HONG KONG (AP) — The Latest on the protests in Hong Kong (all times local):
Thousands of Hong Kong soccer fans have booed and turned their backs when the Chinese national anthem was played before a World Cup qualifier match against Iran.
The crowd broke out into “Glory to Hong Kong,” a song reflecting their months-long fight for more democratic freedoms in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.
After the match started, fans also chanted “Free Hong Kong” and “Revolution of our Times.”
Security was tight, with fans frisked to ensure they did not bring political materials and other prohibited items into the 40,000-seat Hong Kong Stadium. Iran had earlier sought to move the match, citing the unrest, but the request was rejected by FIFA, soccer’s ruling body.
China has sharply criticized Germany for a meeting with Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Tuesday that China has complained to Germany about Wong’s current trip to the European country and his meeting with Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
She called Wong a separatist and said Germany had allowed him to enter “to engage in anti-China separatist activities.”
Wong and Maas met in Berlin late Monday at an event hosted by the German newspaper Bild.
Hua said no foreign government has the right to intervene in Hong Kong affairs because they are an internal Chinese matter. She urged Germany to avoid sending the wrong signal to “radical, separatist forces in Hong Kong.”
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam renews an appeal to pro-democracy protesters to halt violence and engage in dialogue, as the city’s richest man urged the government to provide a way out for the mostly young demonstrators.
The government last week promised to axe the extradition bill that sparked the three months of protests but failed to placate protesters, whose demands also include democratic reforms and police accountability.
Lam said Tuesday the escalation of violence over the weekend, where over 150 people including students were detained during clashes, will deepen rifts and prolong the road to recovery.
Billionaire Li Ka Shing said in a video broadcast on local TV that the government should temper justice with mercy. The 91-year-old Li described the unrest as the worst catastrophe since World War II.
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