Hong Kong Democracy Movement Losing Mojo

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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.

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Pro-Democracy Update: Back to the Drawing Board for Hong Kong Election Reform?

Pro-democracy lawmakers display placards against Li Fei, deputy secretary general of the National People’s Congress’ Standing Committee, during a briefing session in Hong Kong Monday, Sept. 1, 2014.  Associated Press

Pro-democracy lawmakers display placards against Li Fei, deputy secretary general of the National People’s Congress’ Standing Committee, during a briefing session in Hong Kong, Sept. 1, 2014. Associated Press

WSJ’s Jeffrey Ng reports:  Beijing’s plans to allow Hong Kong people to elect their next leader—albeit only from among prescreened candidates and effectively denying an open vote—will need approval of two-thirds of the city’s 70-member strong legislature.

What happens if the reform package gets voted down?

By constituting a bloc of more than a third, the city’s 27 pro-democratic legislators hold the veto on any such plans. On Monday, these legislators voiced their disapproval by interrupting a speech by a senior Chinese official, chanting slogans while holding up banners condemning China’s decision as “shameful,” before storming out of a briefing session on political reform. Read the rest of this entry »


Global Panic of August 2014’s Hong Kong Pepper Spray Extravaganza

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Pro-democracy lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung is dragged away by security guards as he protests against Li Fei, deputy general secretary of the National People’s Congress standing committee. Reuters

“The police started using pepper spray on us without any warning. We are here to protest in a peaceful manner.”

— Kit, a social worker and activist

HONG KONG—Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong Monday said police used pepper spray against demonstrators outside a news conference given by a top Chinese official on Beijing‘s decision on how the city should elect its leader.

“Since the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and the sovereignty, security and development interests of the country are at stake, there is a need to proceed in a prudent and steady manner.”

— From Beijing’s ruling Sunday

Li Fei, deputy secretary-general of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s rubber-stamp parliament, gave a briefing at the AsiaWorld-Expo, near Hong Kong’s airport, to explain the decision to chaotic scenes of protests both inside and outside the venue.

Outside, a 21-year-old social worker identifying himself only as Kit said he and four others in his group of activist were pepper-sprayed by police. Read the rest of this entry »


A Sea of Phones Illuminating Tamar Park, Connecting the Executive and Legislative Hearts of Hong Kong


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.

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[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 »