Thousands held a parade in Hong Kong on Dec. 1 to thank the American people for passing the Human Rights and Democracy Act.
“Thank you to the American people and thank you President Trump. Thank you so much,” said protester Eddy Wong.
The bill supports the Hong Kong people’s fight for democracy and autonomy. For protesters, it is the latest sign that the United States is standing with them.
“Without their support I don’t think we could run such a long way,” Wong added.
The bill means the United States will sanction Chinese officials if they undermine basic freedoms in Hong Kong.
The Chinese Communist Party reacted angrily to its signing.
“But I think they can’t do anything because they still have to make a [trade] deal with the Americans,” another protester Lee said.
Attendees blamed the city’s six months of unrest on Beijing eroding their rights and freedoms.
“They [our freedoms] are definitely deteriorating fast, and we are alert to the situation,” protester Jack said.
“We are all afraid of the [Chinese] Communist Party,” Lee said. “We have to stand out and fight for our freedom.”
Attendees waved American flags and held signs thanking the United States. The parade paused at the American Consulate where attendees sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
All but one of the weekend’s pro-democracy demonstrations ended peacefully. Tensions did escalate at the originally peaceful “don’t forget our original intentions” parade.
Police used pepper spray and force against attendees. The event was originally approved by police but was made illegal twenty minutes before the scheduled end time.
Reporting by Paul Greaney, NTD News, Hong Kong