Asia-Pacific

HK protesters deface China liaison office

Protesters are preparing to hit the streets of Hong Kong again on Sunday. (AAP)

Activists in Hong Kong have defied police orders and marched beyond the official finish point of a rally to make their way toward Beijing's Liaison Office.

Thousands of protesters have descended on China's representative office in Hong Kong as anger over an extradition bill morphs into a fresh front against what many see as a broader erosion of freedoms by the city's political masters in Beijing.

Millions have rallied over the past two months in an unprecedented show of force against Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, triggering the worst social turmoil to rock the former British colony since it returned to Chinese rule 22 years ago.

Activists, many clad in black and wearing masks, defied police orders and marched beyond the official finish point of a rally that took place earlier on Sunday to make their way toward Beijing's Liaison Office.

"We are a bit worried about seeing no police here. Is it a trap? We won't try to occupy. Just surround. We will decide later how long to stay," said a young activist who was among the first to arrive and asked not to be identified.

Some protesters pelted eggs at the walls of the Liaison Office, as others blocked key roads in scenes reminiscent of democracy protests in 2014 that paralysed parts of the city.

"The police are terribly worried, I understand, about possible scuffles, clashes ... violence around the government and legislative complexes and the police headquarters," said pro-democracy legislator Claudia Mo.

Authorities used blue and white water-filled barriers to barricade government and police headquarters, while global bank HSBC, in a rare move, pulled down large metal barriers on the street level of its gleaming skyscraper building.

The city's police force has come under scrutiny after officers fired rubber bullets and tear gas last month to disperse demonstrators in some of the worst violence to roil Hong Kong in decades.

The latest protest comes a day after tens of thousands gathered to voice support for the police, whom some have accused of using excessive force against activists, and demand an end to the violence.

Police late on Friday seized explosives and weapons in an industrial building in the New Territories district of Tsuen Wan. Three people were arrested. Police described the seizure as the largest of its kind in Hong Kong.

They said it was unclear whether the explosives were related to the protest.

Sunday's march focused on calls for the full withdrawal of the extradition bill, which would allow people to be extradited to mainland China for trial, and an independent investigation into complaints of police brutality.

Other demands include charges against protesters to be dropped and universal suffrage.

"I came back to Hong Kong this summer because of the protests," said Mandy Ko, 27, who is originally from Hong Kong and now lives in Australia.

"My spirit is still with Hong Kong people."

Lam has apologised for the turmoil the extradition bill has caused and declared it "dead". Opponents of the bill, which they fear could be used to silence dissent, say nothing short of its withdrawal will do.

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