About 150 protesters from pro-democracy groups waved banners and shouted “China needs democracy” and “End one party rule” as Li and his convoy arrived at Hong Kong’s new government buildings for an opening ceremony.
Scuffles broke out between police — who outnumbered the protesters — and the group as they tried to lift a mock coffin symbolising those killed in the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown in China.
“We have no expectations of (Li) whatsoever,” Leung Kwok-hung, an outspoken lawmaker who was among the protesters told AFP, as the group was cordoned off to a footbrige about 150 metre (490 feet) from the government offices.
“China’s human rights record has been very bad all these years. He is just a bureaucrat. I don’t expect much to change (if he becomes premier),” said Leung.
Earlier, another smaller group of protesters were carried away by the police outside the University of Hong Kong as Li attended an event at the campus.
The protesters, some clad in “Vindicate June 4” t-shirts referring to Tiananmen Square, had attempted to enter the university but were stopped by the police.
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