Chief Executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam promised on Tuesday that the government will make maximum efforts to build a dialogue platform with the public.
Lam was speaking in public for the first time since demonstrations escalated on Sunday. Lam said the government is still preparing a dialogue platform and will update the public with the latest progress.
The Hong Kong SAR government is willing to seek dialogue with protesters and hear their feedback, she added.
On Saturday, Lam met a group of people seeking to solve the current situation in the Government House, the official residence of the HKSAR chief executive, to share their ideas on how to build a platform for dialogue.
Lam stressed the government's position that there is an independent police complaint council in Hong Kong to handle police complaints and the government will not allow another independent inquiry into the execution of police work.
She said she was confident the government could handle the unrest by itself and she would not give up efforts on building a platform for dialogue.
Lam reiterates zero tolerance for violence
Responding to escalated violence in the weekend demonstration, Lam reiterated there is zero tolerance for violence and the police will thoroughly investigate all unlawful acts.
Over the weekend, demonstrators hurled petrol bombs and bricks at police officers. Twenty-one police officers were wounded and 86 people were arrested for offenses including illegal assembly, possession of weapons and attacking the police. A police officer was forced to fire a warning shot into the air.
"Violence cannot resolve any problems. Violence cannot be lawful and glorified. We will not use violence to end violence, but will use lawful measures to end the mess and restore the social order as soon as possible. This will help to facilitate dialogue and help us to resolve some of the deep-rooted problems in the society, such as in economy and people's livelihood," Lam stressed.
Starting the dialogue doesn't mean tolerating the violence. If we tolerate violence, it will be the end of the rule of law, she continued.
Lam said the families of the police have suffered harassment, threats and intimidation. She called for protection of the families, especially the children.