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

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora