HK protesters, police clash as demonstrations target Chinese traders

Army soldier saluts to Chinese national flag during an open day of Stonecutters Island naval base in Hong Kong

Demonstrations took place on Saturday in Sheung Shui, a district that lies across the border from the mainland city of Shenzhen.

The government condemned violence during Saturday's protests against so-called "parallel traders" from the mainland who buy goods in bulk in Hong Kong, to carry into China for profit.

A video recorded by the local media and shared online by the demonstration showed demonstrators using umbrellas to defend themselves against the staggering riot police, while other demonstrators were received with pepper spray.

A protester hangs from a bridge as police officers try to pull him up after a scuffle with police pushing back protesters, in Hong Kong, Saturday, July 13, 2019.

Mainland traders have always been a source of anger among those in Hong Kong who say they have fuelled inflation, driven up property prices and dodged taxes.

"Our lovely town has become chaos", said Ryan Lai, 50, a local resident.

They said they aren't against the travel and buying, but want it to be orderly and legal.

A huge number of individuals have rampaged of Hong Kong in the previous month in the absolute biggest and most rough showings in decades to challenge a proposed removal charge that would enable individuals to be sent to territory China for preliminary.

"The police also discovered that some had planned and distributed helmets, eye masks on a large scale near the Sheung Shui MTR station".

Sheung Shui boasts dozens of pharmacies and cosmetic stores that are hugely popular with mainland merchants who snap up goods in Hong Kong - where there is no sales tax - and resell them across the border.

Lam said in a news conference there were "doubts about the government's sincerity", but "the bill is dead".

The town has previously been a battleground for Hong Kong people angry over the flood of Chinese day-trippers. It has been a problem for years but never been solved. "How can they hit us with batons?" he said, staring at a pool of blood where one of his peers was treated.

Hong Kong's lack of full democracy was behind the recent unrest, said Jimmy Sham of the Civil Human Rights Front, which organised protests against the extradition bill.

"The Hong Kong police is calling on the participants of the protest to end violent actions and disperse as quickly as possible", the police statement read.

Similar protests have included a march last week by almost 2,000 people in the Tuen Mun residential district to protest against what they saw as the nuisance of brash singing and dancing to Mandarin pop songs by middle-aged mainland women.

Beijing's top representative in Hong Kong on Thursday offered words of support for the beleaguered Carrie Lam administration, saying the central government stands by the territory's leadership in the wake of the extradition bill controversy.

By Greg Torode and Vimvam Tong.

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