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CHINA’S Ticking Clock: Critical Hong Kong Vote Ruling by Beijing Coming Soon

Police removed a democracy activist in Hong Kong in July. An election reform decision is expected Aug. 31. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Police removed a democracy activist in Hong Kong in JulyAgence France-Presse/Getty Images

Pro-Democracy Activists Demand Right to Nominate Candidates for Chief Executive

HONG KONG — WSJ‘s Chester Yung reports: China’s top legislative body in Beijing is expected to announce a decision Aug. 31 on the issue of how Hong Kong’s leader is elected, according to people familiar with the matter.

FONG-D

[Also see – Pundit Planet welcomes new Deputy Bureau Chief & Asia Photo Editor-At-Large, Hong Kong Fong’s Deb Fong]

Beijing has said elections for the city’s leader will begin in 2017, but at issue is whether Beijing will let Hong Kong residents directly nominate candidates for the chief executive post or whether only pre-approved candidates will be allowed to run.

[Also see – 5 Things to Know Ahead of Beijing’s Decision on Hong Kong]

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislative body, will convene Aug. 25-31 in Beijing, and will discuss proposed reforms for electing Hong Kong’s top leader.

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A pro-Beijing demonstrator waves a Chinese flag during a march in Hong Kong on Sunday to protest against a pro-democracy campaign that has threatened civil disobedience over election reform in the city. Reuters

“Occupy Central, a pro-democratic activist group, has threatened to mobilize 10,000 protesters in mass civil disobedience if Beijing takes a hard line on the city’s election reforms.”

Two people familiar with the matter said a news conference would be held in Beijing on Aug. 31 to announce the results of the meeting. They said another news conference would be held in Hong Kong.

<> on June 1, 2014 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

[From our July 1 2014 Edition: Hong Kong’s Occupy Central ‘Referendum’ Explained]HongKongBureau

[Exclusive report – Underneath the “Hong Kong Miracle”]

[More – What the World Owes Hong Kong, and Should Fear if its Democracy is Denied]

[EXCLUSIVE – The Visual Feast of Hong Kong: Through the Lens of Hong Kong Fong – punditfromanotherplanet.comHong Kong Fong)

So far, rhetoric from officials in both Beijing and Hong Kong suggests that Beijing will reject outright activists’ demands that the public be allowed to directly nominate candidates for chief executive. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hong Kong Pro-Government Activists Rally Against Occupy Protest

HK protests

Public discontent in Hong Kong is at its highest for years

AFP reports: Thousands are expected to take part in a major pro-government rally in Hong Kong Sunday to counter a civil disobedience campaign that has pledged to paralyse the city in a push for electoral reform.

Public discontent in Hong Kong is at its highest for years, with concern over perceived interference from Beijing and growing divisions over how its leader should be chosen in 2017 under political reforms.

“We want to let the world know that we want peace, we want democracy, but please, do not threaten us, do not try to turn this place into a place of violence.”

— Alliance co-founder Robert Chow

Pro-democracy campaigners from the Occupy Central group have pledged to mobilise protesters to take over some of the busiest thoroughfares of the financial hub if public nomination of candidates is ruled out by the authorities.

Hong-Kong-journalists-assaulted

FLASHBACK 2012: SCMP’s Benjamin Garvey, who more or less live-tweeted the proceedings, tweeted this photo and message: “Cameraman was hit from behind, other cameramen lept to his defence, grabbed attacker, held him until police came.”

But the movement has been heavily criticised by Beijing and city officials as being illegal, radical and violent.

[Also see – Hong Kong Asks Beijing for Greater Democracy]

Organisers of Sunday’s rally, the Alliance for Peace and Democracy, say the silent majority of the city’s seven million residents do not support the Occupy movement.

[More – Hong Kong protests against Beijing rule]

“We want to let the world know that we want peace, we want democracy, but please, do not threaten us, do not try to turn this place into a place of violence,” alliance co-founder Robert Chow told AFP.

More than 120,000 people have signed up for the rally, which started shortly after 1:30 pm (0530 GMT), but the turnout could reach up to 200,000, the alliance said. Read the rest of this entry »