Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts with the label occupy central

Why Hong Kong Should Accept Beijing's Universal Suffrage - And Wait

On Sunday 14, thousands of Hong Kong citizens marched from Causeway Bay to the Legislative Council to protest against the electoral reform package proposed by the government. Demonstrators held yellow umbrellas and wore yellow ribbons, powerful symbols of the Umbrella Revolution that rocked the former British colony last year. They protesters denounced Beijing's version of universal suffrage , demanding 'genuine' democratic elections for Hong Kong. If the electoral reform is passed by the legislature, Hong Kong citizens will for the first time vote directly for their Chief Executive. But critics argue that the democratic reforms are 'fake', as the candidates for the post of Chief Executive will be selected by an electoral committee.  On August 31, 2014, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress  (NPC) passed a decision on the implementation of universal suffrage, a concept enshrined in Paragraph 2 of Article 45 of the Hong Kong Basic

Girlfriend of Hong Kong Democracy Activist Joshua Wong Detained In Mainland China

On February 18 Tiffany Chin (錢詩文), a Hong Kong pro-democracy activist , was denied entry into mainland China and detained at Kunming Airport. The 19-year-old Tiffany Chin is the girlfriend of Joshua Wong , the founder of ‘ Scholarism ‘, a pro-democracy student association that was at the forefront of last year’s Occupy Central movement. Joshua Wong soon became one of the most famous leaders of the demonstrations. Continue Reading >>>

Goodbye, Occupy Central

The Hong Kong police have given the students that have occupied Admiralty an ultimatum: they must leave before 11 am today. Whoever stays will be arrested.  Apparently the students have decided to comply. They are dismantling their tents, saying goodbye to the ' Umbrella City ' they have created. The images of the occupation - a symbol of civil disobedience - will remain in the collective memory, just as those of the 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy movement did. The power of those images and ideas is stronger than the short-term failure of the protesters' political objectives.  Rumours had been going around for weeks that the police would soon clear the sites of the protests. On the evening of December 1st I met a friend of mine. I hadn't seen her for a year. We went to a cafe' called Kubrick, in Yau Ma Tei. We talked a lot, and Occupy Central was one of our topics - it seemed impossible not to mention this issue when conversing with a Hongkonger, a proof

Hong Kong's "Umbrella City"

When I left Hong Kong back in September,  Occupy Central had just begun. I went to Admiralty and Central on the first day of the protests, which was the 28th. The following morning I flew to Taipei.  I was very sad, not only because I was leaving a city which I love more and more each time I return there, but also because I had seen history unfolding before my eyes and yet I was suddenly cut off from those events. While I was sitting on the express train to the airport, I had already made up my mind that I would go back to Hong Kong as soon as possible.  And I was right. What I have seen in Hong Kong over the past few days is amazing, and I feel glad and privileged that I could be part of this historic moment. At least I'll be able to tell my grandchildren that I was here. 

My Pictures of Hong Kong's Umbrella Revolution

Yesterday I arrived in Hong Kong and, despite being extremely tired - I had slept for only one hour and a half in two days -, after leaving my stuff at the hostel I immediately went to see how Occupy Central had transformed the city centre.  However, I was way too exhausted and hungry to go to Central, so I just had a look at the Causeway Bay site of the protest, which is quite close to where I'm currently staying. The 'Occupiers' have by now settled permanently in some limited areas, one of them being a section of  Hennessy Road , formerly a bustling traffic artery, now turned into a sort of 'encampment' with tens, colourful pictures, collages and posters. Actually, Hennessy Road has never been as beautiful as it is today, and the occupation does not seem to affect shops or normal life. The only thing it has affected is traffic, but, well, does Hong Kong really desperately need more cars and pollution?  The atmosphere is quiet right now, and very lit

