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China’s foreign minister says Hong Kong faces its worst crisis since 1997 handover

Click to play video 'Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam warns violence becoming serious' Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam warns violence becoming serious
WATCH ABOVE: Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam warns violence becoming serious – Aug 27, 2019

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi told a Hong Kong business delegation that more support should be given to the city’s government to end violence that has evolved into the biggest crisis it has faced since the return to Chinese rule in 1997.

Hong Kong has been engulfed in angry and sometimes violent protests against the government for three months, sparked by a now-suspended extradition bill and concerns that Beijing was trying to bring the territory under greater mainland control.

READ MORE: Hong Kong leader meets with demonstrators, but attempts to quell protests fall flat

Police fired water cannon and tear gas at anti-government demonstrators on Sunday, and Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam later warned that authorities would be forced to stamp down on the escalating violence.

The China Daily warned in an editorial that the gap between the government and protesters appeared to be “unbridgeable,” with the administration not able to “swallow the pills the demonstrators prescribe.”

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WATCH: Hong Kong protesters urge unity, warn police will face ‘terrible reckoning’

Click to play video 'Hong Kong protesters urge unity, warn police will face ‘terrible reckoning’' Hong Kong protesters urge unity, warn police will face ‘terrible reckoning’
Hong Kong protesters urge unity, warn police will face ‘terrible reckoning’ – Aug 26, 2019

However, Wang said in Beijing on Tuesday that, while Hong Kong was facing its most serious challenge since the handover, it was capable of overcoming its problems with the support of the government and the unity of Hong Kong residents.

According to a notice on China’s official government website (http://www.gov.cn), Wang said business groups should also play a positive role by helping young people take part in the city’s economic development.