Friday, 19 July, 2019

Hong Kong protesters rally in border town popular with China

Hong Kong government says controversial extradition bill is 'dead' Hong Kong leader says China extradition bill is 'dead'
Steven Clarke | 14 July, 2019, 13:07

Fighting broke out on Saturday after thousands of protesters marched in the town of Sheung Shui, close to the border with mainland China.

Calling on the protesters to support another scheduled agitation in Sha Tin on Sunday, Leung hoped that the Hong Kong government and district council will agree to the six demands raised by the demonstrators, including the cancelling the policy of issuing monthly visas for Shenzhen residents to come to Hong Kong.

Tens of thousands of Hong Kong people rallied for a second day on Sunday in an area popular with mainland Chinese shoppers, as deep-seated anger and frustration at the government's handling of an extradition bill refuses to dissipate. "So I reiterate here that there is no such plan, the bill is dead", said Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam during her English language address to the public and media on Tuesday, adding that this will "take Hong Kong out of the current impasse".

Numerous protesters were residents angry with the vast numbers of "parallel traders" who come across the border from the mainland to buy items like baby formula and diapers for resale at a markup in China to evade import taxes.

Since early June, there has been an enormous show of public opposition against a proposed extradition bill that would allow anyone in Hong Kong, including foreigners, to be sent to Mainland China to face trial under Chinese law.

A protester hangs from a bridge as police officers try to pull him up after a scuffle with police pushing back protesters, in Hong Kong, Saturday, July 13, 2019.

Al Jazeera's Jamela Alindogan reports from Hong Kong.

But many say China has progressively tightened its grip, putting Hong Kong's freedoms under threat through a range of measures such as the extradition bill.

Wimbledon: Haelp beats Serena Williams for 2nd Grand Slam title
As for Williams, she surely has to try and reduce the noise and whole circus around her if she is to win another Grand Slam . I love coming out here, playing in front of you guys. "I'm desperate to win Wimbledon more than to stop her", she said .

The protests have fueled the former British colony's biggest political crisis since China regained control of Hong Kong, and pose a direct challenge to authorities in Beijing.

Similar protests have included a march last week by almost 2,000 people in the Tuen Mun residential district to protest against what they saw as the nuisance of brash singing and dancing to Mandarin pop songs by middle-aged mainland women.

A protester stands on a fence as others make graffiti on the gate of store during a an anti-parallel trading protest in Sheung Shui district in Hong Kong on July 13, 2019.

The traders have always been a source of anger among those in Hong Kong who say they have fueled inflation, driven up property prices, dodged taxes and diluted Sheung Shui's identity.

When Britain returned Hong Kong to China in 1997, Chinese Communist leaders promised the city a high degree of autonomy for 50 years.

Police used pepper spray and batons to disperse the crowd as fleeing protesters scrambled over each other, with some falling to the ground.

By Greg Torode and Vimvam Tong.

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