Following the student led protests against the Hong Kong government’s handling of the electoral reforms imposed by China’s Beijing rulings, and especially as the police used pepper sprays and the like to quell the dissent, the foreign press is picking up the story. PressTV gave a pretty much straightforward depiction of the context and action:

High schoolers join university protest in Hong Kong

High school students in Hong Kong have joined university students in protest at a decision by China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) to restrict electoral reforms in the territory. About 1,000 secondary school students gathered outside government offices on Friday, marking the fifth day of a week-long boycott campaign by university students for greater democracy. Thousands of students from more than 20 universities along with 400 academics and non-teaching staff have boycotted classes since Monday, September 22, to protest the decision by the NPC.

The campaign came after Beijing decided to rule out open nominations for the city’s next chief executive in 2017, forcing the voters to choose from a list of two or three candidates selected by a nominating committee. Activists insisted that the region’s citizens must be able to elect the chief executive. They believe the decision raises fears that candidates will be screened for loyalty to Beijing.

The boycott is being organized by groups such as the Hong Kong Federation of Students and Scholarism. The activist groups have warned that the protests would intensify if Chinese officials do not meet their demands. China has said it will introduce universal suffrage for the city’s 2017 election, but wants a committee to approve the candidates. The election will be the first in which the chief executive is directly chosen by voters. Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China. The financial hub has enjoyed substantial political autonomy since 1997, when its leadership returned to China after a century of British colonial rule.

(Note: Pressenza is free to reproduce in full articles on PressTV so long as we give source acknowledgements)

The most interesting comment posted on PressTV after that article was by Eddy Chua: Sep 27, 2014 12:7 AM.
US is funding the anti-Beijing radicals to overthrow the HK government: 1) Anti-China activists Anson Chan and Martin Lee were invited to WH to meet Joe Biden and to UK to meet Nick Clegg, 2) Stanford professor Larry Diamond came to HK earlier this year to promote ‘Orange Revolution’ for democracy, 3) US Paul Wolfowitz was caught in HK funding Next-Media owner Lai Chee Ying to organize the ‘Occupy Central’ (=Kiev) movement, 4) Edward Snowden came to HK to warn the Chinese government about US interference in HK elections, 5) US’ Blackwater founder Erik Prince has moved to HK since December, 2013… After Syria/Iran and Ukraine/Russia, HK/China is next on the US’ list of regime change.

The Irish Times gave a like general rundown though mentioning: “While the Catholic Church has told its schools in the territory not to punish students who take part, the Anglican church has said schoolchildren who get involved will get lower marks for conduct.”

The BBC in its coverage, which highlighted ‘student violence’ also stated: “Earlier on Friday, hundreds of secondary school students joined the protest, many of them defying their parents”, without mentioning many mothers were there with their young ones (dad being at work). Anyway the BBC relied mostly on South China Morning Post reports.

Both these media write as though this reliance on a select voting group to bring in the Chief Executive as though this was newly decided but it was laid down and practices since 1997, this is what the students, among others, want modified.

The BBC does give a handy timeline, as follows:

Hong Kong democracy timeline
1984: Britain and China sign an agreement where Hong Kong is guaranteed “a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defence affairs” for 50 years following the handover in 1997.
2004: China rules that its approval must be sought for changes to Hong Kong’s election laws.
2008: China says it will consider allowing direct elections by 2017.
June-July 2014: Pro-democracy activists hold an unofficial referendum on political reform and a large rally. This is followed by protests by pro-Beijing activists.
31 August 2014: China says it will allow direct elections in 2017, but voters will only be able to choose from a list of pre-approved candidates. Activists stage protests.
22 September 2014: Student groups launch a week-long boycott of classes in protest.

Al Jazeera has something of a heady headline: Anti-China protesters storm Hong Kong HQ – Pro-democracy students storm government headquarters to oppose China’s tightening grip on former British colony.

Again, not really telling it as it is – the protesters are not ‘anti-China’, they are against the slow rate of progress of the implementation of full democracy in Hong Kong. Well, their source was Reuters…


The “one country, two systems” framework was originally formulated in the 1960s with Taiwan in mind, according to China’s foreign ministry, but it was first implemented in Hong Kong to reassure the U.K. that the city’s civil liberties would remain intact after the colony was handed back to China in 1997.

Many Taiwanese civic action groups are expected hold an evening gathering on Oct. 1 in Taipei to show solidarity with Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Occupy Central movement, which plans to start an indefinite civil-disobedience campaign in the city’s central business district that day.

Taiwan and China separated in 1949 during a civil war that has not formally ended. Since then, Taiwan has adopted a democratic system while China remains under single-party rule.

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou has managed to forge a closer relationship with China, but on Friday he said the Hong Kong model was unacceptable for Taiwan.

As Chinarealtime reported sameday on its website: ‘In a statement, President Office spokeswoman Ma Wei-kuo said Mr. Ma has made clear in the past that “one country, two systems” is not a working solution to resolve the question of reunification, because unlike Hong Kong, “Taiwan is a democratic country that operates independently. We elect our own president and legislature.”’ Chinarealtime is run by the Wall Street Journal.

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