China has condemned the recent anti-government protests in Hong Kong as “horrendous incidents” that have caused “serious damage to the rule of law”.

A spokeswoman for China’s top policy office on Hong Kong insisted that the territory’s “top priority” was to “restore social order”.

The comments marked a rare intervention by the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office [HKMAO].

The city has seen eight consecutive weekends of anti-government protests.

There were violent clashes on Sunday as police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters. Barricades were also erected at several different locations in the city.

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