Pro-Beijing supporters turn up at Hong Kong’s lunchtime protests, stepping on US flag and pictures of Donald Trump
About 40 loyalists on Tuesday marched to the US consulate during the lunchtime demonstrations normally waged by anti-government protesters. Along the way, they stomped on pictures of the US president, who last week signed two acts they viewed as supporting Hong Kong’s pro-democracy camp
Pro-Beijing protesters on Tuesday turned up in Hong Kong’s business district, making their first appearance at the regular lunchtime demonstrations normally dominated by anti-government protesters.
The red-clad crowd of about 40 stomped and danced on a United States flag as they marched in Central from Chater Garden to the US consulate, singing patriotic songs and waving Chinese flags.
They then passed a letter to a worker at the American consulate, after stepping on pictures of US President Donald Trump, who last week signed two acts they viewed as supporting the pro-democracy camp.
The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act would allow the US to place diplomatic and economic sanctions on the city, subject to a yearly review to determine if Hong Kong still enjoyed a sufficient degree of autonomy under the “one country, two systems” framework.
The Protect Hong Kong Act prohibits the sale of US-made munitions, such as tear gas and rubber bullets, to the city’s authorities.
A spokesman for the group, who said he was involved in organising the pro-Beijing rally, said they wanted to send a message to the US to keep out of Hong Kong’s affairs.
“I want to tell Trump that Hong Kong doesn’t like him and we want him to get the hell out of Hong Kong,” the man said in Cantonese.
“Rioters may also think they have the backing of America,” he added. “If they like the US, why don’t they study harder and move to America?”
The loyalists stand in opposition to the anti-government protest movement, which has gripped the city for nearly six months, and whose members call for – among other demands – greater democracy and an investigation into police conduct.
Just a few kilometres from the procession, a group of pro-democracy office workers staged their daily protest at a Central footbridge, reiterating their demands to the government.
Others were also seen in the city’s industrial neighbourhoods. Hundreds of them gathered in Tsuen Wan and Cheung Sha Wan, having answered online calls to protest on those areas.
They held up their hands, chanting: “Liberate Hong Kong; revolution of our times.”
Some also yelled “revenge Hongkongers”, a stepped-up version of the previous mantra, “keep up Hongkongers”, as they believed they had been subject to an increasing crackdown by the authorities, including allegations of police brutality.