Tensions between different groups of New Zealand’s Chinese community flared again on Tuesday during a rally organised in support of anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.
About 100 people, including opposition MP David Seymour, attended the two-hour rally at the University of Auckland. The event was organised by students opposing the now-suspended extradition bill, legislation that would allow suspects of serious crimes to be sent from Hong Kong to other jurisdictions, including mainland China.
The largely peaceful rally was briefly interrupted by an unidentified pro-Beijing supporter, who held up a placard that read: “Hong Kong independence mob”. He left after a confrontation with one of the rally-goers, which was filmed by other attendees.
“I can feel there is increasing tension,” Serena Lee, from rally organiser the We Are Hong Konger group, said in a video of the event on the group’s Facebook page. “We’re actually opposing the extradition bill. But they [mainland students] see this as an action to oppose the Chinese government.”