A New Zealander in Hong Kong says violent protests that ended in demonstrators breaking into parliament and defacing the walls has been disturbing.
Dozens of protesters ram-raided the glass at the Legislative Council building in Hong Kong, allowing hundreds to enter and graffiti the walls.
Although there was a peaceful march beforehand, news about the breakaway group who stormed parliament, quickly took the spotlight.
Will Hayward, originally from Christchurch, is the dean of social sciences at the University of Hong Kong.
He did not expect last night's demonstrations to be so intense.
"The violence going on, I think that's quite confronting and disturbing," he said.
"I was texting my colleagues last night just to check whether everyone was okay ... and certainly they were very concerned about what was going on and whether anyone they knew was involved."
It's the latest in a series of protests that have ramped up over a controversial extradition treaty with mainland China that would allow it to try suspected criminals using their own judicial system.
The demonstrations have already forced the Hong Kong government to suspend the proposed law but that was doing little to appease protesters.
Mr Hayward has lived in Hong Kong for most of the past 20 years.
He said in recent times, protests had become more frequent but this last one was shocking.
"People got into the Legislative Council [building], which for all it's limitations is still the seat of government in Hong Kong - it's exactly like ransacking ... the Beehive [in New Zealand]," Mr Hayward said.
"It's quite confronting and I think everything is up in the air and no-one knows quite exactly what is going on."
Meanwhile, Hong Kong expats here in New Zealand said the recent violence was very upsetting.
Samantha Cheung, who now lives in Wellington, said while she did not agree with what the protesters did, she could sympathise with their frustration.
"I can understand why their emotions are so high - [there is] too much dissatisfaction and distrust of the government," she said.
"Some people may start to use other ways to express their anger if the government keeps turning its blind eye to people's requests."
Alex Tan, the head of the department of political science and international relations at Canterbury University, said there could be an escalation of violence if the Hong Kong government did not cancel the extradition law.
"There's a likelihood that this will ramp up, for sure, so the question then is, is it worth it?" Mr Tan said.
"Is it worth the stability of Hong Kong for this to continue because obviously a large, large segment of the population is really quite unhappy."
He said while it might be a loss of face to completely cancel the law, it might be the better option in the long run.