Further Hong Kong clashes after man shot and leader calls protesters 'enemy of the people'

12 November 2019, 17:09 | Updated: 13 November 2019, 10:39

Further clashes have erupted across Hong Kong a day after leader Carrie Lam called pro-democracy protesters the "enemy of the people".

The city-wide protests kicked off early as morning rush-hour trains and major roads were disrupted for the second day in a row during unusual weekday clashes in the five months of anti-government demonstrations.

Chief Executive Ms Lam called the morning commute blockage "a very selfish act" as she expressed her "gratitude to those who are still going to work and school today".

Many of the protests were in reaction to a 21-year-old student being shot and critically wounded by a police officer on Monday morning, while a man was set on fire in one of the most violent days of the protests.

The Chinese government, which has said relatively little about the protests, accused the US and the UK of hypocrisy after both expressed concern over Monday's shooting, but China said they did not condemn a man being set on fire.

In a rare disagreement between China's and Hong Kong's leaders, Beijing said district council elections in the former British colony on 24 November would only go ahead if there was peace, while Ms Lam insisted they must go ahead whatever the situation.

The day before, she said the violence has far exceeded the call for democracy and said "rioters" would not succeed in securing their demands - as she called them the "enemy of the people".

At several university campuses on Tuesday classes were cancelled as riot police and protesters faced off, with water cannon used for the first time at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) in Sha Tin on Tuesday night.

Earlier in the day student protesters erected barricades, threw objects and petrol bombs, causing a large fire to break out in the middle of the campus.

The university's vice-chancellor, Rocky Tuan, was hit with tear gas as he and other senior executives tried to negotiate with police, eventually saying officers were willing to retreat if security guards prevented any more objects being thrown from a height.

As he tried to ask police to stop advancing towards the students, he was told via megaphone: "Don't provoke the police. don't come over, because there are people following you and you can't control them."

They then fired tear gas at him.

In central Hong Kong, protesters occupied the streets, with thousands of office workers joining them on upmarket Pedder Street during their lunchtime break, before more violent clashes broke out in the evening.

The lunchtime protest included a few thousand people who chanted "five demands, not one less" in reference to the changes they are calling for, including democratic changes and an independent investigation of police treatment of protesters.

A shop in the popular retail district of Causeway Bay was set on fire, with flames reaching residential flats above.

Over the harbour in Kowloon Tong, protesters smashed through glass railings and windows in luxury shopping centre Festival Walk, then set fire to its three-storey Christmas tree.

The violence is the latest in protests which started in June over a recently-abandoned bill that would have seen those suspected of crimes in Hong Kong facing extradition to China.

But over the past few months, the campaign has widened to encompass general anti-China feeling in the city, as residents fear their freedoms are being eroded.

Hong Kong retained those freedoms, which are not enjoyed by those on the Chinese mainland, after the former British colony was returned to China in 1997.