News   /   China   /   Editor's Choice

One-week lull in Hong Kong protests ends with rival rallies

Anti-government protesters take part in a march to the US Consulate in Hong Kong, on December 1, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

People have staged rival rallies in Hong Kong for and against the government of the semi-autonomous Chinese city, after a week of calm that started with local elections.

Government supporters waved Chinese flags and sang nationalist songs during a peaceful rally at the Tsim Sha Tsui District on Sunday.

Protesters, on the other hand, marched through the city’s central business district, some of them with their small children. They carried yellow balloons and waved banners that read “No tear gas, save our children.”

“We want the police to stop using tear gas,” said a woman surnamed Wong, who had came to the rally accompanied by her husband and five-year-old son. “It’s not a good way to solve the problem. The government needs to listen to the people. It is ridiculous.”

Another two anti-government rallies were also planned for later on Sunday.

Police have issued permits for all three.

The Sunday anti-government rally in the business district was the first public demonstration since local elections last Sunday, which itself started a lull in almost six months of unrest in Hong Kong.

Overnight, police fired three rounds of tear gas for the first time since the elections, after protesters blocked roads in the Mong Kok neighborhood.

Protester assaults man clearing barricade

A video that emerged online also showed a protester brutally assaulting a man as the latter attempted to clear a barricade.

The protester is seen hitting the man across his head with a heavy metal object. The man then stumbles and slumps over, with blood trickling from a wound.

A police source confirmed that the incident seen in the video occurred in Mong Kok overnight and that it was under investigation.

Beijing slams UN interference

Earlier, on Saturday, China criticized UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet for “inappropriate” interference in the country’s affairs after she called for investigations into the alleged excessive use of force by police in Hong Kong.

China’s mission to the UN in Geneva said an op-ed written by Bachelet in the South China Morning Post was “erroneous” and “violates the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”

The article contains “inappropriate comments on the situation of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region... (and) interferes in China’s internal affairs,” said the Chinese mission’s statement.

It said China had filed “strong representations” with the UN rights office in Geneva.

Protests began in Hong Kong in June over a controversial extradition bill. The bill was later shelved, but the protests continued and took on an increasingly violent form, with masked individuals vandalizing public and private property and attacking security forces and government buildings.

The anti-government protesters now demand complete separation from mainland China.

Hong Kong has been governed under a “one-country, two-system” model since the city was returned to China in 1997.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku