The United States expressed “grave concern” Monday over the increasingly violent situation in Hong Kong and called for restraint by both security forces and protesters.
“The United States is watching the situation in Hong Kong with grave concern,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.
“We condemn violence on all sides, extend our sympathies to victims of violence regardless of their political inclinations, and call for all parties — police and protestors — to exercise restraint,” Ortagus said.
Hong Kong has endured 24 straight weeks of increasingly violent rallies aimed at securing greater democratic freedoms from China, which has ruled the city under a “one country, two systems” framework since its handover from the British in 1997.
The protesters are desperate to stop what they see as Beijing’s tightening control over Hong Kong, and reneging on its handover commitment to allow greater liberties for the city than those on the mainland.
On Monday, a police officer shot a protester in Hong Kong in an incident shown live on Facebook, and a man was set on fire by a masked assailant during an argument.