Anti-government protesters in Hong Kong have staged a rally outside the British consulate in the Chinese city, calling for support from the territory’s former colonial ruler.
The protesters, in their hundreds, demanded on Sunday that London meddle in the crisis that has crippled the international hub over the past months.
Waving Union Jack flags and chanting "God Save the Queen," the protesters claimed that China was not honoring the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration and that the “one country, two systems” policy did not work anymore.
“We ask UK to take immediate action on China not honoring the Sino-British Joint Declaration and acknowledge one country, two systems is not functioning,” the rally organizers said.
Beijing, however, rejected the accusations and said it was fully committed to the joint declaration, which ensures special freedoms for the city after its return to China in 1997.
Earlier this month, the protesters marched on the US consulate, calling on Washington to intervene in the ongoing political standoff.
The protests initially began in June over a bill, which would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China.
The bill was suspended later that month, but the agitation has expanded into a broader unrest amid calls for the city’s pro-China leader to step down.
China has said foreign countries, mainly the United States and Britain, have been provoking the unrest by issuing statements of support. Beijing has asked the two countries to stop meddling in Hong Kong’s domestic affairs.
Chinese media have called the protests a “color revolution” aimed at overturning the government in Hong Kong, which has seen masked people attack police officers and occupy airports and rail terminals, crippling the city.
Beijing has warned that it would not sit idly by as officials have warned of violence pushing Hong Kong to the verge of "a very dangerous situation."
Violent protests are taking a big toll on the leading commercial hub, scaring off tourists and biting into retail sales and investment.
Hong Kong has been governed under a “one-country, two-system” model since the city — a former British colony — was returned to China in 1997.
The unrest comes amid a brewing trade war which US President Donald Trump has made one of the major undertakings of his administration in order to block China's economic rise.