A demonstration in Sydney's Belmore Park on Sunday has rounded out a weekend in which pro-democracy and pro-China supporters faced-off over the protests in Hong Kong.
The day before, Beijing loyalists marched from the same park to Town Hall, to voice their opposition to Hong Kong's months-long student-led protests.
“We support peace”. A large number of pro-China demonstrators have gathered in Belmore Park. #HongKong #China #breaking #Protests #BREAKING #centralnews #centralnewsuts @CentralNewsUTS pic.twitter.com/AFFpUhOPj8— William Owens (@WilliamJOw3ns) August 17, 2019
Flanked by dozens of police, the crowd chanted in support of the "One China Principle" and the Chinese Communist Party (CPC).
The march follows simultaneous rallies in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide on Friday night, organised by the pro-Hong Kong movement.
The Sydney protest centred on Martin Place, where around 600 people gathered at the end of the working day.
Central News' reporters covering the rally, discovered a mostly young crowd of international students - deeply passionate about the events at home.
Face masks were common among the crowd while many wore eye patches.
The symbolic gesture was in recognition of a female medic who was injured by police in Hong Kong and who has since become a symbol of the pro democratic movement.
(Images/Mark Kriedemann, Bevin Liu and William Owens)
Dozens of police were on standby as pro-China supporters moved into Martin Place.
They formed a dividing line between the two groups and were forced to break up several clashes.
The pro-China demonstrators, who were similarly young but willing to show their faces, appealed to the media to hear their point of view.
Others however, can be heard shouting obscenities over the police line.(Language warning.)
More demonstrations are planned over the weekend.
- Reporting by Bevin Liu, Mark Kreidemann, Ava Akbarian, Sidney Boen and William Owens.