Hong Kong gears up for weekend protests after rare lull in violence


President Trump, ignoring warnings from China, signed into law Wednesday two bills targeting Hong Kong authorities and supporting pro-democracy protesters there.

"Facts have proven that the United States is the biggest culprit in disrupting Hong Kong", said the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of China's State Council in a statement, which said "all Chinese, including Hong Kong people" were against the act.

This was followed by South Korea's Kospi index (KOSPI) and Japan's Nikkei 225 (N225) moving down 0.1% and 0.4%, respectively.

Dozens of American flags fluttered in the wind on Thanksgiving night in Hong Kong as thousands gathered at a rally in appreciation of the USA passage of two bills supporting human rights in Hong Kong that were signed into law by President Trump.

Additionally, the document allows for sanctions against officials involved in human rights abuses in the territory and could result in the removal of special trade benefits.

"We remind the USA that Hong Kong is part of China and Hong Kong affairs are China's internal affairs and no foreign government or force shall interfere", read the statement.

The statement also noted that newly appointed Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne raised the issue of Hong Kong protests with his Chinese counterpart during a G20 meeting in Japan last week.

China's foreign ministry called the laws a "naked hegemonic action" that seriously interfered in Hong Kong and China's internal affairs, violated worldwide law and "fundamental norms of global relations". "I have every confidence that Hong Kong can bounce back, as we always do".

Singer and activist Denise Ho led the crowd in singing the popular protest anthem Glory to Hong Kong.

Also signed into law was a bill that would prohibit the export of US control equipment to the Hong Kong police force.

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U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, adding that he would selectively enforce only certain portions of the legislation.

Police did not encounter any protesters.

A rally planned for Dec.8 by Civil Human Rights Front, the group that organised million-strong marches in June, is expected to provide the best gauge of how support for the pro-democracy movement is holding up. "The kind of measures will depend on how serious the USA actions are".

"The legislation gives encouragement to Hong Kong people and lets them know they are not alone in their quest for freedom and democracy", said Tsai in a media interview after inaugurating a national nature park in Kaohsiung.

The comment was likely a message to the USA that regardless of how the Hong Kong elections turned out, China would brook no opposition to Communist Party rule.

Mr Trump signed into law legislation which supported the protesters despite angry objections from Beijing.

Pro-democracy activists are calling the move a "timely Thanksgiving present".

After university leaders said nearly all protesters had left, police teams moved in on Thursday to gather a huge haul of Molotov cocktails and other weapons left behind after the occupation.

"I and my government are listening to our people with a view to resolving some deep-seated problems in Hong Kong through dialogue", she said. Since then and despite the withdrawal of the bill, street protests have evolved into a broader democratic movement and demands for full democracy.