Hundreds protest at Vancouver's Chinese consulate in solidarity with Hong Kong

Hundreds protest at Vancouver's Chinese consulate in solidarity with Hong Kong

Lam has defiantly vowed to press ahead with the controversial legislation despite deep concerns across the Asian financial hub that triggered on Sunday its biggest political demonstration since its handover from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

The Civil Human Rights Front condemned the searches, saying authorities had made people afraid to participate in peaceful gatherings.

Up to one million people shut down the heart of the city, three days before the Legislative Council is slated to take up the bill.

Residents marched for hours, chanting "No China extradition" and slogans calling for Lam to resign, a backlash that underscored the rising anxiety and frustration many feel at the erosion of liberties in Hong Kong. The massive protest saw hundreds of officers, many wearing riot gear and equipped with batons and plastic shields, preparing to stop the crowd's advance. (Li Yi/The Epoch Times) At least 22 protesters were injured after Hong Kong police used tear gas, rubber bullets, and bean bags to clear the crowd, on June 12, 2019. "This is our home", said Raven Tse, a protester who had taken leave from work to attend.

But proponents have not managed to get people onto the streets in anything like the numbers seen in Sunday's opposition protest, making it hard to gauge genuine public support.

A vote on the amended laws is scheduled for June 20.

The extradition bill has sparked unusually wide concerns, both locally and internationally, that the bill risks further encroachment from Chinese officials and threatens the rule of law that underpins Hong Kong's worldwide financial status.

The territory is a major destination for US legal and accounting services and in 2018 the largest USA bilateral trade-in-goods surplus was with Hong Kong at $31.1 billion. However, many Hong Kongers have little faith in the government's assurances after years of heightened fears that a resurgent Beijing is trying to quash the city's unique freedoms and culture.

A Hong Kong police spokesman defended the decision to use tear gas and other non-deadly weapons. "We also appeal to the people who are stationed to ... disperse as soon as possible, and not to try to defy/challenge the law", he said.

'Now we are back!' she said as supporters echoed her words.

In the morning, streams of fellow protesters clad in black joined them in a show of defiance against the extradition bill.

"Just look at this people power, in particular this young people power".

"Carrie Lam is provoking us". After demonstrations, however, Lam seemed more committed to the bill's passage than ever before, insisting that it would help to improve the current legal system.

Under the proposed law, Hong Kong residents, as well as foreign and Chinese nationals living or travelling through the city, would all be at risk if they were wanted on the mainland.

A 50-year agreement between Hong Kong's former colonial ruler, Britain, and China theoretically means the city is guaranteed freedoms of speech and assembly unseen on the Chinese mainland.

The so-called Umbrella Movement protests were launched in 2014 to demand the direct election of the city's top leader after China reneged on promises of universal suffrage by 2017.

Analysts, however, say any move to end such special treatment could prove self-defeating for the United States, whose firms have benefited from the business-friendly conditions in Hong Kong.

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