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Hong Kong protesters target mainland Chinese traders

Protesters hold up sings that read: "Strict enforcing of law against smugglers of grey goods" in Hong Kong on July 13.
Protesters hold up sings that read: "Strict enforcing of law against smugglers of grey goods" in Hong Kong on July 13.(Kin Cheung/Associated Press)

HONG KONG — Several thousand people marched in Hong Kong on Saturday against traders from mainland China in what is fast becoming a summer of unrest in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

Marching behind a banner that read ‘‘Strictly enforce the law, stop cross-border traders,’’ the protesters passed by pharmacies and cosmetic shops that are popular with Chinese tourists and traders who bring goods back to sell in the mainland. Many of the stores were shuttered because of the protest.

In what has become a common scene, clashes broke out between police and some of the protesters toward the end of the march. Police used pepper spray and batons to disperse the crowd, public broadcaster RTHK reported.

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Major demonstrations in the past month against a proposal to change extradition laws have reawakened other movements in Hong Kong. Thousands marched last weekend against middle-aged mainland women who sing loudly and dance somewhat provocatively in a public park. Some receive tips from older men.

The protests have a common refrain: Hong Kong’s government, led by a non-democratically elected chief executive, is not addressing the people’s concerns.

Amy Chan, a 25-year-old bank employee who joined Saturday’s march, called it a continuing action following up on the momentum of the anti-extradition law protests.

‘‘There isn’t an anti-extradition protest every day to keep us going,’’ she said. ‘‘I hope that through today’s action, people in Hong Kong will not forget that there are actually many other social issues waiting to be solved.’’

The city’s leader, Carrie Lam, has pledged to do a better job of listening to all sectors of society, but many protesters want her to resign.