“Response does not mean concession,” Song Ru’an, a deputy commissioner at the foreign ministry’s office in Hong Kong said at a rare, three-hour briefing with foreign reporters.
“It will be blatant political blackmail and coercion if anyone believes only acceptance of each and every demand of the opposition counts as response,” he added.
The protest which started as opposition against extradition law amendment bill has now morphed into a wider campaign, with demands which include probe into police action, amnesty for frontline protesters and political reforms.
Asked whether any of the grievances voiced by Hong Kongers were legitimate, Song said Hong Kong had some “problems” but declined to say what they were.
And he called on peaceful protesters to distance themselves from their violent colleagues before any further steps could be taken to redress local concerns.
Asked if he or his colleagues had been able to test the temperature on the streets, Song replied: “No we have not talked with protesters and we have no friends who join or sympathise with the protesters.”
Song said Beijing remained committed to its blueprint for a limited form of universal suffrage but said now was not the time to reintroduce it.
“Forcibly advancing dual universal suffrage at such a moment will only invite more trouble,” he said. (AFP)