Zhang Xiaoming, one of the most senior Chinese officials overseeing Hong Kong affairs, made the comments during a meeting in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.
Zhang was holding a forum that included Hong Kong delegates to China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress and China’s main consultative body, the CPPCC, to discuss the political crisis in the territory.
Hong Kong has faced months of sometimes violent protests that began with opposition to a now-suspended extradition law, which would have allowed suspects to be tried in mainland courts.
But the protests have broadened into a backlash against the government of the Asian financial hub, fueled by many residents’ fears of eroding freedoms under the tightening control of China’s Communist Party leaders in Beijing.
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