The Chinese government nevertheless denounced the actions taken by Trump and the U.S. Congress as "pure interference in China's internal affairs" and risibly predicted Hong Kongers would reject it as "sinister" evidence of America's "hegemonic intentions".
Hundreds of silver-haired activists joined young Hong Kong protesters for a unity rally Saturday, vowing that their monthslong movement will not fade away until there is greater democracy in the Chinese territory.
A few escaped the cordon, but police said that they arrested 810 people and recorded the details of 300 minors who could later face charges.
Trump's signing of the bill grew his popularity in Hong Kong, with the Trump-Rocky photo serving as a fitting symbol of the demonstrators' approval of the president.
China's foreign ministry said the support for the protesters, who have at times paralyzed parts of the city with mass transport disruptions, university occupations and clashes with police, amounts to backing for "violent criminals". The conflict, which reached a peak in the last few weeks during a police siege of a university, has worsened already tense ties between the China and the USA, which Beijing claims has had a "black hand" in instigating the anti-government protests.
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Ren said that the PLA Hong Kong Garrison is always ready to follow orders from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Central Military Commission.
Hong Kong - a business and trade gateway for China as an global financial centre - has been mired in often violent anti-government protests for almost six months.
The legislation slaps economic sanctions on individuals who commit human rights violations in Hong Kong and bars them from entering the US.
"Markets got jittery this week as Trump put pen to paper and signed the Hong Kong bill, which works to support protesters in Hong Kong", note Danske Bank analysts.
The Hong Kong police have lifted the lockdown at Polytechnic University, ending the stand-off that has continued for almost two weeks.
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"I appeal the government to take important confidence-building measures, including a proper independent and impartial judge-led investigation into reports of excessive use of force by the police", Bachelet wrote.
"My mum asked me to come and protect her. It has been quiet after the district elections and that is unexpected", senior citizen protester Ponn's 26-year-old daughter told Reuters.
"Starting from day one I have been involved in this movement and there is no reason to stop now", said Ko.
Thus, after President Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, demonstrators in Hong Kong paraded with American flags and, in a touching moment, sang the Star-Spangled Banner and chanted "USA!"
"Today is a cross-age group meeting and there are a lot of middle school students".
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