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

Video Snowstorm Sweeps Northeastern US

'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says; he had warned storm could be one of worst in city history More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites 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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid