Around 200 demonstrators calling for free Hong Kong and free Tibet were met with tens of Chinese counter-demonstrators who displayed posters saying Tibet and Hong Kong are “China's forever”.
The solidarity demonstrators joined hands in a symbolic gesture as thousands of protesters in Hong Kong, some 8,000 kilometers away from Lithuania, formed a human chain to protest against a bill on extradition to mainland China and police violence.
"They draw inspiration from the Baltic countries. They aspire for freedom and we have to support them. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are so small, while Russia is so big and powerful. In the same way, China is attacking Hong Kong," said Ruta Svilienė, a pensioner who took part in the support rally.
MP Mantas Adomėnas, one of the organizers, said the aim of the event was "to show Hong Kongers that they are seen and not forgotten".
"While we look at the Baltic Way as a beautiful, nostalgic memory, for Hong Kong, it is a situation where they are fighting now. For them, it is not a thing of the past," he told BNS.
Read more: Hong Kong opposition activist: 'We draw inspiration from Baltic Way'
Chairman of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Lithuania Haonan Wang said that the supporters of Hong Kong protesters were misled by disinformation in the media. "Try asking them whether they have been to Hong Kong, or China, what is the point for raising these flags, who are they for," said Wang.
MP Adomėnas called the counter-protesters "communist prostitutes", alleging that they were paid to turn up at the protest, and chanted "killers, go home".
Read more: Vilnius rally to support Hong Kong protesters