Beijing expresses "serious concern" at attack on Hong Kong leader
The Chinese government has expressed "serious concern" over an alleged assault on Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang and wants the culprit punished, government radio said Thursday.
A Beijing official quoted by RTHK radio in Hong Kong was reacting to an incident on Tuesday when 66-year-old Tsang was apparently pushed in the chest by a protester.
The Hong Kong chief executive was treated in hospital for superficial injuries after the fracas involving activists as he delivered a speech at Hong Kong's Museum of History, dpa reported.
The Chinese government spokesman quoted by RTHK said the Hong Kong leader should be respected, his safety should be protected and those responsible for any assault should be "punished accordingly".
Steve Wong Chun-kit, 25, a member of the pro-democracy League of Social Democrats, has been arrested for alleged common assault on Tsang and released on bail. He has not been charged.
In comments reported by Thursday's newspapers, Wong said: "I just wanted to shout my views during the protest and I was not aware of hitting anyone at the scene."
Fellow protester, legislator Leung Kwok-hung, said: "We just wanted to undermine his (Tsang's) dignity ... this was a protest in a forceful but non-violent manner."
Hong Kong, a former British colony, reverted to Chinese rule in 1997 and has a mini-constitution guaranteeing freedoms of speech and protest denied to people elsewhere in China.