Hong Kong appoints hardline police chief

Tang describes protesters' actions as 'very close to terrorism'

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New Hong Kong police chief Chris Tang (screenshot from govnews.hk Facebook page).

New Hong Kong police chief Chris Tang (screenshot from govnews.hk Facebook page).

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Hong Kong’s new police commissioner Chris Tang Ping-keung (鄧炳強), who took office Tuesday (Nov. 19), is known as a hardliner in the conflict with the pro-democracy protesters.

With police and protesters continuing to confront each other at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Tang told the South China Morning Post that the violence used by activists was “very close to terrorism.”

Police have faced allegations of excessive brutality, including shooting at unarmed protesters and sexually assaulting detainees. On the other hand, Tang accuses the activists of bringing “mob rule” to Hong Kong, vandalizing shops and public buildings, and attacking officers with bows and arrows.

More than 4,000 people have been arrested, the youngest only 11 years old, and 1,700 people have been injured, including 450 police officers, according to the South China Morning Post.

Tang has been in charge of police actions against the unrest for the past five months, and on Tuesday asked the public for its support in condemning violence by the protesters. He also rejected calls for an independent inquiry into the allegations of police brutality, saying it would not help end the unrest.