Hong Kong Democracy Movement Losing Mojo


A police officer looks out over a highway in Hong Kong’s Central district on Sept. 1. Hong Kong activist group Occupy Central says some of its support is weakening.  Bloomberg News

HONG KONG—Chester Yung and Isabella Steger report: A co-founder of the activist group at the center of threats to paralyze Hong Kong’s business district with anti-Beijing protests adopted a somber tone on Tuesday, saying its goal of securing a representative voting system in the city was “close to failure.”

“Our goal to achieve genuine universal suffrage in 2017 and a reform of the system is close to failure.”

— Chan Kin-man, one of Occupy Central’s co-founders

Chan Kin-man said some of its support is waning after Beijing’s decision on Sunday that effectively allows China to determine who can govern Hong Kong. The group had led a pro-democracy charge demanding popular input on candidates in Hong Kong’s next elections.

“Many people in Hong Kong are being pragmatic…We need to sustain our civil society.”

“Our goal to achieve genuine universal suffrage in 2017 and a reform of the system is close to failure,” said Mr. Chan. He said he only expects a few thousand people, below the number originally expected, to join planned sit-in protests.

The indication of slowing momentum less than two days after Beijing’s decision appeared to have been a reality check for a movement that has tried to rally a city famously focused on stability and the bottom line for its businesses.

“Many people in Hong Kong are being pragmatic,” he said.

He emphasized that the group wasn’t giving up or ending its campaign and offered as evidence that mobile toilets had been purchased. “We have planned carefully,” he said. “Why would we retreat?”

But he conceded that goal posts had shifted…(read more)


—Fiona Law and Jenny W. Hsu contributed to this article.

Write to Chester Yung at chester.yung@wsj.com and Isabella Steger at isabella.steger@wsj.com

Corrections & Amplifications

Chan Kin-man spoke about Occupy Central on Tuesday. A previous version of this article said he spoke on Monday.


3 Comments on “Hong Kong Democracy Movement Losing Mojo”

  1. noahsin says:

    Very interesting and informing. I just wrote an opinion piece on the same topic. Would be great if you can check that out. Also would be grateful if you can follow back. Thanks!

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