Protesters scuffle with Hong Kong police

Factbox: What Hong Kong people are saying about controversial China extradition bill

Meanwhile, Lam has sensed the general anti-extradition mood among the people but has refused calls to step down.

The demonstrations pose a challenge to Xi who has said he will not tolerate Hong Kong being used as a base to question the ruling Communist Party's authority.

Democratic city legislators condemned Lam and what they said was heavy-handed police action.

The government has indefinitely postponed a parliamentary debate on the bill which had been scheduled for Wednesday and was the trigger for yesterday's violence.

The legislature is controlled by a pro-Beijing majority. "We will not be an accomplice to the malicious law".

"Carrie Lam has underestimated us".

Beijing again reiterated that the "one country, two systems" formula was best for maintaining long-term prosperity and stability.

Hong Kong is now part of China under a "one country, two systems" principle, which ensures that it keeps its own judicial independence, its own legislature and economic system. "China is also a victim of cyber-attacks", Geng said at a regular press briefing in Beijing. China's government supports the revisions.

"This all comes down to identity and the sense of what it means to be a Hong Konger and what Hong Kong means", he told The Straits Times.

Beijing's reaction to the Hong Kong protests so far has been muted, with state-controlled media and the foreign ministry generally blaming the unrest on foreign interference and bad elements in Hong Kong. He said this was "fake news".

The global finance hub was rocked by the worst political violence on Wednesday since its 1997 handover to China as tens of thousands of protesters who had surrounded the city's parliament were dispersed in chaotic scenes. Others plucked loose bricks from pavements.

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"We had 1.03 million people come out on Sunday. That was as big a demonstration as I've ever seen", Trump told reporters at the White House.

Standard Chartered, Bank of East Asia and HSBC suspended bank operations at some branches in the area.

As one of the world's most important financial centers, Hong Kong also stands to suffer from the continuing impasse, adding to frustrations among young people over stagnating salaries and skyrocketing housing prices.

The proposed bill has attracted widespread criticism at home and overseas, prompting rare criticism from judges, Hong Kong's business community, some pro-establishment figures and several foreign governments and business chambers.

Beijing characterized the largely peace protests in Hong Kong as a "riot" and accused the demonstrators of committing "violent acts".

"The bill that violates human rights should not serve as a precondition for mutual cooperation in combating crime", said Tsai.

Police officer holds a sign during a demonstration against a proposed extradition bill in Hong Kong, China June 12, 2019.

In a statement to the Hong Kong public late Thursday, Lam chastised protesters for orchestrating what she called a violent riot but did not indicate the government would back down on amending its extradition law proposal.

Earlier, some protesters tried to stop police from removing supplies of face masks and food and scuffles broke out. That changed on Sunday.

The bill has been met with widespread opposition, including from the city's traditionally conservative business community. Telegram and Firechat - a peer-to-peer messaging service that works with or without internet access - are among the top trending apps in Hong Kong's Apple store.

Encrypted messaging service Telegram suffered a major cyberattack that appeared to originate from China, the company's CEO said Thursday.

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