Beijing Blinks: Hong Kong Leader Leung Chun-ying Offers Talks with Protesters as He Refuses to Accept Calls for Him to ResignPosted: October 2, 2014
James Legge writes: Hong Kong’s Beijing-backed leader has offered talks to student leaders whose demonstrations against what they say is China’s attempt to gerrymander elections have brought the territory to a standstill.
“This is a war for public support. We must show Leung that we have the support of the masses.”
— Student Leader Joshua Wong
Speaking at the end of a fifth day of protests, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying refused to meet demonstrators’ demands to resign but said his top official, Carrie Lam, would hold a meeting with students to discuss political reforms.
“I hope both sides will be satisfied,” said Ms Lam, the city’s Chief Secretary. “Students had wanted a public meeting but I hope that we can have some flexibility to discuss details.” Occupy Central continued to demand Mr Leung’s resignation, and reject Beijing’s framework, but said it “welcomes the news that Ms Lam will meet with the students” and “hopes the talks can bring a turning point to the current political stalemate”.
“In any place in the world, if there are any protesters that surround, attack, or occupy government buildings like police headquarters, or the chief executive’s office… the consequences are serious”
— Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying
Mr Leung’s position had been bolstered earlier in the day when the People’s Daily newspaper, a Communist Party mouthpiece, published an editorial saying the party was “very satisfied” with his performance and had full confidence in his leadership. It also referred to the protest as “illegal activities” which threatened to bring chaos.
Nonetheless, the promise of face-to-face talks is an unusual concession by the Chinese government, and demonstrates their concern that the protests in one of Asia’s most important economic centres will continue over the weekend.
As Mr Leung spoke, hundreds of police officers stood at the barricade around his office, faced by thousands of protesters. Some of the police wore riot shields, and earlier in the day officers were seen carrying tear gas and rubber bullets into the area. Read the rest of this entry »
As debates continues surrounding the North East New Territories Development (NENTD) plan, a flower grower in Shek Wu Wai in San Tin, Yuen Long started a “revolution”! He utilised the months long resting period of his farmland and successfully grew his first ever round of rice, bringing back the golden rice field back to Yuen Long, an area which was famous for rice and fish farms. This over 60-year-old farmer is hosting a harvesting event on 15th September, and recruiting volunteers to harvest and mill the grains. The majority of the harvest will be donated to elderly, as the farmer wanted to contribute to the society at which his neighbours once helped him when he was a boy. He also wishes this experience can teach the younger generations how to cherish food. Read the rest of this entry »