The crowd gathered peacefully near central government offices in the Admiralty district urging the United States to pass a Hong Kong human rights act to ensure democracy for the former British colony, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
Some protesters waved the U.S. flag and carried posters reading “We Want Democracy” and “Free HK”.
The bill supports human rights in Hong Kong with measures under consideration such as annual reviews of its special economic status and sanctions on those who undermine its autonomy. The text will not be finalised until it passes both houses of Congress and is signed by the president.
The protesters are angry at what they see as Beijing’s tightening grip on the city which was guaranteed 50 years of freedoms under the “one country, two systems” formula under which it returned to China. Beijing rejects the charge and accuses Western countries, especially the United States and Britain, of stirring up trouble.
(Production: Joyce Zhou, Ronn Bautista, Juarawee Kittisilpa)