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Hong Kong Protesters Considering Retreat

HK-china-wsj-dec14

HONG KONG— Mia Lamar and Isabella Steger reporting: Student protesters demanding greater democracy for Hong Kong said Thursday they are more seriously weighing a retreat from the roads they have occupied for more than two months.

The remarks were the latest sign of the narrowing options that the protesters face as police have increased their efforts to remove the demonstrators from the streets and public support for the occupation of busy city thoroughfares has faded.

“Occupying here doesn’t put enough pressure on the government. If it put enough pressure, we wouldn’t be here two months….In the end, we didn’t get what we want, but this movement inspired people that we can’t live like this anymore.”

—  18-year-old student Timothy Sun

The Hong Kong Federation of Students, a group of university students at the helm of the protests, and Scholarism, a teenage student protest group, could issue a decision over whether to retreat from the encampments within the next week, according to student leaders.

A street cleaner pushes her cart between rows of tents at the pro-democracy movement's main protest site in Hong Kong's Admiralty district. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

A street cleaner pushes her cart between rows of tents at the pro-democracy movement’s main protest site in Hong Kong’s Admiralty district. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Yvonne Leung, a spokeswoman for HKFS, made the remarks on a local radio program. Eighteen-year-old Scholarism leader Joshua Wong separately told The Wall Street Journal that his group, which works closely with HKFS, is also considering a retreat. Mr. Wong is in the third day of a hunger strike, along with four other teen members of his group.

“For me, I think it’s time to adjust tactics. Retreat doesn’t necessarily mean failure.”

— Student leader

Protesters are calling for the right of citizens to select their own candidates for the city’s top leadership post, not those vetted by Beijing as per a decision handed down by the National People’s Congress in August. Those calls have been rejected by the government as nonnegotiable under Hong Kong’s Basic Law, a “mini-constitution” held with Beijing. The city will vote in 2017 for its next chief executive, a five-year appointment. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Protesters Not Allowed to Board Flight to Beijing

Alex-Chow

HONG KONG — Isabella Steger reports: Members of a student protest group who planned to take their demands for democracy in Hong Kong to the Chinese capital weren’t allowed to board a flight to Beijing on Saturday.

Four members of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, who have been at the forefront of pro-democracy protests that have gone on for more than 40 days in the city, were unable to board their Cathay Pacific flight.

Representatives of the group said the airline denied boarding to Alex Chow, who leads the student group, Nathan Law, Eason Chung and Jeffrey Tsang, because they received notification that the students’ entry permits had been voided.

About 100 pro-democracy protesters went to Hong Kong’s airport to send the students off, carrying yellow umbrellas and singing protest anthems. Read the rest of this entry »


Survey Finds 85% of Chinese Consumers Say They’ve Given Up Shark Fin Soup

"Next they'll be coming after my tail! Can't we start a similar public awareness campaign about lobster bisque?"

“Oh, great. Next they’ll be coming after my tail.”


UPDATE: Typhoon veers away from Hong Kong, hits southern China

Sept. 22, 2013: Dark clouds hang low over Hong Kong's Victoria Habour. Usagi, the year's most powerful typhoon had Hong Kong in its cross-hair on Sunday after sweeping past the Philippines and Taiwan and pummeling island communities with heavy rains and fierce winds. The typhoon was grinding westward and expected to make landfall close to Hong Kong late Sunday or early Monday. (AP)

Sept. 22, 2013: Dark clouds hang low over Hong Kong’s Victoria Habour. Usagi, the year’s most powerful typhoon had Hong Kong in its cross-hair on Sunday after sweeping past the Philippines and Taiwan and pummeling island communities with heavy rains and fierce winds. The typhoon was grinding westward and expected to make landfall close to Hong Kong late Sunday or early Monday. (AP)

HONG KONG –  The year’s most powerful typhoon slammed into southern China on Sunday evening, forcing hundreds of flight cancellations, shutting down shipping and putting a nuclear power plant on alert after pummeling parts of the Philippines and Taiwan with heavy rains and fierce winds.

Typhoon Usagi veered away from Hong Kong at the last minute and made landfall northeast of the former British colony. Forecasters had warned earlier that it posed a “severe threat” to the southern Chinese city.

Usagi — Japanese for rabbit — was classified as a severe typhoon, packing sustained winds of 109 miles per hour, with gusts of up to 132 mph. Read the rest of this entry »


Off the Menu:Hong Kong Gov’t Bans Shark’s Fin

Agence France-Presse/Getty Images Shark fins drying in the sun cover the roof of a factory building in Hong Kong on January 2, 2013.

Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Shark fins drying in the sun cover the roof of a factory building in Hong Kong on January 2, 2013.

Hong Kong may be the capital of the world’s shark’s fin trade, but as environmentalists step up their campaign against the delicacy, even this city’s government has declared it off-limits.

Last year, China’s government announced it would stop serving shark’s fin soup at official banquets, a move that was heralded by green groups around the world, though it will likely take years to come into effect. Now, Hong Kong is following suit, banning the dish at official events and requesting civil servants to refrain from eating it at other functions, along with other endangered species such as bluefin tuna and black moss. The move comes as international companies from luxury Shangri-La hotel chain to Cathay Pacific Airways have declared they will refuse to serve or carry most shark’s fin. Read the rest of this entry »