OTTAWA: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday urged China to be "very careful" to respond to pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong and to pay attention to their "legitimate" demands.

"We are deeply concerned about the situation in Hong Kong," Trudeau said at a press conference.

"We are calling for peace, for order, for dialogue," he said. "We certainly tell China to be very careful and very respectful of how it treats people who have legitimate concerns in Hong Kong."

The semi-autonomous southern Chinese city has scrapped weeks of protests launched by a government bid to introduce a law that allowed extradition to mainland China.

These demonstrations have developed into a movement for democratic reform and are the most significant challenge to Beijing's rule since the handing over of the city to Britain in 1997.

According to the Canadian Foreign Ministry, there are about 300,000 Canadians living and working in Hong Kong - the largest Canadian migrant community in Asia.

Trudeau's comments came on the same day that thousands of pro-democracy protesters flooded Hong Kong's airport to condemn police violence, forcing all flights to be canceled.

It was associated with Beijing as "terrorism" violent protesters who threw petrol bombs.

Relations between Canada and China were never seen before an arrest in December last year on a US warrant of an executive of the Chinese firm Huawei in Vancouver, and Beijing detained two Canadians in apparent retaliation.
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