Ten weeks of political protest and civil unrest in Hong Kong has come to a head with clashes between pro-China and pro-democracy supporters in Australian cities including Sydney. Pro-democracy protesters have been fighting against the controversial Extradition Bill, which would allow some suspects to the transferred to mainland China.
The Hong Kong protesters claim that the Extradition Bill would allow the government to “disappear” political opponents at the request of mainland China. Protesters have also expressed concern over the Hong Kong government’s response to the on-going demonstrations, which claiming to be victims of police brutality.
However this sentiment is not shared on the mainland Chinese side of the border and in the Chinese international student community, with many seeing the Hong Kong protesters as an attempt by foreign powers to interfere in China’s domestic affairs. Many Chinese feel that the Hong Kong protesters are disloyal to the motherland especially with the increasing number of British Colonial flags and American flags being present at demonstrations.
Rallies in major Australian cities on Friday 16 August have attracted confrontations between Hong Kong and China supporters, with Victorian Police arresting two people for assault outside the State Library in Melbourne. South Australian Police were also forced to intervene as the two groups become hostile in Adelaide.
Photos from the Solidarity with Hong Kong rally in Sydney’s Martin Place on Friday 16 August 2019