News / Asia

Pro-Democracy Protesters Flood Hong Kong

  • A protester is carried away by police officers after staying overnight in Hong Kong's financial district, July 2, 2014.
  • A protester wearing a headband which reads "civil disobedience" cries before being dragged away by  police after staying overnight at Hong Kong's financial district July 2, 2014.
  • Protesters demand that a police officer (right) stay away from them during a peaceful protest, in the financial district, Hong Kong, July 2, 2014.
  • Hundreds of protesters stage a peaceful sit-in overnight following a huge rally in support of democratic reform, in the financial district of Hong Kong, July 2, 2014,
  • Protesters sing while waving mobile phones during an overnight sit-in, financial district of Hong Kong,  July 1, 2014.
  • Hong Kong residents march through the streets of the former British colony carrying umbrellas during a protest to push for greater democracy, Hong Kong, July 1, 2014.
  • Tens of thousands march in downtown streets during a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong, July 1, 2014.
  • Former Hong Kong Chief Secretary Anson Chan (center) looks on beside a police officer as she joins thousands of protesters during a march to demand universal suffrage in Hong Kong, July 1, 2014.
  • Protesters carry portraits of detained Chinese human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang (right) and mainland journalist Gao Yu as they join tens of thousands of others during a march to demand universal suffrage, Hong Kong July 1, 2014.
  • Tens of thousands of residents march during an annual pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong, July 1, 2014.
Pro-democracy Protesters Flood Hong Kong
Shannon Van Sant

Tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents marked the 17th anniversary of the handover of the city from Britain to China today by marching in protest of the Chinese government.

Hundreds of thousands of peaceful protesters, mostly young people, held banners demanding "real democracy" and chanted slogans against Hong Kong's pro-Beijing leader, Leung Chun-ying, as they marched from Victoria Park to the city's central business district.

Tuesday's protest coincides with the annual July 1 pro-democracy rally marking the handover of Hong Kong from British to Chinese rule.  It is taking place just a couple days after one-fifth of Hong Kong’s voters took part in an informal vote on democratic reform, and follows a white paper on political reform in Hong Kong issued by China’s central government.  

Beijing has promised to allow Hong Kongers to vote for their elected officials in 2017. But it has angered many by insisting that it will only allow candidates that are approved beforehand.

The 14,500 word white paper, released earlier this year by China’s State Council Information Office, asserts that Hong Kong does not have full autonomy.  It says many “wrong views” are held in Hong Kong on the “one country, two systems” concept.    

Some protesters set fire to replicas of the report.

Derek Chan Tak-cheung, an activist, took part in the demonstrations.  

He said after the Chinese State Council issued the white paper, we made a coffin and banner reading RIP (rest in peace) Hong Kong to use as a metaphor in our protests.  Derek said we also used that to remember the deaths in the Tiananmen crackdown and appeal for the release of all political prisoners.  

Last weekend democracy activists organized an informal poll on democracy that asked three questions on the election of the city’s chief executive. Currently, Beijing chooses the nominees for the chief executive.  Activists are pushing for universal suffrage in Hong Kong by 2017.  Eight hundred thousand people in Hong Kong took part in the poll, which the Chinese government called illegal and invalid.  

Chinese state media warned Hong Kong residents Tuesday against protesting for democracy.  The state-run China Daily newspaper wrote, "Without the mainland, [Hong Kong] would be left with only half of its trade, one-fourth of its foreign investment and visitors, not to mention only one-tenth of its water and food supply.”

You May Like

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race in military confinement to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
July 01, 2014 3:04 PM
China misread H K. First, China believes if H K was a British colony, now it come back to China, the H K people should be proud and happy. Second, H K people are not happy because their heart is not yet returned to China. Third, their heart is not returned, because the British collude with USA are attempting to create trouble for China. Now there is the trouble, see. How the British and Americans are succeeding. So, let's give some goodies to H K people. Let them make money and they will be happy. When that doesn't work, let's talk tough to them.


by: NG from: Canada
July 01, 2014 2:09 PM
When Japanese fascists invaded Hongkong in WWII, no Hongkong people protested Japanese Fascists by demonstration because they knew Japanese Fascists would crackdown and kill them if anyone in Hongkong interrupted ruling over Hongkang by Japanese fascists.

