President Donald Trump has signed a law supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, drawing a furious reaction from Beijing, which on Thursday summoned the USA envoy to China and warned of "firm countermeasures".
Waving British flags, the activists urged Britain to ensure that Hong Kong political dissidents do not suffer the same fate as Simon Cheng, a former British Consulate employee in the city who says he was detained and tortured by Chinese secret police.
In a reflection of Beijing's assertion that the protests are part of a foreign conspiracy, the ministry said the legislation should unite Chinese, including those in Hong Kong, in opposition to "sinister" United States intentions.
Hong Kong police have withdrawn from a university campus trashed by weeks of clashes as pro-democracy activists canvassed social media to promote more protests at the weekend.
Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 into law on Wednesday.
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Protesters plan to assemble on the British consulate at 7 p.m. (1100 GMT) on Friday to induce the British authorities to guard nationals based mostly within the Chinese language territory.
Police public relations chief Superintendent Kwok Ka-chuen said he hoped the peaceful end to the standoff would be a "turning point" in the protest movement.
After more than five months of increasingly violent demonstrations, the Chinese-ruled city has enjoyed relative calm since local elections on Sunday delivered an overwhelming victory to pro-democracy candidates. Protesters disrupted traffic in at least two places but dispersed after police issued warnings.
Chang applauded President Trump for doing something that "his predecessors" did not do-give the people of Hong Kong a voice and protect America from a communism-plagued China that is threatening to go after it.
One legislation requires the State Department to certify annually that China is allowing Hong Kong enough autonomy to guarantee its favorable trading status, and would impose sanctions on Chinese officials who fail to abide by the rules, for example, violating human rights.
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But Beijing lashed out furiously, summoning the U.S. ambassador, threatening unspecified "firm countermeasures" and warning Washington not to implement the legislation.
"I signed these bills out of respect for President Xi, China, and the people of Hong Kong", the president said in a November 27 statement.
Police removed a stash of almost 4,000 gasoline bombs left behind by protesters, who fought pitched battles about two weeks ago with riot officers on surrounding streets.
Police said they found 3,989 petrol bombs, 1,339 explosive items, 601 bottles of corrosive liquid and 573 weapons at the site, before handing control of the premises back to university management at around noon.
The Nov. 19 bill being decried by Beijing-the Hong Kong Human Legal Rights and Democracy Act-was sponsored by Sen. No protesters were found inside.
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The unrest began in June with a huge march against an extradition bill seen as an erosion of freedoms promised when Hong Kong returned to Chinese control in 1997.