Hong Kong protesters take aim at Chinese traders

The People's Liberation Army soldiers take part in a performance during an open day of Stonecutters Island naval base in Hong Kong

Saturday's demonstration began peacefully, but later broke down into skirmishes and shouting.

He said Hong Kong people must be allowed to vote for their leader.

"A growing number of citizens have learned from a string of violent incidents recently that tolerating illegal behavior or giving excuses to violent acts would present a blatant challenge to the spirit of rule of law in Hong Kong, damage the interests of all Hong Kong people at the end", Wang said. March organizers said roughly 30,000 participated.

On Saturday, the protesters chanted slogans in Mandarin asking Chinese traders to go home.

"Restore Sheung Shui to its former glory", "Restore our serenity" and "Kick out parallel traders", shouted many at the march earlier in the day. (EPA/AAP) Protesters take part in a rally in the Sheung Shui district, in the New Territories in Hong Kong, China, 13 July 2019.

The traders are an ongoing source of contention in Hong Kong, where many say they fuel inflation, drive up property prices and dodge taxes.

Parallel traders buy goods tax-free in Hong Kong to resell them in mainland China.

"We don't want to stop travel and buying, but please, just make it orderly and legal", Lai said. Hundreds of protesters stormed Hong Kong's parliament late on July 1 as the territory marked its China handover anniversary, ransacking the building and daubing its walls with graffiti as the city plunged into unprecedented depths of political chaos.

Many shops popular with parallel traders and mainland tourists closed in Sheung Shui, fearing being targeted by protesters. But many say Beijing has been increasingly tightening its grip, putting Hong Kong's freedoms under threat.

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Lam suspended the legislation indefinitely after protesters blocked the legislature on June 12, preventing the Legislative Council from meeting to debate the extradition bill.

"If political problems are not solved, social well-being issues will continue to emerge endlessly".

Police used pepper spray and batons to disperse the crowd as fleeing protesters scrambled over each other, with some falling to the ground.

Saturday's march took place in Sheung Shui, a district that lies across the border from the mainland city of Shenzhen.

Protesters ripped up median barriers and fences to set up roadblocks and defenses.

Protesters accused police of charging without warning.

"We have no weapons and we were peaceful".

"They are the most important power left that can stand up to China", added the 30-year-old man, who gave his name only as David, declining to reveal his surname.

In a video posted on social media, Senior Superintendent Kong Wing-cheung of the Hong Kong police public relations department said the protest had now ended, and called on demonstrators to leave the area.

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