Thousands of protesters in Hong Kong have urged President Trump to “liberate” the semiautonomous Chinese territory during a march to the US Consulate.
Demonstrators flooded a park in central Hong Kong on Sunday, chanting “resist Beijing, liberate Hong Kong” and “stand with Hong Kong, fight for freedom”.
Many of them, clad in black shirts and wearing masks, waved American flags and carried posters that read “President Trump, please liberate Hong Kong” as they marched to the US Consulate nearby.
“Hong Kong is at the forefront of the battle against the totalitarian regime of China,” said Panzer Chan, one of the organizers of the march.
Protesters urged Washington to pass a bill, known as the Hong Kong Democratic and Human Rights Act, to support their cause.
The bill proposes sanctions against Hong Kong and Chinese officials found to suppress democracy and human rights in the city, and could also affect Hong Kong’s preferential trade status with the US.
A group of protesters sang The Star-Spangled Banner before handing over an appeal letter to a US Consulate official.
Hong Kong has been rocked by three months of unrest sparked by a proposed law that would have allowed criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial.
Many saw the extradition bill as a glaring example of the erosion of civil liberties and rights promised under a “one country, two systems” framework when the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
Hong Kong’s Government promised this past week to formally withdraw the bill, but that failed to appease the demonstrators, who had widened their demands to include calls for direct elections for the city’s leaders and an independent probe into alleged police brutality against protesters.
Some American legislators are pressing president Trump to take a tougher stand on Hong Kong.
But the President has suggested it is a matter for China to handle, though he also has said no violence should be used.
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