Why Hong Kong's 'One Country, Two Systems' Was Doomed to Fail

The concept of ' one country, two systems ' is the cornerstone of Beijing's policy towards Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, three areas that remained outside of the control of the People's Republic of China (PRC) after the successful revolution of 1949, but which the Communist state claimed as part of 'China's territory'. In this post, I would like to show how the 'one country, two systems' policy developed, and what contradictions it entailed from the very beginning. We will see how the reaction of the current leadership in Beijing to the ' Occupy Centra l' movement echoes Deng Xiaoping's understanding of 'one country, two systems', and that some of Hong Kong's pan-democrats are wrong when they claim that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is betraying Deng's promise to grant the former British colony a high degree of autonomy. Taiwan and Two Systems in One Country After Deng Xiaoping rose to power in the late

Communist China's Unbearable Propaganda

I think the People's Republic of China (PRC, I consider it a mistake to equate the Communist state with China, so I will just use its official name) deserves to be understood and judged fairly. I have met Chinese who are members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) ; many of them are nice, rational, reasonable individuals whom I consider good friends. The CCP has its own logic, and it is fair to try and understand it, to listen to the arguments, opinions and points of view of the Chinese political elite. However, oftentimes the CCP makes it very hard for us to do so. Manipulations and shameless propaganda cannot but anger and embitter even those who would like to have a dialogue with the citizens of the PRC. The CCP does not allow free speech, it cuts off the country from the rest of the world by blocking social networks where intercultural dialogue could and should take place. And, most importantly, its state media engage in a style of propaganda that is nauseating, based on

Wang Dan, a Veteran of the 1989 Tiananmen Protests, Writes Open Letter to the Hong Kong Students

June 4, 1989. In the predawn darkness we were forced to evacuate Tiananmen Square. Negotiations with the army were completed. The terms we agreed upon were simple: We should leave before daybreak. A peaceful conclusion to the occupation of this largest of public gathering places in all of China seemed within reach. Helmeted soldiers allowed us to pass through the narrow corridor at the southeast side of the square, all the while pointing their bayonets, as if we were prisoners of war. Army commanders had promised to give the demonstrators an opportunity to disperse.   The process, time-consuming because the crowd was huge, seemed under way. “Fascist!” a female student cursed furiously. Immediately, several soldiers rushed at her and beat her down with the butts of their rifles. Her male comrades hurried to help her back into the march . And thus commenced the last phase of a major confrontation between nonviolent demonstrators led by university students and the armed forces of

Anti-Occupy Thugs Launch 'Soy Sauce' Attack Against Hong Kong's 'Apple Daily'

At around 2:30 of October 22, 2014, thugs launched a series of  attacks against Apple Daily delivery workers at several locations, sprinkling the newspaper with soy sauce . They damaged around 15,000 copies. Another newspaper, Headline Daily, was also hit by attackers. According to reports, masked men approached delivery staff in Central, Hung Hom and Cheung Sha Wan , threatening them with knives. Their only purpose was to immobilise the delivery staff while they poured soy sauce on the newspapers. A street vendor interviewed by a newspaper in Mong Kok said that today she received only 20 copies of Apple Daily , while she usually receives 40, but the company that delivered the newspapers did not explain why.   The police are investigating the matter, but it appears that the attack is politically motivated. Apple Daily is part of the Next Media group owned by media mogul Jimmy Lai, who is a staunch  opponent of the Chinese Communist Party . He and his companies have suff

Hong Kong Chief Executive Once Again Blames Occupy Central On 'External Forces'. But Where Are The Proofs?

