News / Asia

Hong Kong Democracy Movement Defiant Over Free Elections

Pro-democracy protesters switch on their mobile phones during a campaign to kick off the Occupy Central civil disobedience event in front of the financial Central district in Hong Kong, Aug. 31, 2014.
Pro-democracy protesters switch on their mobile phones during a campaign to kick off the Occupy Central civil disobedience event in front of the financial Central district in Hong Kong, Aug. 31, 2014.
VOA News

Hong Kong's pro-democracy protest movement is vowing to not back down in its fight for free elections, a day after apparently conceding defeat to Beijing.

Occupy Central leaders admitted Tuesday that support from Hong Kong's people is waning. But Wednesday, pro-democracy supporters continued to rally for support.

Albert Ho, a legislator from the Democratic Party, said he thinks Hong Kong's people will rise to the challenge and fight for genuine universal suffrage.

“While Beijing’s decision makes some people very disappointed, those people who are going to Occupy Central have been ready for the worst," he said. "Meanwhile, Beijing's attitude towards dealing this issue also makes some people very angry. So I believe when the time comes the number of participants will not be less than the number we anticipated.”

Demonstration critics

Not all Hong Kong residents are happy, however, with the movement.

Lian Jinghan, an official with HK Fuchang Stocks and Securities, told VOA the vast majority of Hong Kong business people are opposed to gaining political capital through radical protest actions.

“Most of us, or from myself and the company's point of view, are not in favor of the Occupy Central movement, because this action is illegal in Hong Kong. In addition to the legal problems, what they are asking for is not very realistic. If the Occupy Central does occur, the impact will be negative on Hong Kong's overall economic environment and Hong Kong’s overall development,” said  Lian Jinghan.

The group has for months threatened to shut down Hong Kong's central financial district if China does not agree to allow universal suffrage in the 2017 election for the territory's chief executive.

On Sunday, China's parliament passed legislation essentially requiring all candidates to be approved by Beijing.

Occupy leaders responded by saying the group will hold a mass protest in the coming days, but no date or place will be given because of fears this may cause disruptions to the plan.

'Spirit of resistance'

Occupy co-founder Dai Yaoting said Tuesday that support for Occupy is slipping. But he told VOA's Mandarin service Wednesday that while the movement may not reach its desired goals, its significance can not be ignored.

“The Occupy Central is a civil disobedience movement which has two parts. The first part is to change the system through some radical social actions," he said. "Now we know that it is unlikely to achieve this goal in the short term. Another goal of civil disobedience is to awake Hong Kong citizens, to let them understand the importance of democracy for Hong Kong. In terms of this part, we had a great influence in Hong Kong in the past 10 months. And influence will be further developed in the final Occupy Central Movement.”

The group has promised to continue protests and to maintain a "spirit of resistance," saying this is particularly important "when democratic reform seems unlikely in the coming years."

Under the ruling passed Sunday by China's parliament, candidates to become Hong Kong's next leader must receive majority approval from a nominating committee that likely is stacked with pro-Beijing representatives.

If, as expected, Hong Kong lawmakers block the pro-Beijing legislation when it comes up for a vote early next year, the territory will revert to the current method in which a pro-Beijing committee selects the chief executive.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Mandarin service.

You May Like

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: thmak from: Washington DC
September 05, 2014 10:44 AM
'The Occupy Central protesters' demand for democratic open nomination, universal standard and universal suffrage so not exist in any country anywhere in the world. They are unrealistic and unreasonable. Their main purpose is to create chaos to drag down HK's prosperity for their own selfish political gain. They should be ashamed of themselves for not demanding their agenda when HK was under the democratic British colonial rule

by: Anonymous
September 04, 2014 12:09 PM
The people of HongKong all riffraff from ditch daring to challenging the authority of Beijing is tantamount to Dreaming on

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More