In Summary
  • Embattled pro-Beijing leader Carrie Lam has maintained a low profile as two months of unprecedented protests have raged.
  • Protesters say they have been forced to adopt more violent tactics after years of huge rallies have failed to halt sliding freedoms in the city under Beijing's rule.
  • Widespread disruptions and violence, Lam said, were putting Hong Kongers "in a state of great anxiety" and she vowed to continue cracking down.

Hong Kong,

Hong Kong's embattled pro-Beijing leader on Monday accused pro-democracy protesters of trying to "destroy" the city in a dramatic escalation of rhetoric as the financial hub is rocked by two months of rallies and clashes.

Two months of protests and clashes with police have pushed the semi-autonomous southern Chinese city to a "very dangerous situation", chief executive Carrie Lam said, as she struck a defiant tone as strikes and travel chaos hit the city.

Lam has maintained a low profile as two months of unprecedented protests have raged.

But on Monday she held a press conference -- her first in more than two weeks -- as activists launched a civil disobedience campaign against the city's transport network, part of an attempted city-wide strike.

Lam, who was chosen by a Beijing loyalist committee, showed no sign of backing down or ceding to protester demands for greater democratic freedoms and an independent inquiry into police violence.

ANXIETY

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