The British capital has witnessed the marching of two demonstrations in response to the recent unrest in Hong Kong, when demonstrators backing the democracy activists along with counter-protesters staged a rival rally in London, AFP reported on Saturday, August 17th.
Protesters supporting the activists paraded banners reading "Will Britain hold China to its promise on Hong Kong's freedom?", "Power to the people: stand with Hong Kong" and "Will Boris surrender to China?", referring to new Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The gathering was organised by the StandwithHK and D4HK groups, while others chanted "The only place I want pepper is in my noodle soup", "SOS: please save Hong Kong" and "No China extradition," followed by demonstrators waving the old British colonial Hong Kong flag
Meanwhile, the counter-protesters responded with waving Chinese flags and holding up signs saying "traitor", "one nation, one China" and "Hong Kong is part of China forever."
The demonstrations have been sweeping across different parts of Europe, as around 50 people gathered in Paris, with not only Hong Kongers but also Chinese and Taiwanese, showing clear support for the former British colony, chanting "freedom for Hong Kong" and even "freedom for China", as counter-protests took place with twice as many Chinese waving mainland flags.
Britain handed control of Hong Kong back to China in 1997 on the basis of the Joint Declaration it signed with Beijing, which guarantees freedoms in the semi-autonomous city until 2047.
Meanwhile, concerns have been mounting over Beijing's next move, as violence and demonstrations have been increasing in Hong Kong when democracy activists kicked off a weekend of fresh rallies on Saturday, August 17th in a major test for the movement following criticism over an airport protest earlier this week, concluding a total of ten weeks of political unrest that has left the country crippled with an unprecedented financial crisis.