Church faithful in Vancouver, who had prayed for Hong Kong, escorted by police because they were besieged by a pro-Beijing group. Events also in Toronto and Calgary. In Australia, in Sydney and Melbourne, pressure against students from Hong Kong. Tensions also in London and Paris.
Vancouver (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The confrontation between Hong Kong's population and Beijing's claims to dominate the territory is also spreading among Chinese communities abroad.
While in Hong Kong a pro-democracy demonstration against the extradition took place peacefully - with more than 1.7 million people - in Canada, Australia and Great Britain, thousands of Chinese marched in support of freedom in Hong Kong. But they had to deal with the chants and intimidation of pro-Beijing groups.
In Vancouver (Canada), the police protected the faithful of the Tenth Church who had gathered to pray for Hong Kong. Outside, in fact, they were surrounded by a hundred people waving Chinese flags and shouting slogans against them. Another confrontation between pro-Beijing and pro-Hong Kong protesters took place at a subway station. Similar events have also occurred in Calgary and Toronto, where there is a large Chinese community.
Yesterday in Sydney (Australia), hundreds of people gathered to support democracy in Hong Kong. The Chinese ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye criticized the rally, accusing the anti-extradition movement of "violent behavior". He reiterated Beijing's official judgment that "Hong Kong affairs are an internal affair to China". In recent days in Melbourne and other universities, pro-Beijing groups of people have torn up pro-Hong Kong posters and threatened the people who hung them.
In London, a thousand people took part in two pro-Hong Kong demonstrations. But even here they had to confront pro-Beijing groups that waving Chinese flags accused them of being "traitors to their homeland" and claiming that "Hong Kong is part of China forever".
Yesterday, also in Paris, about 50 people - from Hong Kong, Taiwan, but also Chinese from the continent - demonstrated in support of the demonstrations of the former British colony, shouting slogans such as "Freedom for Hong Kong" and also "Freedom for China". An even larger demonstration took place close by, with Chinese flags and slogans against "the Hong Kong rioters" and their "violence".