HONG KONG -- Clouds of tear gas returned to Hong Kong over the weekend as police and protesters clashed, signaling pro-democracy rallies are set to drag on after demonstrators got a boost from an election win and support from the U.S. Congress.
Tensions rose in the former British colony as thousands of black-clad protesters marched in the busy tourist district of Tsim Sha Tsui on Sunday afternoon. Unrest had been brewing since late Saturday, when a group blocked roads and set fire to a subway station entrance.
Hong Kong residents handed an overwhelming victory to pro-democracy candidates in a vote for local district councils on Nov. 24, a stunning repudiation of the city's Beijing-backed government. Still, Chief Executive Carrie Lam didn't make any new concessions to protesters after the poll, a move that could have fueled the anger seen over the weekend.
Police on Sunday said officers fired tear gas in response to protesters throwing bricks at them. Earlier in the day, people carrying U.S. flags and banners marched to the U.S. consulate in a peaceful rally to express gratitude after President Donald Trump signed legislation last week in support of the demonstrators.
Meanwhile, China said it "strongly" opposed an opinion piece by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet in the South China Morning Post on Saturday, accusing her of meddling in the country's affairs and emboldening Hong Kong protesters to commit violence.
Bachelet urged the city's government to conduct a "proper independent and impartial judge-led investigation" into reports of excessive use of force by police. She also called on Lam's administration to "prioritize a long-overdue process" of meaningful and inclusive dialogue with the people of Hong Kong.
Hong Kong's newly appointed police chief Chris Tang said an independent probe into the use of force by police would be unjust, the South China Morning Post reported Sunday, citing comments he made in a radio program.
(c)2019 Bloomberg News
Visit Bloomberg News at www.bloomberg.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.