China government is feeble and weak compared with Japanese and UK army in Hongkong, Some Hongkong people know this.


by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
July 01, 2014 2:04 PM
China is the sovereign state governing H K. That's exactly what the PRC White Paper on H K blatantly said: all the rights you have are given by me. This is the attitude of a Master telling the slave to bow, you can only reply: how low. Is that what One Country Two Systems means?


by: jiangbo
July 01, 2014 1:26 PM
when british ruled hongkong, did hongkong have a governor who was elected by hingkong people?

In Response

by: Frankie Fook-lunLeung from: Los Angeles
July 01, 2014 1:48 PM
No. H K was a British colony. The UK government did not give H K the promise of one country two systems. The UK government respected human rights and division of power and above all judicial independence. Does China do the same to its own people. China fears that what happens in H K will spread to China. Have I answered your question?


by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
July 01, 2014 1:13 PM
Why did China enter into an international agreement with the UK government for the Joint Declaration making those promises. Why did China give H K Special Adminstration Zone "One Country Two Systems" and other goodies. Why did China retract from those obligations. It makes the world wonder whether China can keep its obligations created by an international treaty.


by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
July 01, 2014 9:20 AM
London can vote for independence first! But HK is always part of China, HKs future must be decides by the general congress, the representative of 1.3 billion Chinese!

In Response

by: Anonymous
July 01, 2014 2:48 PM
The representatives of 1.3 billion Chinese! You must be joking. The CCP represent noone but themselves. Why doesn't the CCP let 1.3 billion Chinese vote for who they really want to represent them? Since you claim to be from Canada, yet love the CCP so much, why don't you leave Canada, where people have the right to vote, are able to hold their government accountable, has media freedoms, and go back to China where your beloved CCP rules. You must be the spawn of some 'naked officials'. The fact that you can access and post what you want freely on the internet is pretty ironic.


by: Ting from: USA
July 01, 2014 8:02 AM
China took back HK for the benefit of the Chinese people and not solely for the HK citizens and administer HK for the benefit of Chinese people and not solely for HK citizens. Those so called democratic activists can live so subserviently under the autocratic British colonial rule can also do so now and are better off in that the positions of HK Governor and high public offices can now be filled by HK citizens instead of by British from Britain and the HK revenue can now be spend for the prosperity of HK instead for Britain.

In Response

by: needmorestandoffs
July 01, 2014 9:10 AM
The fact that HK citizens lived under British rule in the past is not relevant today. The only point that matters is that citizens of any country have a right to demand the right to live in freedom and liberty, and to be governed as they see fit. They have a right to protest and demand to be heard. They have a self evident right to fight for their freedom, and establish their own government. It may come with problems of its own, as Beijing points out in its white paper regarding trade, resources, and economic issues, but that is for the citizens of HK to sort out. I wish them well.


by: Adam9 from: Dong Nai, Vietnam
July 01, 2014 6:07 AM
I am very impressed. I wished we could do the same in Vietnam too, do marching for democracy without getting arrested, beaten up and locked up for many years.

In Response

by: Adam9
July 01, 2014 4:44 PM
Thank you for sharing your insight, Matthew !!

And again, I am very impressed with the people of Hong Kong.

In Response

by: matthew from: hong kong
July 01, 2014 1:18 PM
Telling, I think, that the adverse comments on Hong Kong's struggle for democracy appear to come from ethnically Chinese individuals who have made the choice not to live in China, or Hong Kong. Being proud of one's country - indeed patriotic - does not mean being blind to its shortcomings. Perhaps worth reviewing the evidence and investigating the drivers of dissent before expressing ill-considered and frankly offensive opinions. Disclosure: I am not ethnically Chinese, but i have been living in Hong Kong for over a decade, and have witnessed first-hand Peking's steady erosion of Hong Kong's civil liberties, and increasingly belligerent tone towards Hong Kong's people. I of course can leave if things get too hot. Hong Kong's patriots demanding change for the most part cannot, making their views substantially more weighty than those of Peking 's sock-puppets overseas.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

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