Dozens arrested in Hong Kong protests targeting traders in China

Dozens arrested in Hong Kong protests targeting traders in China
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Police arrested several dozen protesters in Hong Kong on Sunday after a demonstration near the border targeted traders from the Mainland, according to Reuters.

Demonstrators in Sheung Shui chanted slogans decrying Chinese “parallel traders” who sell duty-free Hong Kong goods in China at a profit, which Hong Kong residents have blamed for pushing up prices in the semi-autonomous city.

“The mainland Chinese come here, block the streets with their bags ... rents have gone up and it has made things more expensive for Hong Kongers,” Jasmin, a 19-year-old student who declined to give her last name, told the news service. “I want the government to know that too many of them are coming over here.”

After the march concluded, several masked protesters remained in the area even after organizers called on them to disperse, with riot police firing pepper spray and striking protesters with batons at one point.

The demonstrations began early last summer after Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam introduced legislation that would allow the extradition of some criminal suspects to China. Lam later withdrew the bill but protests continued, with demonstrators calling for her resignation and a third-party probe of police brutality against earlier gatherings.