Hong Kong official warns of political unrest as economy weakens

(From AFP)

Hong Kong’s financial secretary warned Wednesday that political unrest would “unavoidably” damage the economy after riots rocked the city earlier this month, predicting a growth slowdown for 2016.

A demonstrator holds a placard depicting Hong Kong's Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah, as people protest against the new budget, outside the government buildings, on Feb. 24

A demonstrator holds a placard depicting Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah, as people protest against the new budget Feb. 24

In an unusually emotive budget speech John Tsang — tipped as a possible contender to be the semi-autonomous city’s next leader — said the street battles had left him “distressed and angry”.

Tsang, who is part of a Beijing-friendly government and met with China’s President Xi Jinping last year, used his speech to weigh in on Hong Kong’s recent turmoil.

Violence broke out on the first night of the Lunar New Year, February 8, after protesters gathered around illegal food hawkers in the busy commercial district of Mong Kok to protect them from health officials. Read More



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