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Hong Kong protesters march to U.S. Consulate to ask for help from Trump

2019-09-08T14:28:26.874Z

Protesters came to ask the Trump administration for help to end a three-month confrontation with the government. Why are there protests in Hong Kong?



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(CNN) - Participants in the Hong Kong protests called on Donald Trump, president of the United States, to intervene in the ongoing political confrontation, which intensified rapidly on Sunday, with protesters setting fire to a barricade in front of a station entrance of subway in the financial district of the city.

Earlier in the day, tens of thousands of protesters waving American flags marched to the US Consulate in Hong Kong to ask the Trump administration for help to end a three-month confrontation with the government.

The march began at the Chater Garden public park in Central before addressing the consulate as part of the fourteenth consecutive weekend of public demonstrations at the Asian financial center.

  • Why are there protests in Hong Kong?

In a letter that the protesters planned to present to the consulate officials, the group asks for the approval of the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019” proposal by the United States Congress.

A barricade burns at the entrance of a train station on September 8 in Hong Kong, China.

A banner on the march read "President Trump, please free Hong Kong" in English. Some protesters sang the US national anthem. UU. as they advanced towards the consulate.

"We share the same American values ​​of freedom and democracy," said 30-year-old banker David Wong. “The United States is a country of democracy. Donald Trump is elected by his people. We want this. ”

The protests began peacefully but quickly turned into violence and vandalism during the afternoon, after police appeared to arrest several people at the busy Central subway station.

Protesters erected a barricade at one of the subway exits before setting it on fire. Other exits had their glass windows shattered or disfigured with graffiti.

Protesters hold a banner and wave US national flags. as they march to the US Consulate in Hong Kong

Sunday's clashes indicate that the Hong Kong government's attempt to calm the crisis by withdrawing a controversial extradition bill to China on Wednesday, one of the five official demands of the protest movement, had failed.

The main activists said that the measure was too late and Sunday groups of protesters were already shouting: "Five demands, not one less."

The march is unlikely to put an end to accusations by the Chinese government and state media that the United States has been interfering with Hong Kong protests.

Speaking last week, the spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, Yang Guang, accused US politicians of "shooting" at demonstrations.

Protesters wave United States flags during a protest in Hong Kong.

State of "most favored nation"

U.S. President Donald Trump has shown little inclination to get involved in Hong Kong protests since they began in June.

In August, he said he hoped the demonstrations would eventually work "for everyone, including China" and no one would get hurt.

But some American politicians have been pushing for greater US action to help protesters, and some have even called for an official reassessment of the commercial status of Hong Kong's "most favored nation" with the United States.

That special status gives countries certain commercial advantages, which include lower tariffs for imported goods, according to the United States government.

A bipartisan group of US senators introduced the "Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act" in June, which requires an annual verification that Hong Kong is autonomous enough "to justify special treatment."

Protesters wave US flags as they march from Chater Garden to the US Consulate In Hong Kong on September 8.

It is this act that some protesters are asking the US Congress for. to approve to put additional pressure on the government of Hong Kong and Beijing to access their demands.

The interest that American politicians have shown in Hong Kong, including Vice President Mike Pence and the leadership of the Democratic Party, have led to China's accusations that Washington is behind the three-month demonstrations.

"It is an open secret in Hong Kong that the forces protesting against the extradition bill have been sponsored by the United States," the Chinese sensationalist newspaper Global Times said in an editorial in July. Multiple senior officials of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs have repeated the claim without any evidence.

The United States Department of State responded that Chinese claims of its participation are "ridiculous."

A man holds a banner while protesters wave United States flags.

Months of protest chaos

The protest organizers say that millions of people have taken to the streets of Hong Kong since the beginning of June, in protests that evolved from objections to the extradition bill to the broader calls for greater democracy and civil rights.

Currently, the protest movement has five lawsuits, including an investigation into allegations of police brutality and the release of arrested protesters.

On Wednesday, executive director Carrie Lam announced that one of the protesters' demands would be met by withdrawing the extradition bill from the local parliament.

But so far the government has refused to comply with any of the other demands.

Despite Lam's withdrawal, there were clashes between police and protesters every night during the past week.

Much of the action has centered on the streets around Prince Edward subway station, in the residential and commercial center of Mong Kok, where Sunday night's video showed police officers chasing and arresting protesters .

Protesters on Sunday's march said they will not back down until all their demands are met. "It's like going to work," said 64-year-old protester Felix Wu, laughing.

Hong Kong

Source: cnnespanol

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