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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/26/2014 (7 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Pro-democracy groups threatens protests if acceptable reforms are not implemented

China's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress is set to hold a week-long session starting August 25, to discuss how Hong Kong will be able to pick its leader. If this does not go well however, tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents have pledged an uprising of the sort last seen in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong, demanding the right to elect the leader of the semi-autonomous region.

Pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong, demanding the right to elect the leader of the semi-autonomous region.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/26/2014 (7 months ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: China, Hong Kong, International, Asia, News, World Affairs


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Chinese officials say that Hong Kong residents will be allowed to elect their own leader in 2017, but critics suspect that Beijing will screen all candidates via a nominating committee.

You can be a light in the darkness with "prayer and action."

If an acceptable agreement is not reached, pro-democracy activists have pledged large-scale civil disobedience.

Part of a massive rally held in Hong Kong, where residents are demanding suffrage in deciding the po

Part of a massive rally held in Hong Kong, where residents are demanding suffrage in deciding the political future of the region.


During the meeting, lawmakers are set to deliberate on a report from Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung on whether to revise election methods for the territory's top job, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Leung was selected by a 1,200-member committee in 2012, but in 2017 Hong Kong residents will be allowed to vote for their leader.

The center of this issue is whether Beijing will require candidates for the position of chief executive to obtain support from more than 50% of the nominating committee in order to get his or her name on the ballot.

Expectations are high that the committee will be made up largely of pro-Beijing businessmen and individuals, giving mainland authorities veto over potential candidates.

However, activists do not want any restrictions on the nomination of candidates. And a decision is expected by the end of August.

The pro-democracy movement, Occupy Central, has pledged to hold a sit-in of 10,000 protesters in the territory's business district if it views the government's decision inadequate.

The founder of Occupy Central, Benny Tai, told a large gathering of pro-democracy activists that an overly strict framework for electoral reform is likely to trigger protests and, ultimately, a massive, popular, occupation of the main business district in Hong Kong.

Chinese officials have previously stated that the next chief executive must be a patriot and must not oppose the central government, but pro-democracy activists have said that these requirements are unacceptable and do not conform to international standards of universal suffrage.

While Beijing is not likely to budge, the Occupy Central movement has massive man-power behind it. In June of 2014, nearly 800,000 people cast ballots in an informal referendum on how the chief executive should be chosen, organized by the group.

Just a month later, tens of thousands took to the streets demanding democratic reforms for Hong Kong.

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