Dozens of activists from the pro-democracy League of Social Democrats party marched from the HSBC headquarters to the former government offices in Central. The group intended to go to Government House where Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying was set to have a dinner with visiting Chinese state leader Zhang Dejiang at around 6:30pm.
Zhang – China’s no. 3 official – arrived in the city on Tuesday to attend a Belt and Road Initiative summit hosted by the government.
The group began the march at around 5:45pm. They chanted “No to Belt and Road Initiative”, “end Chinese dictatorship”,”universal suffrage in China”, “release Liu Xiaobo”, “Release all political prisoners”, “Zhang Dejiang go to hell”, “I want genuine universal suffrage” and “Leung Chun-ying step down” as they moved along Garden Road.
They also accused Zhang of being a “SARS murderer”, claiming that – when Zhang was in charge of Guangdong Province in 2003 – he tried to cover up the SARS pandemic in China as it spread to Hong Kong, costing 299 lives.
However, they were stopped at the former government offices on Lower Albert Road.
Police officers scuffled with protesters as they attempted to push through to Government House.
As a stalemate set in, protesters said they wished to walk back along Garden Road at 6:35pm. However, police officers would not allow them to pass, saying Garden Road was blocked.
The protesters then read out a statement condemning Zhang’s visit, and said they wished to leave.
“No matter how the police try to erase our voice of opposition, I believe many Hongkongers will use their own methods to express their discontent towards the Chinese Communist regime,” Ng said.
By 7:30pm, protesters were allowed to leave the area.
Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.