- Hong Kong protesters are calling on Donald Trump to help end their confrontation with the government.
- Thousands waved American flags and marched in front of the US consulate on Sunday.
- “President Trump, please liberate Hong Kong,” one of their banners read, according to CNN.
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Protesters in Hong Kong are calling on Donald Trump to help end their three-month confrontation with the government.
Tens of thousands marched in front of the US consulate in Hong Kong on Sunday, many of them waving American flags, according to CNN. Demonstrators said their fight for liberty and democracy aligned with American values, and the superpower should lend them a hand. “President Trump, please liberate Hong Kong,” one of their banners read.
Trump hasn’t taken a side in the dispute. “The Hong Kong thing is a very tough situation, very tough,” the president told reporters in August. “We’ll see what happens but I’m sure it will work out. I hope it works out for everybody – including China, by the way.”
However, the Chinese government has accused the Trump administration of backing the demonstrators. “It is an open secret in Hong Kong that the forces protesting the extradition bill have been sponsored by the US,” the Global Times, a Chinese state-run tabloid, said in an editorial in July.
The protests began after Hong Kong’s government proposed a bill allowing fugitives to be extradited to China. Locals feared the law could lead to critics of the Chinese government being detained on trumped up charges, shipped off to the mainland, and thrown in prison.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam scrapped the bill this week, but protesters remain unappeased. They’ve demanded several other concessions including her resignation, an independent investigation into police brutality, and charges against demonstrators to be dropped.
The protests have led to widespread disruptions. Demonstrators set fire to a barricade outside a subway station on Sunday, CNN said. Hundreds of them stormed the government’s legislative headquarters in July, and they shut down Hong Kong International Airport for two days last month. They’ve also forced businesses to temporarily shut up shop: Tiffany’s lost at least six days’ worth of sales last quarter.