The Australian government is “deeply concerned” by the escalating violence in Hong Kong, Foreign Minister Marise Payne has said, urging increased scrutiny of police and a peaceful resolution after months of protests.
Clashes have flared in the city this week, with some of the worst violence since protests began five months ago. The unrest has shut down major roads and universities, causing Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam to hold an emergency meeting and escalate her rhetoric about the instability.
In a statement released on Thursday afternoon, Senator Payne called for police and protesters to “exercise restraint and take genuine steps to de-escalate tensions”. She said police should respond proportionately to the protests.
“We are deeply concerned by the violence in Hong Kong and the increasing divide between the authorities and Hong Kong people,” she said.