Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam warned Tuesday that the Chinese military could step in if an uprising for democratic reforms that has rocked the city for months "becomes so bad" but reiterated the government still hopes to resolve the crisis itself. Lam said that asking for Chinese intervention was provided for under Hong Kong's constitution but that she cannot reveal under what circumstances she will do so, the AP reports. "I still strongly feel that we should find the solutions ourselves. That is also the position of the central government that Hong Kong should tackle the problem on her own, but if the situation becomes so bad, then no options could be ruled out if we want Hong Kong to at least have another chance."
Hardening her government's stance on the protests last week, Lam invoked a colonial-era emergency law last week to criminalize the wearing of masks at rallies, but it fueled more anger, with continuous daily violence over the long holiday weekend. Enforcement of the mask ban began Saturday, and Lam said it was too early to call it a failure. Two people have been charged with violating the mask ban so far. Critics fear the emergency law, which gives Lam broad powers to implement any measures she deems necessary, could pave the way for more draconian moves. Lam said the government would make "careful assessment" before imposing other measures under the law, such as Internet controls.
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