Thousands in HK praise Trump with 'thanksgiving' rally as more protests loom

Daniel Fowler
November 30, 2019

So far, the two sides have sought to keep Hong Kong and trade issues separate, said Tu Xinquan of the University of International Business and Economics.

He also reiterated zero tolerance of any illegal act faced with plans for more unauthorized demonstrations this Friday in front of the British and USA consulates.

The crisis in Hong Kong worsened with a more violent turn that forced schools and commercial establishments to close for several days, paralyzed transport and left one person dead.

Protesters are planning more rallies this weekend to keep up their pressure on Lam, who has refused to offer any new concessions to their demands, including greater democracy and an independent probe into alleged police brutality.

The Act also provides terms to terminate sanctions where individuals credibly demonstrate a "significant change in behavior, [have] paid an appropriate effect for the activity for which sanctions were imposed, and [have] credibly committed to not engage in an activity" that undermines fundamental freedoms and autonomy of Hong Kong in the future.

Thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators on Thursday lit up the streets of Hong Kong with smartphone flashlights, marching with American flags as a thank you to Washington's enactment of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act on Wednesday, which was hailed as a "Thanksgiving present" for the city.

One of the new USA laws prescribes sanctions on officials found guilty of human rights abuses and requires an annual review of a special trade status for Hong Kong.

China has warned of strong countermeasures and Hong Kong's government has slammed the US move as unwarranted meddling in its affairs.

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An official statement indicated that during the search carried out since yesterday, officers found gasoline bombs, explosives, bottles containing corrosive liquids and other weapons in the areas of the academic institution.

Ken Woo, acting president of the Poly U student union, said the siege had changed students' perceptions of their university.

Before Trump signed the bills, he was concerned that trade talks with China might be disrupted.

They were the holdouts from perhaps 1,100 people who had retreated inside after the battles with police.

Thousands in Hong Kong celebrated at a "Thanksgiving" rally on Friday after USA legislation backed the supporters. Police said it was alarming that such unsafe explosives were found with young students.

"If the mainland China takes radical actions to clamp down on protests in Hong Kong, the (Japanese) government might be compelled to suspend President Xi's planned visit to Japan", the source said.

"We used to think that university was the safest place, and the police wouldn't enter it by force", Woo said.

Hong Kongers have protested in huge numbers over the last six months, fuelled by years of growing fears that authoritarian China is stamping out the city's liberties.

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