In a televised interview on Sunday, Leung Chun-ying , Hong Kong's Chief Executive, has once again accused foreigners of interfering in Hong Kong's pro-democracy movements. "There is obviously participation by people, organisations from outside of Hong Kong, in politics in Hong Kong, over a long time," he said. "This is not the only time when they do it, and this is not an exception either." Whenever I read or hear this kind of opinion, I feel blood rising to my head.  First of all, what proofs does he have in order to make such an accusation? Who are the people and the organisations outside of Hong Kong that are behind the pro-democracy movements? Certainly, some foreign individuals have taken part in Occupy Central. But there is not one leader of the movement that is a foreigner, and virtually all protesters are Hong Kongers. Now, if Leung makes such an accusation, the people should demand that he proves the link between the leaders of Occupy

LINKS: Hong Kong Police Starts Removing Protesters' Barricades

This morning, on the 16th days since the beginning of the Occupy Central protests, the police have gathered at the sites occupied by demostrators and are trying to remove the barricades. Apparently, the policemen are prepared to use teargas. Hong Kong police try to clear road barricades as protests enter 16th day http://t.co/CQJwLxpWay — SCMP News (@SCMP_News) October 13, 2014 Hong Kong police start clearing protest barricades: Occupy Central http://t.co/IHe3757Y9H — Reuters Top News (@Reuters) October 13, 2014

Debunking Beijing's Accusations that Hong Kong's Umbrella Revolution is Fomented by 'Foreign Forces'

" The Chinese revolution is a key factor in the world situation and its victory is heartily anticipated by the people of every country, especially by the toiling masses of the colonial countries ," said Mao Zedong in a July 1936 interview . " When the Chinese revolution comes into full power, the masses of many colonial countries will follow the example of China and win a similar victory of their own… "  According to Mao, the Communist-led Chinese revolution was part of the " world revolution " directed against " anti-imperialist and anti-feudal " forces ( On New Democracy , January 1940). " Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin " had given the revolutionary avant-garde a weapon. " This weapon is not a machine-gun, but Marxism-Leninism ", he explained ( On the People's Democratic Dictatorship , June 1949).  Faithful to his ideology, Mao not only accepted the help and guidance of the Soviet Union, but he also helped &quo

The Hong Kong Government Calls Off Talks With Student Leaders

At a press conference this evening Carrie Lam , Hong Kong's Chief Secretary, was supposed to announce the details of the talks between government representatives and student leaders which were scheduled for tomorrow. Instead, she surprisingly declared that the administration had decided to cancel the meeting altogether.  “ The talk is based on two conditions , " she said. " First the discussion must be within the framework of the decision made by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee . Second it must not be linked to the Occupy movement . Unfortunately, the protesters rejected the rational proposal and went back to their old position. " They now insist on public nomination and to abolish the decision made by the NPCSC . They also link the dialogue with the Occupy movement and even said the movement would last until the talks produce a result [they want] . This is sacrificing public good for their political demands, and is against public interes

Occupy Central Updates: CY Leung Accused of Pocketing Money From Australian Firm, University Lecturer Attacked by 'Patriotic' Mainland Chinese Student, and other news

According to The Age , an Australian newspaper, Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying   received a HK$49.9 million payout from an Australian firm. Leung did not disclose the sum when he assumed office in 2012, claims the newspaper.

What if Beijing Granted Hong Kong Genuine Universal Suffrage?

Over the past few years, a battle has erupted in Hong Kong over the future of the former British colony which was handed over to the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1997 and became a Special Administrative Region (SAR). According to the "One Country, Two Systems" model proposed by Deng Xiaoping, Hong Kong was to maintain a high degree of autonomy as well as the freedoms inherited by the colonial state.  According to the Basic Law  of the SAR, promulgated in 1990 by the PRC government and put into effect after the handover, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong " shall be the head of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and shall represent the Region ". He " shall be accountable to the Central People's Government and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in accordance with the provisions of this law ."  The function of Chief Executive basically replaced that of the British governor in colonial times. But while the governor was

Dozens of Mainland Chinese Detained by Police For Supporting Hong Kong's Occupy Central

Since September 28 at least 34 people have been detained and 60 people have been questioned by the police in mainland China for sharing images and news of Hong Kong's Occupy Central or showing support for it. As the " Umbrella Revolution " unfolded in Hong Kong, the Communist government and its media apparatus have been trying to insulate the mainland from the outside world, leading to a sharp increase of censorship activities. According to Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch (民生观察), the Hunanese activist Ou Biaofeng (欧彪峰) was arrested on October 1. A squad of Zhuzhou Internal Security Bureau broke open the door of his house while he was still in bed. They questioned him about some pictures he had posted online in which he was seen as shaving his head in support of Occupy Central (the initiators of Occupy Central had shaven their heads at the beginning of September to show their "determination to fight for true democracy"). " Because I shave

