Pence urges China to respect Hong Kong laws amid protest

Clay Curtis
August 22, 2019

Organisers say at least 1.7 million participated.

The Sunday rally ended peacefully with no reports of violence.

Law enforcement officers kept a low profile on Sunday, with no riot police seen from the procession's main routes. Pro-democrats and pro-Beijing supporters held duelling protests again the next day outside the Chinese consulate in the city.

Demonstrators who were shining laser pointers at a government building were convinced to leave, prompting applause from others in the group.

"This kind of civil disobedience has persisted over several months in Hong Kong in spite of the authorities' attempt to extinguish it using everything they've got", she said. "If we get a negative response, we can not control the next (gathering)".

"We hope that there will not be any chaotic situations today", said organizer Bonnie Leung.

Yeung, a vocal critic of the Hong Kong government, said it was important for people around the world to support the Hong Kong protesters.

"But we have tried many times with peaceful approaches", he said.

Driver Leo Chen said he attended because he wants peace in his city.

The rally was meant to be a march from Victoria Park to Central, Hong Kong's central business district, but police rejected the front's plan and only gave permission for a rally in the park, effectively making it illegal for people to march beyond the area.

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By 3 p.m. local time, an area designated for the protest was overflowing with demonstrators, who formed a sea of umbrellas that stretched into neighboring streets. He said the figure did not include those who were not able to make it to Victoria Park, where the march began, because of traffic constraints.

Numerous protesters taking part in Sunday's rally wore masks to protect their identity.

In Beijing, You Wenze, a spokesman for China's ceremonial legislature, condemned statements from USA politicians supportive of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement.

President Trump has previously said that Hong Kong is part of China and they must solve their problem by themselves.

"I feel that our freedoms are being stripped away, and that the police. won't even let us come out in protest over that", Cheung said.

Congress also has the power to pass legislation affecting Hong Kong's relationship with the U.S. in ways that could further erode the territory's reputation for stability and rule of law. Some observers, including Human Rights Watch, have said that such language could indicate that Beijing could deploy its forces into Hong Kong in the name of anti-terrorism, as was done in Xinjiang against ethnic minorities like the Uyghurs in 2011. Marking the eleventh week of protests and unrest that began with a now-suspended extradition bill, anti-government demonstrators are continuing to resist what they see as an erosion of "one country, two systems", under which Hong Kong had enjoyed a degree of autonomy from the Chinese government. Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for the Chinese cabinet's Taiwan Affairs Office, warned Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party to "stop undermining the rule of law in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs, and stop indulging criminals in any way".

Protestors are also calling for the resignation of Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam, democratic elections and an independent investigation into the police's use of force.

The airline said Rupert Hogg resigned on Friday "to take responsibility" following "recent events". "In the rain, our spirit becomes stronger".

The rally came exactly one week after Hong Kong's police launched an unusually heavy-handed operation to clear protests in various districts, and five days after a sit-in at Hong Kong International Airport descended into violent clashes between police and protesters.

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