China warned Tuesday against “radical forces” in Hong Kong after police arrested 10 people on suspicion of making explosives ahead of a vote on a controversial political reform package.
Police said one suspect had claimed to be a member of a “radical local group” but would not name the group or specify motives.
The bomb allegations have been met with scepticism by some commentators in the semi-autonomous Chinese city, who questioned the timing of the revelations before the vote expected by Friday.
A senior Chinese official warned democrats to tread a “moderate” path.
“The radical opposition camp has recently resorted to despicable means… and are engaged in extreme violent activities,” said Song Ruan, deputy commissioner for Beijing`s foreign affairs office in Hong Kong, without specifically referring to the arrests.
“We hope that the moderate pan-democrats will see through the true face of radical forces.”
Hong Kong`s legislature upped its security Tuesday saying there was “a likelihood of the legislative council complex being stormed by radical groups” in the coming days.
Pro-democracy and pro-government groups are due to rally outside Wednesday, when the bill goes for debate.
Beijing`s Song urged lawmakers to pass the proposal, which sets out how Hong Kong will choose its next leader in 2017.
Democrats in the city`s legislature have said they will vote against the plan, denying it the two-thirds majority it needs to pass.
Although the proposal will for the first time give all residents the right to vote for the chief executive, it adheres to a Beijing ruling that candidates must be vetted by a loyalist committee.