Triad Involvement in Anti-Occupy Central Clashes Confirmed

After anti-Occupy groups attacked pro-democracy protesters on Friday and Saturday, injuring several demonstrators, many wondered whether these assaults, which appeared well-organised and planned in advance, were the work of triad members . Yesterday at a press conference the Secretary for Security of Hong Kong  Lai Tung-kwok (黎棟國) confirmed that triad members were involved in the clashes.  TIME: Hong Kong Government Accused of Using Triads to Attack Student Protesters: The deputy chairman of the Ho... http://t.co/YhHViEK39S — Hong Kong Stream (@hkstream) October 4, 2014 Kwok said that the government severely condemns the violent behaviour of some individuals, and confirmed that the police had arrested 19 suspects, 8 of whom have triad links. They allegedly assaulted demonstrators during clashes in Mong Kok, a popular shopping district. According to the 'China Times', some of the thugs may have been taxi or minibus drivers with triad affiliation. 

Hong Kong's Occupy Central Turned Violent as Thugs Attacked Occupiers

Hong Kong protesters beaten and bloodied as thugs attack sit-in http://t.co/2XzsWnvAk6 pic.twitter.com/RKcvBSnIhV — Guardian World (@guardianworld) October 3, 2014 Yesterday was a sad day for Hong Kong. I really love this city. Every time I go there, its atmosphere and beauty, its energy and uniqueness mesmerize me. But the contradictions of the post-1997 settlement are coming to the surface now and threaten to change the ex-colony forever.   The images we have seen yesterday are shocking, and to a certain extent unexpected. I was there on the first day of Occupy Central. The tension was palpable. People seemed optimistic, but how to forget what happened in 1989? Who could know whether the leadership in Beijing would react the same way and the soldiers of the PLA would storm out of their barracks to put down the demonstrations?  However, no one expected that thugs would do the dirty job of scaring off the protesters. Yesterday, men who oppose Occupy Central attacked

UPDATES: Is Beijing Using Thugs to Intimidate Occupy Central Demonstrators?

Clashes have erupted between Occupy Central demonstrators and pro-Beijing groups. A woman speaking Mandarin was seen giving orders to men who attacked protesters. Are pro-Communist forces in Hong Kong using thugs to scare Occupy Central supporters? PICTURED: Disorder in Mong Kok as anti-protesters confront protesters http://t.co/RmZuwQm3I2 pic.twitter.com/PLhTJGWp8l — SCMP News (@SCMP_News) October 3, 2014 This is difficult to say and impossible to prove (that's where the cleverness of this strategy lies). However, it can be proved that Beijing has been using this kind of tactics in Taiwan, where the so-called ' White Wolf ', a former leader of a criminal syndicate, meddled in this year's Sunflower Movement protests to intimidate opponents of China-Taiwan reunification.

Chinese Activist Arrested For Posting Pictures of Hong Kong's Occupy Central

Wang Long, a 26-year-old Chinese activist, was arrested in Shenzhen because he posted pictures of Hong  Kong's Occupy Central on Chinese media. He was detained for " picking quarrels and provoking trouble ”. At least 3 people have been so far detained on the mainland because they posted photos of the protests in Hong Kong. Wang Long had already hit the headlines earlier this month when he sued China Unicom , a state-owned telecom provider, for denying access to Google websites and services. After the Occupy Central campaign was launched by Benny Tai on September 28, thousands of people have joined the demonstrations. The images of the protests have been shared by millions of people all over the world, but not in mainland China, where censorship has been at work to prevent the Chinese people from seeing what is really happening in Hong Kong.