Last month Trump suggested China should “humanely” settle the problem in Hong Kong before a trade deal is reached with Washington. Earlier Trump called the protests “riots” that were a matter for China to deal with.

Sunday’s protest was peaceful, compared with some other rallies that have turned violent in recent weeks, with police responding at various times with water cannons, rubber bullets and tear gas. Riot police were able to hold their lines in a standoff in the Central MTR (mass transit railway) station, near Sunday’s march, where several protesters were detained after a fire was started at one entrance.

“With the US locked in a trade war with China at this point in time, it’s a good opportunity for us to show (the United States) how the pro-China groups are also violating human rights in Hong Kong and allowing police brutality,” said Cherry, 26, who works in the financial industry, as protesters marched towards the US consulate nearby.