Hong Kong citizens living in New York are calling on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory.
At a press conference in New York late Monday, participants said they want to draw attention to what they say is a fight for true universal suffrage in Hong Kong.
Anna Yeung-Cheung, associate biology professor at Manhattanville College, said a number of Chinese living in North America have sent an open letter to the governments in Washington and Ottawa, asking them to urge Beijing to keep its promise of “one country, two systems."
“We can issue a statement to the members of parliament,” said Yeung-Cheung, “to let them pay attention to our concerns in Hong Kong and the real situation in Hong Kong.”
The event Monday brought together both young and old to state their support for full universal suffrage in Hong Kong.
Huang Yuzhen, the 95-year-old former chairman of the Chinese-American Lin Sing Association, says he is in favor of democracy and universal suffrage in Hong Kong.
“We want to strongly protest no universal suffrage," he said. "New York compatriots must send a strong voice."
The youngest attendee, Ao Zhuoxuan, grew up in Hong Kong and is currently studying at New York University. He rejected Beijing’s decision to control the nominating process.
“Those who fight for democracy are arguing for a democratic system in which Hong Kong people can vote for a chief executive whom they think is suitable,” he said. “This is not to say that we will certainly choose someone who is against Beijing."
Henry Ngan, a computer engineer from Hong Kong, said, “I hope that people can take time to express their support at the Chinese Consulate General in New York during the day Occupy Central happens.”
Activists in Hong Kong have vowed to move forward with their campaign and stage mass rallies to shut down the territory’s central business district. They have not given a date for the action.
On Sunday, Beijing angered many pro-democracy activists when it announced that it would tightly control nominations for Hong Kong’s chief executive.
This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Mandarin service.