'Spider-Man' scales Hong Kong skyscraper in 'appeal for peace'

Notorious free solo climber Alain Robert ascends 68-floor skyscraper amid simmering months-long political crisis.

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    French national Alain Robert said his stunt was an 'an urgent appeal for peace' [Ann Wang/Reuters]
    French national Alain Robert said his stunt was an 'an urgent appeal for peace' [Ann Wang/Reuters]

    Hong Kong, China - A free-climber known as the "French Spider-Man" has scaled a major bank tower in Hong Kong's central business district and hoisted a banner calling for peace between China and Hong Kong as the city rages on into its third month of political crisis.

    Alain Robert, 56, famous for climbing tall buildings around the world, climbed up the 68-floor Cheung Kong Center in colourful climbing gear and unfurled a red and white banner of the Hong Kong and China flags bound together and two hands shaking below.

    Police quickly secured the area while building workers ascended to about the 11th floor to remove the flag. Robert has reportedly been detained.

    In a media statement, Robert said his stunt was an "an urgent appeal for peace and consultation between Hong Kong people and their government".

    "Perhaps what I do can lower the temperature and maybe raise a smile," it read. "That's my hope anyway."

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    Robert's appeal for calm comes as pro-democracy protests, some of which became violent, push on into their 11th week.

    Protests began in June over a now-withdrawn bill that would have allowed criminals to be extradited to mainland China.

    They have transformed into a wider movement against deteriorating freedoms because of Chinese interference.

    Those freedoms were guaranteed by a framework known as "One Country, Two Systems", established when Hong Kong was returned to Chinese rule as a semi-autonomous region by the British in 1997.

    Robert had been barred from any more such acts for one year after he was caught in Hong Kong last year scaling the Four Seasons hotel.

    The adventurer has also previously tackled Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House and the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News