Filipinos opposed to Chinese claims in the South China Sea have expressed support for the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, saying Beijing should not use force to stop the protests in the global financial hub or in resolving its territorial disputes with the Philippines.

About 50 members of the Akbayan party carried yellow umbrellas to symbolize the "fight for democracy" in Hong Kong and black ones for the China's "undemocratic practices in the region" during Thursday's picket at the Chinese consular office in the Philippine capital. Many carried placards saying "Be Strong Hong Kong" and chanted the same message.

Picket organizers called on Filipinos to post "selfies" showing them carrying umbrellas as a sign of support for the Hong Kong protesters' demands for universal suffrage and other electoral reforms.