The streets of Hong Kong came alive once again on Sunday as thousands of pro-democracy protesters sang the Star Spangled Banner and called on U.S. President Donald Trump to “liberate” the Chinese-ruled city.
Some carried banners reading, “President Trump, please save Hong Kong” and “Make Hong Kong great again” as the protests, now in their 14th straight week, continue to roil the former British colony.
China has consistently warned other countries not to interfere, maintaining the situation is purely its own internal affair. Donald Trump’s administration has previously urged China to exercise restraint, with Defence Secretary Mark Esper on Saturday repeating that message.
Esper made his call in Paris as police in Hong Kong prevented protesters from blocking access to the city’s international airport but fired tear gas for a second night running in the densely populated district of Mong Kok.
For their part, protesters are asking the U.S. to pass a proposed “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act”, which Democratic Senators are pushing for consideration next week.
The law would require the U.S. to certify Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy on an annual basis to justify its special trade status.
It could also expose Chinese officials to U.S. sanctions if they were found responsible for suppressing Hong Kong’s freedoms.
The U.S. State Department said in a travel advisory Friday that Beijing has undertaken a propaganda campaign “falsely accusing the United States of fomenting unrest in Hong Kong.” It said U.S. citizens and embassy staff have been the target of the propaganda and urged them to exercise increased caution.
As Breitbart News reported, in a significant concession to the pro-democracy protesters, the Hong Kong government this week withdrew the extradition bill that sparked the rallies. The protests continue, however, with demonstrators now arguing the concession is not enough.
AP contributed to this story