British Columbia

Pro-Hong Kong students, pro-China students hold competing rallies at UBC

On Tuesday evening, competing rallies were held by about 100 pro-Hong Kong supporters and a handful of pro-China students at UBC while security staff looked on.

Heated rallies staged against the backdrop of the Chinese Communist Party's 70th anniversary celebrations

Pro-Hong Kong supporters rally at UBC on Tuesday. (Meera Bains/CBC)

The unrest in Hong Kong over Chinese control continues to have a spill-over effect in Metro Vancouver.

On Tuesday evening, competing rallies were held by about 100 pro-Hong Kong supporters and a handful of pro-China students at UBC while security staff looked on.

Some of the China supporters had been watching celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party.

Some of the Hong Kong students covered their faces for fear their families back home could be targeted.

"They are celebrating the CCP birthday but not the China birthday," said a student named Sabrina. "This is one thing that we need to make clear why we don't agree with CCP because they take away our freedoms in Hong Kong."

"We stand here because of our mother's birthday," said a student on the pro-China side, referring to their country. "Without my mother I am nothing."

Despite some heated moments, the rallies ended peacefully.

In Richmond, a rally in support of Hong Kong organized by high school students attracted about 50 people to the Aberdeen Canada Line station.

Organizers sang Glory to Hong Kong and put up posters and hundreds of Chinese and English messages on a concrete wall, saying things like "Hong Kong is not China" and "Freedom for Hong Kong."

According to footage posted to social media, pro-China supporters arrived later and tore down the entire display. 

With files from Meera Bains, Lien Young

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