China to suspend US Navy visits to Hong Kong


A day earlier police again resorted to firing tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters as they marched past the city's Kowloon waterfront, after first going to the US consulate on Hong Kong island to show gratitude for Washington's support.

A pro-democracy protester shouts after being detained by policemen during a rally in Hong Kong, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. Still, protesters are keen to maintain the momentum of their movement.

Anti-government protests have rocked the former British colony since June, at times forcing government offices, businesses, schools and even the worldwide airport to shut down.

Hong Kong has seen nearly nonstop protests for six months demanding democratic elections and an investigation into police use of force at the demonstrations.

China's Foreign Ministry said on Monday (Dec 2) that it has suspended the review of requests by United States military ships and aircraft to visit Hong Kong, in response to legislation passed by U.S. lawmakers in support of protesters in the China-ruled territory.

Meanwhile, China accused the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet, of emboldening "radical violence" in Hong Kong by suggesting the city's leader conduct an investigation into reports of excessive use of force by police. The procession started from the Hong Kong Cultural Centre on the harbourfront and headed to Hung Hom - a route approved by police.

Riot officers fired tear gas and pepper-spray balls in clashes with protesters Sunday night.

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong on Monday, several hundred people who work in advertising started a five-day strike Monday to show support for anti-government protests in the territory.

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Demonstrators in Hong Kong are angry at what they see as Chinese meddling in the freedoms promised to the former British colony when it returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

China denies interfering, says it is committed to the "one country, two systems" formula put in place at that time and has blamed foreign forces for fomenting unrest.

Earlier, a smaller rally marched peacefully to the USA consulate to thank American lawmakers for passing legislation backing the protest movement.

In confrontations that began last week, Maoming protesters pelted police with bricks and set off fireworks, forcing authorities to announce Sunday that they would not be building a crematorium on plot of unused land in the area.

Carrying yellow balloons and waving banners that read "No tear gas, save our children", the protesters streamed through the city's central business district towards government headquarters on the main Hong Kong island.

A 70-year-old retiree in a blue aviator sunglasses and a gray tracksuit, who gave his name as Ko, said seniors could offer guidance to the younger protesters.

Police have fired around 10,000 rounds of tear gas since June, the city's secretary for security, John Lee, said this week. Demonstrations in Hong Kong stretched into its sixth month as pro-democracy groups won the recent District Council elections, continuing demands for an independent inquiry into police brutality, the retraction of the word "riot" to describe the rallies, and genuine universal suffrage.

Beijing is deeply suspicious of all non-governmental organizations, particularly those involved in humanitarian causes, gender equality, the environment or minority rights.