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China Says Hong Kong Protests Show ‘First Signs of Terrorism’

Police firing teargas inside a train station. One young man got hit badly in the face and sustained serious trauma near his eye. via Joshua Wong, Twitter

BEIJING— Chun Han Wong reports: Chinese authorities condemned violent weekend demonstrations in Hong Kong as “deranged” acts that marked the emergence of “the first signs of terrorism” in the semiautonomous city, vowing a merciless crackdown on the perpetrators.

The escalating rhetoric from Beijing followed a day of heated protests in Hong Kong, including the hurling of petrol bombs, and came as thousands of protesters gathered at Hong Kong’s international airport on Monday, prompting officials to cancel all flights for the rest of the day apart from those already en route to the air-travel hub.

“Radical Hong Kong protesters have repeatedly used extremely dangerous tools to attack police officers,” a spokesman for the Chinese government’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office told a news briefing on Monday, according to Chinese state media. “The first signs of terrorism are starting to appear.”

On Sunday, police in riot gear fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds of protesters across Hong Kong, some of whom threw bricks and what police identified as Molotov cocktails and smoke bombs. Police said an officer was hospitalized with burns to his legs after being hit by a Molotov cocktail hurled by a protester.

Clashes between protesters and police have entered a more violent phase, as Beijing has signaled its growing intolerance for dissent. Meanwhile, public discontent is mounting over the police’s handling of the unrest. Photo: Jeff Cheng/Associated Press
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Clashes in Mong Kok: Protesters Arrested

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HONG KONG — Yvonne Lee reports: Hong Kong police have arrested three men following clashes early Thursday in Mong Kok, a pro-democracy protest zone in the Kowloon part of the city.

“The pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong are in their sixth week, but there is little sign of resolution. Sunday, protesters are planning to march west from the business district on Hong Kong Island to the Chinese government’s Liaison Office.”

Local television stations showed police using pepper spray on dozens of protesters in the working-class neighborhood. The confrontation was allegedly caused by a man using a camera flash to provoke a police officer, the news channels said.

“Members of the Hong Kong Federation of Students have threatened to bring their protest to Beijing during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, as a way to gain publicity for their demand that China allow free elections in Hong Kong.”

A Hong Kong police spokesperson confirmed that three men—aged between 24 and 50—were arrested. One was arrested for suspicion of criminal damage, while the other two were arrested for obstructing police officers executing their duty. Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTO] Van Veluwen: Hong Kong protesters from Balcony

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Cool photoblog to explore: This item from 10/4/14

Large swarm of protesters following police in Prince Edward, this was taken from my balcony. They escorted what was apparently an anti-protester out of the area before heading off down a back alley away from the group of protesters. Things are starting to get really heavy tonight and warnings are coming from those who say that Bejing will make a move tonight. It’s eerie hearing the shouts from the protest this close to home(more)

Van Veluwen


Hong Kong Uprising: An Outsider’s View from the Inside

A spectacular collection of photographs documenting the Hong Kong protests from our Asia Editor-at-Large, Deb Fong…

_DSC7408 _DSC7624 A testament to the protesters' organizational capabilities - exemplified by 'office' set-ups in the heart of the Admiralty protest zone A behind-the-scenes look at the student-led protest speeches - supported by a dedicated A/V team directly behind their platform _DSC7476 _DSC7619
_DSC7622 The press were out in full force covering the aftermath of the stagnant talks

WanderFong

Unless you’ve been stranded on an island without WiFi or television, or hiding under a rock, you just may have heard a bit on the news about what’s been happening in my adoptive hometown of Hong Kong. OK, in fact, the updates had been pervasive across news channels. More so than I would have anticipated. Now that mass media on the topic has died down, but the protests linger on, it’s worth taking a step back and reflecting.

One of the main protest zones in Hong Kong (Admiralty) - during the highly publicized October 21 talks between student protest leaders and government officials One of the main protest zones in Hong Kong (Admiralty) – during the highly publicized October 21 talks between student protest leaders and government officials

The idea of democracy is an oft-lauded ‘ideal’. It’s seductive, particularly to the western world. So perhaps it’s really no surprise at all that the largely student-run, pro-democracy movement in HK resonates with such a broad audience. Don’t think that point is lost on the students. Young…

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Kenny G Loves China, Deletes Photo Taken at Hong Kong Protests


Hong Kong has too many poor people to allow direct elections, leader says

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Hong Kong: Love in the Time of Protests


Paris Soutient La Révolution De Parapluie

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Hong Kong: Riot Gear Infographic: How Occupy Protesters and Police Stack Up

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 South China Morning Post


[PHOTO] Kin Cheung: Walking through Tunnels on Barricaded Road in Hong Kong


How Social Media Helps–and Hinders–the Protests in Hong Kong


China and Taiwan: Beijing’s Hong Kong Blunder Derails ‘One China’ Dream

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A Model to Bring Back Taiwan Into Beijing’s Fold Turns Into a Negative Example

HONG KONG — Andrew Browne writes: For modern Chinese leaders, no mission carries more patriotic importance than realizing the dream of “One China.”

“As prospects for political accommodation between China and Taiwan evaporate, expect tensions to increase.”

Deng Xiaoping saw Hong Kong as an opportunity to win over hearts and minds in Taiwan, the greatest and most elusive part of that vision. Freewheeling Hong Kong was the opportunity to show a model that could work: “One Country, Two Systems.”

Photo: Pundit Planet Hong Kong Bureau

Photo: Pundit Planet Hong Kong Bureau

If China could take over and preserve Hong Kong’s existing capitalist system and way of life, the thinking went, it would demonstrate to Taiwan “compatriots” that their future, too, would be secure under Communist rule.

