Mainland traders new target of HK protesters

Army soldier saluts to Chinese national flag during an open day of Stonecutters Island naval base in Hong Kong

Activists are this time protesting against mainland traders in a town near the border, channelling energy from huge demonstrations against an extradition bill to another issue that they say the government has mismanaged.

The march marked the one-month anniversary of the start of major protests that have rocked the semi-autonomous territory, sparked by Lam's proposal to change extradition laws to allow suspects to be sent to China to face trial.

The city's leader, Carrie Lam, has pledged to do a better job of listening to all sectors of society, but many protesters want her to resign.

"If you want Hong Kong to move forward, accept reality. step down", he said.

The demonstrators used umbrellas to shield themselves but some suffered stinging injuries, including one man seen receiving treatment in a pool of his own blood.

A protester stands on a fence as others make graffiti on the gate of store during a an anti-parallel trading protest in Sheung Shui district in Hong Kong on July 13, 2019.

China's top delegate in Hong Kong has said on Thursday the focal government in Beijing kept up its help for Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who is thinking about the city's most prominent political emergency since it came back to Chinese guideline in 1997.

Protests against the bill had largely taken place in the central business district, but demonstrators have recently begun to look elsewhere to widen support by taking up narrower, more domestic issues.

The march took place in Sheung Shui, a Hong Kong district not far from the mainland city of Shenzhen.

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Mainland traders have always been a source of anger among those in Hong Kong who say they have fuelled inflation, driven up property prices and dodged taxes.

Clashes broke out between police and some of the protesters towards the end of the otherwise peaceful march.

The demonstrators chanted demands in Mandarin, China's official language, for the Chinese traders to go home.

When Britain returned Hong Kong to China 22 years ago, Chinese Communist leaders promised the city a high degree of autonomy for 50 years.

"If political problems are not solved, social well-being issues will continue to emerge endlessly".

Walking behind a banner that read "strictly enforce the law, stop cross-border traders", the protesters passed by pharmacies and cosmetic shops popular with Chinese tourists and traders who bring goods back to sell in the mainland.

Hong Kong media mogul and democracy advocate Jimmy Lai met with U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence this week over the extradition bill, while singer-activist Denise Ho gave a speech at the U.N. Human Rights Council on suppression of rights and freedom in Hong Kong and called on it to eject China as a member. The legislature in Hong Kong was also severely damaged by vandals when protesters stormed into the building after a full police retreat overnight.

Anti-extradition protesters plan another demonstration on July 14 in the town of Sha Tin, in the so-called New Territories between Hong Kong island and the border with China.

Thousands marched last weekend against middle-aged mainland women who sing loudly and dance somewhat provocatively in a public park.

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