an August 8 press briefing that it's the job of U.S. diplomats to meet with different people, including opposition leaders. Ortagus called the meeting with protesters a routine part of any American diplomat's job. "This is what other countries' diplomats do", she said.

Asked if she was directly calling China a "thuggish regime", she responded, "Yeah".

"I don't think that leaking an American diplomat's private information, pictures, names of their children - I don't think that that is a formal protest".

"On paper, the police in Hong Kong follow Carrie Lam's orders, but in reality, they listen to instructions from Beijing via the Liaison Office", Cabestan said in a translated excerpt from the article.

The Chinese General Chamber of Commerce said in a statement on Thursday it supported the stance of Zhang Xiaoming, one of the most senior Chinese officials overseeing Hong Kong affairs.

The weeks of demonstrations pose the biggest threat to Beijing's authority since Hong Kong's handover from the British in 1997.

"Starting today, I will boycott all bubble tea shops that support Hong Kong and Taiwan independence!"

The airline has been Hong Kong's flag carrier since the colonial era.

After the news of the meeting was published in local media, the Commissioner's Office-a satellite office of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs located in Hong Kong-urgently summoned a senior official at the U.S. Consulate General on August 8 to protest the meeting.

We urge the USA to abide by worldwide law and basic norms governing global relations, and immediately stop interfering in China's internal affairs.

What started as an angry response to a now-suspended extradition bill has grown to include demands for greater democracy, the resignation of Hong Kong's chief executive, Carrie Lam, and even keeping mainland Chinese tourists out of the city.

Demonstrators have at times attacked with metal sticks, bricks, gasoline bombs and carts full of burning debris, while on several occasions, protesters have been attacked by unknown people believed to be linked to organised crime groups.

Beijing has told Washington to stop meddling in its domestic affairs and make a State Department spokesperson revise her language, after the top official tacitly referred to China as "a thuggish regime" amid protests in Hong Kong.

Further protests are planned across Hong Kong over the weekend, with fears that new confrontations between police and demonstrators are possible.

The groups added that police, in many instances, could have avoided using such aggressive weapons and opted for some less-threatening options.

Such devices have been used to blind agents during recent protests.

No specific mention, however, was made of deploying the People's Liberation Army (PLA), which has a garrison in Hong Kong, to quell the unrest, with Zhang cited as saying Beijing remained confident in the Hong Kong government and local police.

The office repeated China's accusation that the American diplomat meeting with Hong Kong protesters was an assault on China's "sovereignty" and a violation of "international law and basic norms governing worldwide relations". One protester held up a sign that read "Sorry for the inconvenience we are fighting for the future of our home".

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