Hong Kong activists stage China protest ahead of Xi visit





Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters on Monday draped a black flag over a statue symbolising the city's return to China by Britain, days before a visit by President Xi Jinping to mark 20 years since the handover.

High-profile student campaigner Joshua Wong and a dozen demonstrators attached the black cloth to the giant golden bauhinia flower on Hong Kong's harbourfront in an early morning protest as security tried to stop them climbing on the famous tourist attraction.

The sculpture of the bauhinia, which became the emblem of Hong Kong after the handover, was a present to the city from China in 1997 and stands outside the convention centre where Xi will attend anniversary events during a three-day visit starting Thursday.

Police were called to take the flag down while the protesters chanted "democratic self-determination for Hong Kong's future" and "one country, two systems has been a lie for 20 years", referring to Hong Kong's semi-autonomous status.

A guard shouted at them: "You are insulting our country! You are Chinese!"

The "one country, two systems" deal made when Britain handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997 allows the city rights unseen on the mainland, including freedom of speech.

But there are increasing concerns Beijing is trampling the agreement by interfering in a range of areas, from politics to education and media.

Campaigners like Wong are calling for democratic reforms, promised in the handover deal, to change a system where the city leader is still chosen by a pro-China committee and the legislature is weighted towards Beijing.

Wong led mass Umbrella Movement rallies calling for fully free leadership elections in 2014, but they failed to win concessions.

Since then calls for self-determination or even full independence from China have emerged for the first time.

Wong's party Demosisto wants a public referendum on Hong Kong's future in 2047, the year the handover agreement guaranteeing the city's way of life and liberties expires.

"The protest action aims to express our anger and disappointment against the administration for the major political blunders since 1997," Demosisto said in a statement.

It accused China of failing to honour promises made in the handover agreement, "depriving Hong Kong people of civil and political rights to free elections and democracy".

Xi's visit will be his first since becoming president in 2013 and will culminate with the inauguration of Hong Kong's new leader, Carrie Lam, on Saturday.

Protesters say they are preparing to gather during the handover celebrations and Xi's visit will be shrouded in a huge security operation.

COMMENTS

More Related News

South Korea, China to hold summit next month to mend ties
South Korea, China to hold summit next month to mend ties
  • World
  • 2017-11-22 16:28:11Z

(Reuters) - South Korean President Moon Jae-in will visit Beijing next month for a summit with China's Xi Jinping as the two countries seek to mend ties frayed by a year-long spat over the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system in South Korea, Seoul's foreign ministry said on Thursday. The

'Zero Hope For Denuclearizing North Korea,' China Expert Says
'Zero Hope For Denuclearizing North Korea,' China Expert Says

BEIJING ― President Donald Trump's designation of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism may not be the best way to quell the country's nuclear ambitions, according to one expert in China.

Donald Trump's Childish 'IT WAS ME' Plea For Credit Sets Twitter On Fire
Donald Trump's Childish 'IT WAS ME' Plea For Credit Sets Twitter On Fire

President Donald Trump is being ridiculed after he pleaded for credit in the release of three college basketball players detained in China.

Trump: Father of UCLA player in shoplifting case is
Trump: Father of UCLA player in shoplifting case is 'ungrateful fool'
  • US
  • 2017-11-22 12:42:12Z

(Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday reignited a feud with the father of one of the three UCLA basketball players who were detained in China on suspicion of shoplifting, calling him an "ungrateful fool" in a series of early-morning tweets. LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo Ball, has played down Trump's involvement in the three athletes' release from Chinese detention after they admitted to stealing items from three stores during a team trip to China earlier this month. "...LaVar, you could have spent the next 5 to 10 years during Thanksgiving with your son in China, but no NBA contract to support you.

Trump labels father of UCLA player an
Trump labels father of UCLA player an 'ungrateful fool'

In a series of tweets fired off before dawn on the first day of his Thanksgiving vacation, the president complained yet again that LaVar Ball, father of LiAngelo Hall, hasn't given him credit for the release of his son and two other UCLA basketball players from detention in China. ''Too

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Europe

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.