Hundreds of Hong Kong protesters have once again taken to the streets of Hong Kong, but this time, they held a rally outside the British Consulate, seeking support from the UK government to press China to maintain freedoms agreed when the city was handed over in 1997.
During the staged demonstration last Sunday (September 15), protesters sang ‘God Save the Queen’ and waved Union Jack flags.
Protesters March at British Consulate to Draw Support from Former Territory
The latest public demonstration has shown direct defiance of a police ban raised by the government in response to the series of protests staged in public during the last 100 days, as shared in a report by BBC World.
Among the demands raised by protesters include full democracy.
This is in response to China’s warning to other countries to not interfere, stating that the situation in Hong Kong is purely its own internal affair.
To this, however, Britain said that it has a legal responsibility to ensure that China abides by the “one country two systems” principle agreed before the handover.
The protesters won a major concession earlier this month when a proposed bill allowing extradition to mainland China, which sparked the latest unrest, was scrapped.
However, this failed to put an end to the unrest as protesters continue to call for democracy and an investigation into allegations of police abuses related to the series of demonstrations held in the special administrative region.
Why the Protest was Held at the UK Consulate
Although Hong Kong is technically part of China as a special administrative region, the “one country, two systems” arrangement gives it a high degree of autonomy and protects rights such as freedom of assembly and freedom of speech.
However, protesters outside the British Consulate rallied behind their cry to renounce the system, shouting “One country, two systems is dead” and “Free Hong Kong”.
According to one of the protesters interviewed by BBC, “It was promised that Hong Kong people would enjoy basic human rights and such protection.”
He added, “We believe that the UK government has the legal rights and moral obligation to protect Hong Kong people.”
To this, China insists it is committed to the arrangement.
Moreover, some of the protesters also want the UK to change the status of its British National (Overseas) passport, issued to Hong Kong residents before the 1997 handover.
The document allows a holder to visit the UK for six months but does not include an automatic right to live or work there.
At this point in time, it seems that public discussion with the Carrie Lam-led government is not being considered by protesters to see an immediate end to the unrest in the country.
Meanwhile, residents including OFWs in the region are advised to avoid joining such demonstrations in public to avoid getting caught in any trouble with the law.