Journalists take photos as Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks during a press conference at the government building in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019. A homemade, remote-controlled bomb intended to "kill or to harm" riot control officers was detonated as they deployed against renewed violence in Hong Kong over the weekend, police said Monday, in a further escalation of destructive street battles gripping the business hub. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Hong Kong's leader: Territory not becoming a police state

October 15, 2019 - 2:21 am

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong's leader says "it's totally irresponsible and unfounded" to suggest the semi-autonomous Chinese territory is becoming a police state as her government grapples with protests now in their fifth month.

Carrie Lam has defended Hong Kong's 30,000-strong police force, now widely detested by protesters for its riot-control methods and nearly 2,600 arrests.

Responding to criticism from visiting U.S. senators, Lam also said Tuesday that she challenges every politician to ask themselves what they would do if faced by the scale of violence seen in Hong Kong.

Lam on Wednesday will deliver an annual policy speech to address some underlying problems in Hong Kong that have also fueled discontent, including its wealth gap and shortage of affordable housing.

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