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U.S. flag-waving Hong Kongers urge Trump to "liberate" city

Protesters wave US national flags as they march from Chater Garden to the US consulate in Hong Kong on September 8
Protesters wave American flags as they march to the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong on Thursday. Photo: Vivek PrakashAFP/Getty Images

Thousands of Hong Kong protesters marching to the U.S. Consulate Sunday sang the U.S. national anthem and called on President Trump to "liberate" the Chinese-controlled territory as police looked on, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: This is the latest in a series of weeks-long demonstrations that have plunged the Asian financial hub into its worst crisis in decades. The protests show no sign of abating, despite Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam saying on Wednesday that she was formally withdrawing a bill that would have seen citizens extradited to mainland China — a key demand of protesters.

  • Hong Kongers have enjoyed a high degree of autonomy since the former British colony was returned to China in 1997, and pro-democracy protesters are concerned there may be a crackdown by Chinese authorities.

The big picture: Protesters say the announcement of the bill's withdrawal was "too little, too late" and that several of their key demands had not been met.

  • The Chinese government has ramped up its rhetoric in recent weeks, comparing demonstrators to terrorists on several occasions and accusing the U.S. and the U.K. of encouraging the protests.
  • The U.S. State Department updated its Hong Kong travel advisory, warning that U.S. citizens and consular employees had been the targets of a recent propaganda campaign by China "falsely accusing the United States of fomenting unrest."

Go deeper: Hong Kong's people stand up to China