As the authorities contemplate their future responses, they have been kind enough to issue a new series of statements that ought to be taken seriously. These statements are reproduced below in English (with thanks to Flora Sapio for translations) and 以及原始的中文版本.
Cross-posting from Sanshui, Samizu, Samseol (these include additional short reflections).
Hong Kong SAR Government Police: strongly condemn the destruction of the national flag and violent conduct
People's Daily Today [August 4, 2019]
On [August] 3 while some persons held a march in Yau Tsim Mong District, Hong Kong some extremists kept conducts such as destroying the national flag and attacking the police station. In the early morning of [August] 4, strong condemnation was expressed by a spokesperson of the Hong Kong SAR government. Violence was also sternly condemned by the Hong Kong Police. The Police announced that more than 20 people were arrested during the operations held to disperse the demonstrators.A spokesperson of the SAR government stated that during the demonstrations, some of extremist demonstrators had violently attacked the police station, destroying vehicles, and committing arson in several places. At the same time, it is suspected that demonstrators deliberately destroyed the national flag, violating the National Flag and National Emblem Ordinance of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The government strongly condemned extremist demonstrators’ disregard for law and discipline [目无法纪], deliberate undermining of social peace to the point of challenging national sovereignty. The police will strictly enforce the law, and unlawful demonstrators who commit violence will also be subject to legal sanctions.The Hong Kong Police said that they severely condemn the violence of extremist demonstrators and stressed that law will be strictly enforced [to punish] all illegal and violent acts. The police have the ability and determination to maintain social peace and do not tolerate any violence.
The Hong Kong Police said that from the evening of the [August] 3 to the early morning of [August] 4, demonstrators blocked the traffic lanes on both sides of the toll plaza of the Hung Hom Cross Harbour Tunnel using fences and various objects. As a result, the two sides of the tunnel were closed and the traffic was seriously obstructed. Some extremist demonstrators blockaded the Tsim Sha Tsui Police Station. The facilities outside the police station were destroyed and arson was committed in several places. Some extremists demonstrators surrounded the Wong Tai Sin Disciplined Services Quarters throwing firecrackers and a large amount of objects into the dormitory, which seriously threatened the residents' personal safety.
The Hong Kong Police said that during the operation [held] to disperse the demonstrators, more than 20 demonstrators were arrested such conduct as for illegal assembly and attacks.
Hong Kong Liaison Office’s statement:This kind of lawlessness must be severely punished according to the lawPeople's Daily Today [August 4, 2019]
On [August] 4, the head of the Liaison Office of the Central Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region issued a statement sternly condemning the illegal acts of Hong Kong extremists insulting the national flag and challenging national sovereignty.
The person in charge said that on the afternoon of August 3, a deranged extremist [有丧心病狂的极端激进分子] in Hong Kong pulled down the flag of the People's Republic of China hanging in front of a building in Tsim Sha Tsui and threw it into the sea. This followed the July 21 siege of the Liaison Office by extremist protesters, [who] after defacing the national emblem, once again publicly challenged the dignity of the country. The person in charge stressed national sovereignty and dignity cannot be challenged. The bottom line of the principle of "One Country, Two Systems" cannot be touched. The patriotic sentiments of all Chinese, including the vast majority of Hong Kong compatriots cannot be hurt. This kind of lawlessness must be severely punished according the to law.
The responsible person reiterated that he firmly supports the SAR Government and the Hong Kong Police in law enforcement, punishment of violent criminals in accordance with the law, and upholding of the rule of law and social stability in Hong Kong.
-->The Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council severely condemns the insult to the flag: strict punishment according to law, without leniency
People's Daily Today [August 4, 2019]
https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/MIM2mN6Zo-qG3EE81xGCwQA spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council issued a statement on [August] 4, on several extremist demonstrators who on August 3 pulled off the national flag of the People’s Republic of China hanging in front of a building and threw it into the sea, expressing a severe condemnation of such a vile conduct.The spokesman said that in the evening of August 3, a number of masked protesters clad in black pulled off a flag of the People's Republic of China hanging in front of a building in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong and threw it into the sea. This act seriously violated the "Law of the People’s Republic of China on the National Flag" and the "Ordinance to provide for the use and protection of the national flag and national emblem in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and for incidental matters". It flagrantly offended the dignity of the nation, the dignity of the ethnicity [民族尊严] and arbitrarily trampled on the "One Country, Two Systems" principle, greatly hurting the feelings of the entire Chinese People including Hong Kong compatriots. We strongly support the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Police Force and the judiciary’s decisive enforcement strict justice, and their bringing criminals to justice as soon as possible.
The spokesperson said that the vile acts of a very small number of extremists who insulted the national flag have once again shown that their actions have gone far beyond the scope of free expression and slipped into the abyss of crime. This must be severely punished in accordance with the law, without leniency.