Half a million demonstrate against communist China
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/2/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Over 500 people were arrested in Hong Kong on July 2-the 17th anniversary of Britain's handover of the island to China-as part of a protest of almost half a million who were rallying for greater democracy in Hong Kong.
Half a million Hong Kong citizens protested against an overstep of Chinese authority on June 29.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A statement from Beijing said it would not adopt a system which would allow Hong Kong citizens to nominate and vote for candidates when reform begins in 2017, denying a key demand for pro-democracy groups in the area.
Chinese police managed to break up the protests around 3 a.m., but about 1,200 people remained in an overnight sit-in outside the chief executive's office in what they called a "rehearsal of Occupy Central" a reference to further mass protests that democracy groups have threatened if Beijing fails to go further with reforms.
Pro-democracy organizations ran an unofficial referendum which ended on June 29, in which 88% of almost 800,000 voters backed a proposal in which citizens of Hong Kong should be able to nominate candidates. The Chinese government labeled the referendum "illegal and invalid."
Beijing has allowed the territory's electorate to vote for their choice starting in 2017, but has insisted that authorities nominate the candidates that can be voted for.
"Hong Kong society and Beijing are now at a crucial crossroads. People are not only fighting for a democratic political system, they fear the core universal values that they cherish are being eliminated," said Joseph Cheng Yu-shek, chair professor of political science at the City University of Hong Kong. "If Beijing does not respond to people's aspirations, we can expect Hong Kong society will become more and more divided with more confrontations appearing."
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