President Xi Jinping is now watching as prospects of Taiwan returning to the embrace of the motherland recede into a far distant future, as parts of Hong Kong remain paralyzed by pro-democracy protests.

“By Beijing’s own calculation, Hong Kong was the key to bringing Taiwan back into the fold.”

Although it isn’t apparent from the rhetoric coming out of Beijing, one of the most significant outcomes of the rallies in Hong Kong over the past weeks has been to further diminish whatever was left of the hope that China could achieve the reunification of Taiwan and its 23 million people.

Photo: Pundit Planet Hong Kong Bureau

Photo: Pundit Planet Hong Kong Bureau

The implications of this may not be felt immediately, but they could be far-reaching over time. Behind Beijing’s stated wish for “peaceful reunification” is the threat to use force if necessary. That keeps the Taiwan Strait as a potential flash point for conflict between China and the U.S., Taiwan’s main arms supplier and international supporter.

“Now, Mr. Xi confronts simultaneous challenges from two sets of students in Taiwan and Hong Kong…”

As prospects for political accommodation between China and Taiwan evaporate, expect tensions to increase.

By Beijing’s own calculation, Hong Kong was the key to bringing Taiwan back into the fold.

Photo: Pundit Planet Hong Kong Bureau

Photo: Pundit Planet Hong Kong Bureau

Its return was relatively straightforward: It fell back into China’s arms because a British lease over the main part of its territory expired in 1997. Taiwan, a self-governing island, would have to be persuaded through powerful example.

“Worse, the groups are finding common cause: Leaders of the Sunflower Movement have been sharing street tactics and negotiating skills with those running the Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong.”

For a while it looked promising, but for many Taiwanese, Hong Kong is now a negative example—proof that China won’t tolerate genuine democracy, can’t be trusted to deliver on its promises of autonomy and lacks the flexibility needed to manage a sophisticated population and their political aspirations.

Taiwan has even more to lose since it is an independent country in all but name, with an already-flourishing democracy.

Photo: Pundit Planet Hong Kong Bureau

Photo: Pundit Planet Hong Kong Bureau

“Hong Kong Today, Taiwan Tomorrow,” has become a slogan of the student-led Sunflower Movement in Taiwan, which engulfed Taipei in protests earlier this year against a proposed free-trade agreement with Beijing. Opponents argue the arrangement would make the island dangerously vulnerable to economic coercion from the mainland. Read the rest of this entry »


U.S. Assures Hong Kong That Their Protest Just One Of Many Issues White House Staying Silent On

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 “While pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong may question why the United States hasn’t offered its unequivocal support, I want to make it clear to each one of them that their campaign is but one of dozens of important causes around the world that this administration is sidestepping.”

— — White House press secretary Josh Earnest

WASHINGTON—Addressing concerns that the Obama administration was selectively ignoring their ongoing demonstrations against the Chinese government, White House officials held a press conference Wednesday to reassure Hong Kong residents that their protest was just one of many issues the White House is currently keeping completely silent on.

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 “Our inaction puts the people of Hong Kong in good company with the subjugated populations of South Sudan, Eritrea, Central Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa, all of whom we systematically overlook. So, our message to the protesters is clear: You are not alone.” 

“While pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong may question why the United States hasn’t offered its unequivocal support, I want to make it clear to each one of them that their campaign is but one of dozens of important causes around the world Read the rest of this entry »


Pro-Government Protesters vs. Pro-Democracy Protesters vs. Paid Criminal Gangster Agitators

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Hong Kong’s security chief furiously denied the government is using triad gangs against pro-democracy protesters on Saturday after accusations hired thugs had been brought in to stir up violent clashes.


Police Clash With Pro-Democracy Protesters in Hong Kong

TIME

Updated: Sept. 28, 2014, 6:54 a.m. E.T.

Police used tear gas and pepper spray against thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators in central Hong Kong Sunday, as a civil disobedience movement that seeks to win a popular vote for the city’s top job got underway.

Occupy Central with Peace and Love, as the protest moment is officially know, aims for foment democratic change by paralyzing the heart of this freewheeling financial hub. It was originally stated to begin Wednesday, but an aligned student demonstration Friday gathered such momentum that its leaders brought the timing forward.

“We want to help the students achieve their goals,” Benny Tai, a founder of Occupy Central, told TIME on Sunday morning, of the early start to the group’s campaign. “They want to stay here, and we want to support them.”

On Sunday afternoon, protesters brandishing umbrellas repeatedly charged at the police lines in front of Government House…

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[PHOTOS] EXCLUSIVE: Images From the Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Rally

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The Chinese central government today announced regulations that would gut Hong Kong’s evolution to real democratic election of the city’s chief executive.  In essence, Beijing imposed rules that would ensure that only it’s hand-picked candidates would be allowed to run for the city’s top government post. I attended the beginning of the rally in the park in front of the city’s main government offices today.  Here are some pictures:

[Also check out the live stream chronicling the protests. Follow the twitter feed for Hong Kong’s main pro-democracy activist group here.]

[Flashpoint Hong Kong: China rules out democracy for the former British territory – Noah Rothman, Hot Air]

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(My apologies for the poor photography — my Hong Kong cell phone has a decidedly inferior camera, and the rally really only got under way after dark.)

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Police presence was heavy in the city during the day, with large foot patrols moving around.  Interestingly, although Hong Kong’s police usually carry revolvers (.380s – I asked), most cops I saw today had empty holsters on their belts. Read the rest of this entry »