Hong Kong protests target China border as demands for change evolve
Mass demonstrations began weeks ago in opposition to a proposed extradition bill that would allow for suspects to be sent to the mainland to face trial.
Protests against the bill had largely taken place in the central business district, but demonstrators have recently begun to look elsewhere to widen support by taking up narrower, more domestic issues.PHILIP FONG / AFP - Getty Images
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SHEUNG SHUI, Hong Kong — A protest movement that began in the heart of Hong Kong edged closer to the mainland Saturday as activists opposed to China's influence over the territory took their fight to the border.
Thousands of people took to the streets of the Hong Kong territorial town of Sheung Shui, not far from the Chinese city of Shenzhen.
The march was aimed at mainland Chinese traders who locals claim have fueled inflation, driven up property prices, dodged taxes and diluted the town's identity.
It started peacefully but devolved into scuffles and shouting. Protesters threw umbrellas and hardhats at police, who retaliated by swinging batons and firing pepper spray.
Mass demonstrations began weeks ago in opposition to a proposed extradition bill that would allow for suspects to be sent to the mainland to face trial, but have since expanded into a broader repudiation of Beijing's growing influence.
Although Hong Kong's chief executive Carrie Lam seemingly backed down on the bill — first postponing it indefinitely and then pronouncing it "dead" earlier this week — protesters have continued to organize.