Nearly 200 arrested at Hong Kong democracy rally
Hong Kong • Hong Kong police have arrested nearly 200 people after tens of thousands of residents joined a massive march to push for democracy.
Anger at mainland China has never been greater after Beijing warned recently it holds the ultimate authority over the freewheeling capitalist enclave despite promises to allow a high degree of autonomy after British rule ended in 1997.
Police said 196 people were arrested for unlawful assembly and preventing police from carrying out their duties.
Police said 98,600 people joined the rally at its peak, while organizers estimated the size at 510,000. Participants had hoped to surpass the 500,000 who turned out in 2003 for the city's biggest-ever demonstration to protest against a planned anti-subversion law.
July 1, a public holiday marking the handover of Hong Kong from London to Beijing in 1997, has become an annual day of protest. This year a focal point for demonstrators' anger is a policy document, or "white paper," released last month by China's Cabinet that said Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy is not inherent but is authorized by the central government.