Hong Kong activists raise almost $A1m

Over $HK5 million has been raised for a campaign to highlight the territory's extradition bill.
Over $HK5 million has been raised for a campaign to highlight the territory's extradition bill.

Hong Kong activists have raised more than $HK5 million ($A920,500) in a crowdfunding campaign to take out newspaper ads, in a bid to get a controversial extradition bill on the agenda at the G20 summit.

Millions have taken to the streets of the former British colony this month to protest against the bill, that would allow people to be sent to mainland China for trial, plunging the city into political crisis and posing a grave challenge to Communist Party rulers in Beijing.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam suspended the bill in a dramatic climbdown, saying she had heard the protesters "loud and clear", but the activists are demanding the bill be scrapped altogether.

"We now need your support: get our voices heard at your governments and consulates; let freedom prevail at the upcoming G20 summit and beyond," a draft of an ad that appeared on the group's gogetfunding.com page said.

"We can be saved, if you act now," said the ad, which was signed Hong Kong Citizens, Vanguards of Freedom.

G20 leaders meet in the Japanese city of Osaka this week. The Hong Kong protesters plan another demonstration on Wednesday to raise awareness among world leaders ahead of the summit.

The campaign is certain to rile Beijing, after Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Jun said China would not allow the G20 nations to discuss Hong Kong.

Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997, since when it has been governed under a "one country, two systems" formula that allows freedoms not enjoyed in mainland China, including freedom to protest and an independent judiciary.

But many accuse China of increased meddling over the years, obstructing democratic reforms, interfering with elections and of being behind the disappearance of five Hong Kong-based booksellers who specialised in works critical of Chinese leaders.

Opponents of the extradition bill fear it would put them at the mercy of Chinese courts, controlled by the Communist Party, with a record of arbitrary detentions, torture and other human rights violations.

Australian Associated Press