China’s terrifying giant forks
CHINESE forces have been spotted training with a intimidating new weapon used to control crowds and possibly stun protesters.
Members of China's paramilitary People's Armed Police were recently seen practising a crowd control tactics using different weapons at a sporting complex in Shenzhen, across from Hong Kong.
One weapon in particular they were photographed using caused major concern.
Officers were seen using two and a half metre, U-shaped poles, which look similar to giant forks, during the training drill.
There have been reports the weapons may use electricity to stun people in order to subdue them.
The use of these electric devices has previously been discouraged by Amnesty International, who warned they could cause welts, burns and puncture wounds.
"A wide range of direct contact electric shock weapons including electric shock stun guns, stun batons and stun shields have been developed, traded and employed by police and security forces throughout the world," Amnesty International said.
"The use of such weapons results in intense, both localised and general pain but not incapacitation of the subject.
"Because of their nature and design, direct contact shock weapons carry an unacceptable risk of arbitrary force."
The demonstration by Chinese authorities has been regarded by many as a threat to pro-democracy protesters.
Photos from the drills show soldiers and officers carrying the huge fork-like weapons as they advance on a person appearing to imitate a protester.
One image shows a soldier pointing the fork towards the protester as other soldiers surround him with shields.
Despite the intimidating show of force from China, demonstrators in Hong Kong defied a police ban to hold a peaceful protest.
Around 1.7 million protesters converged on the city's Victoria Park on Sunday afternoon to march through the streets, making it one of the biggest rallies so far.
Through the pouring rain protesters could be heard chanting "Reclaim Hong Kong, revolution of our era".
The mass protest came as the city entered its eleventh week of pro-democracy demonstrations.
Initial protests started as a reaction to the proposed bill that would allow extraditions to the Chinese mainland, but has since widened to encompass police brutality and electoral reforms.
There have been increasingly violent clashes between protesters and riot police in recent weeks, but the latest protest was largely peaceful.
"1.7 million people on the streets, 10 hours of omnidirectional march, not one piece of glass broken," pro-democracy activist Denise Ho wrote on Twitter.
"Not one person hurt nor beaten. And, not one policeman in sight."
TRUMP WARNS CHINA AGAINST CRACKDOWN
US President Donald Trump has warned China against carrying out a Tiananmen Square-style crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, saying it would harm trade talks between the two countries.
"I think it'd be very hard to deal if they do violence, I mean, if it's another Tiananmen Square," Trump told reporters in New Jersey. "I think it's a very hard thing to do if there's violence."
China deployed tanks to end student-led protests in the bloody 1989 crackdown in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, resulting in an estimated death toll between several hundred to over a thousand.
If such a situation was repeated in Hong Kong, "I think there'd be … tremendous political sentiment not to do something," Trump said, referring to the trade negotiations with China.
The months-long trade dispute between the US and China has been blamed for setting world financial markets on edge amid signs of a possible global economic slowdown.
Trump's comments came as Washington and Beijing look to revive pivotal high-level talks aimed at ending their trade war.
Phone calls between both countries' deputies are planned for the next 10 days, and if those are successful, negotiations between more senior officials could resume, Trump's chief economic Adviser Larry Kudlow said on Sunday.
Last week, China's state-run daily the Global Times said there "won't be a repeat" of Tiananmen Square in a rare reference to the crackdown.
"China is much stronger and more mature, and its ability to manage complex situations has been greatly enhanced," the newspaper wrote in an editorial.
Analysts say any intervention in Hong Kong by Chinese security forces would be a disaster for China's reputation and economy.