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British colonial flag raised in Hong Kong as protests against China grow

A protester covers the Hong Kong emblem with Hong Kong colonial flag after they broke into the Legislative Council building in Hong Kong, Monday, July 1, 2019. Protesters in Hong Kong took over the legislature's main building Monday night, tearing down portraits of legislative leaders and spray painting pro-democracy slogans on the walls of the main chamber.(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

A protester covers the Hong Kong emblem with the former British colonial flag (Picture: AP)

Protesters daubed the Hong Kong parliament with graffiti and raised the former British colonial-era flag on the anniversary of the citys handover to China.

The semi-autonomous financial hub woke up to the aftermath of a night of unprecedented anti-government protests.

The parliament was ransacked and China has now called for a criminal probe into the unparalleled challenge to its authority.

Demonstrators have been agitating for weeks over a bill that would allow extraditions to the Chinese mainland.

The issue has now become a lightning rod for resentment towards Beijing, who now have sovereignty over the city.

HONG KONG - JULY 02: A general view of the Legislative Council building is seen after it was damaged by demonstrators during a protest on July 2, 2019 in Hong Kong, China. Thousands of pro-democracy protesters faced off with riot police on Monday during the 22nd anniversary of Hong Kong's return to Chinese rule as riot police officers used batons and pepper spray to push back demonstrators. The city's embattled leader Carrie Lam watched a flag-raising ceremony on a video display from inside a convention centre, citing bad weather, as water-filled barricades were set up around the exhibition centre. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

A general view of the Legislative Council building after it was damaged by demonstrators (Picture: Getty)

HONG KONG - JULY 02: A general view of the Legislative Council building is seen after it was damaged by demonstrators during a protest on July 2, 2019 in Hong Kong, China. Thousands of pro-democracy protesters faced off with riot police on Monday during the 22nd anniversary of Hong Kong's return to Chinese rule as riot police officers used batons and pepper spray to push back demonstrators. The city's embattled leader Carrie Lam watched a flag-raising ceremony on a video display from inside a convention centre, citing bad weather, as water-filled barricades were set up around the exhibition centre. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

Workers have spent Tuesday clearing up after demonstrators (Picture: Getty)

On Monday night – the 22nd anniversary of the handover to China – demonstrators raised the former British colonial flag in the Hong Kong legislative chamber.

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They also scrawled messages such as Hong Kong is not China on the walls and defaced the citys seal with spray paint.

Police charged the building and used tear gas against the activists.

The territorys leader Carrie Lam condemned the extreme use of violence and vandalism by protesters.

Beijing also wasted no time in asking Hong Kong to investigate the criminal responsibility of violent offenders.

They have also told the UK to know its place and stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs after Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Britain remained unwavering in its support for the territory.

He said his heart goes out to the activists who are fighting to keep alive freedoms they have long-enjoyed.

A protester defaces the Hong Kong emblem after they broke into the Legislative Council building in Hong Kong, Monday, July 1, 2019. Protesters in Hong Kong took over the legislature's main building Monday night, tearing down portraits of legislative leaders and spray painting pro-democracy slogans on the walls of the main chamber.(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

A protester defaces the Hong Kong emblem (Picture: AP)

Police fire tear gas at protesters near the government headquarters in Hong Kong early on July 2, 2019. - Hong Kong police fired tear gas early on July 2 to regain control of the city's parliament after thousands of protesters occupied and ransacked the assembly in an unprecedented display of defiance on the anniversary of the territory's handover to China. (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP)ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images

Police fired tear gas at activists near the government headquarters in Hong Kong (Picture: AFP)

Mr Hunt added: When I look at those situations that weve just seen, and those terrible scenes in Hong Kong, my heart goes out to people who do have to fight for their freedoms and who are worried they could lose a very, very precious way of life.

I dont support violence in any circumstances but I understand their worries about changes that are happening in Hong Kong.

The territory has seen a number of mass protests over the last three weeks.

The rallies – including a huge pro-democracy march on Monday – have been largely peaceful while calling on the citys Beijing-appointed Lam to resign.

But they have failed to win concessions, with Lam refusing to permanently shelve the extradition law or step down.

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By Monday some hard-line protesters appeared to have reached breaking point and stormed the legislature.

HONG KONG - JULY 02: A general view of the Legislative Council building is seen after it was damaged by demonstrators during a protest on July 2, 2019 in Hong Kong, China. Thousands of pro-democracy protesters faced off with riot police on Monday during the 22nd anniversary of Hong Kong's return to Chinese rule as riot police officers used batons and pepper spray to push back demonstrators. The city's embattled leader Carrie Lam watched a flag-raising ceremony on a video display from inside a convention centre, citing bad weather, as water-filled barricades were set up around the exhibition centre. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

Activists daubed Hong Kong is not China inside the citys parliament (Picture: Getty)

HONG KONG - JULY 02: A general view of the Legislative Council building is seen after it was damaged by demonstrators during a protest on July 2, 2019 in Hong Kong, China. Thousands of pro-democracy protesters faced off with riot police on Monday during the 22nd anniversary of Hong Kong's return to Chinese rule as riot police officers used batons and pepper spray to push back demonstrators. The city's embattled leader Carrie Lam watched a flag-raising ceremony on a video display from inside a convention centre, citing bad weather, as water-filled barricades were set up around the exhib</br><a href=https://metro.co.uk/2019/07/02/british-colonial-flag-raised-hong-kong-protests-china-grow-10100689/><strong>Read More – Source</strong></a></p> <div id=

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