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China warns against ‘radical forces’ in Hong Kong

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.

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