Hong Kong protesters seek Trump’s help, say it’s no longer about autonomy, but democracy

A protester is seen wearing a cap that reads, “Make Hong Kong Great Again” in Central, Hong Kong, China. Source (pic): Reuters

Thousands of protesters chanted the United States (US) national anthem and called on US President Donald Trump to “liberate” Hong Kong, the latest in a series of demonstrations that have gripped the territory for months.

“Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong,” they shouted before handing over petitions at the US Consulate. “Resist Beijing, liberate Hong Kong.”

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, under immense pressure, announced concessions this week to bring an end to the protests, including formally scrapping a hugely unpopular extradition Billthat ignited the unrest in June. Many protesters said it was too little, too late.

The Bill would have allowed the extradition of people to mainland China to stand trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party. Hong Kong has an independent judiciary dating back to British rule.


PETALING JAYA: Thousands of protesters chanted the United States (US) national anthem and called on US President Donald Trump to “liberate” Hong Kong, the latest in a series of demonstrations that have gripped the territory for months.

According to Channel News Asia, police stood by as protesters, under a sea of umbrellas, waved American flags and placards appealing for democracy after yet another night of unruliness in what is now the 14th week of unrest.

“Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong,” they shouted before handing over petitions at the US Consulate. “Resist Beijing, liberate Hong Kong.”


Protestors wave the US flags as they march to the Consulate General of the United States at Central. Source (pic): Reuters

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Saturday urged China to exercise restraint in Hong Kong, a former British colony which returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Esper made his call in Paris as police in Hong Kong prevented protesters from blocking access to the airport but fired tear gas for a second night running in the densely populated district of Mong Kok.

Last month Trump suggested China should “humanely” settle the problem in Hong Kong before a trade deal is reached with Washington. Earlier Trump called the protests “riots” that were a matter for China to deal with.

“With the US locked in a trade war with China at this point in time, it’s a good opportunity for us to show (the United States) how the pro-China groups are also violating human rights in Hong Kong and allowing police brutality,” said Cherry, 26, who works in the financial industry, as protesters marched towards the nearby US Consulate.

“We want the US administration to help protect human rights in Hong Kong.”

Hong Kong returned to China under a “one country, two systems” formula that guarantees freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland. Many Hong Kong residents fear Beijing is eroding that autonomy.

China denies the accusation of meddling and says Hong Kong is an internal affair. It has denounced the protests, accusing the United States and Britain of fomenting unrest, and warned of the damage to the economy.

Protesters hold up a sign in Central, Hong Kong, China. Source (pic): Reuters

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, under immense pressure, announced concessions this week to bring an end to the protests, including formally scrapping a hugely unpopular extradition Billthat ignited the unrest in June. Many protesters said it was too little, too late.

The Bill would have allowed the extradition of people to mainland China to stand trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party. Hong Kong has an independent judiciary dating back to British rule.

But the demonstrations have long since broadened into calls for democracy.

THE THIRD FORCE


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