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HK protests to continue, demand full democracy: activist

2019/09/05 22:47:44

Hong Kong student activist Joshua Wong

Taipei, Sept. 5 (CNA) Visiting Hong Kong student activist Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said Thursday that the desire of Hong Kong people for a democratic election is unshaken even after the government withdrew the highly controversial extradition bill a day earlier.

In an interview with CNA, Wong, secretary-general of pro-democracy party Demosisto and a leading figure in the months-long anti-extradition law protests in the Chinese Special Administrative Region, said that the objective is clear, a full democratic election.

"Hong Kong's Legislative Council and chief executive should be elected by its people," Wong said when asked about his view on Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam's withdrawal of a proposed bill that would have allowed the extradition of criminal suspects to China for trial.

The Hong Kong government's move was aimed at making concessions in order to gain advantage, Wong noted, adding that even though the bill has been revoked, that does not mean a democratic election will take place.

Asked whether the withdrawal of the bill will change opinions around the world, Wong said he did not worry about that given that many U.S. lawmakers, including U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, are of the view that to allow Hong Kong to exercise a high degree of autonomy means a full democratic election.

Currently, Beijing decides whether to grant Hong Kong democracy and whether political reforms can be undertaken in the special administrative region, he said.

Wong said the withdrawal of the bill is the first time Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) has compromised on Hong Kong, this means the protests really work.

With this experience, Hong Kong people will continue to fight for democracy, Wong said, "What we want is not compromise or yield, we want a democratic election."

He said he will continue to work to ensure Hong Kong's voice is heard around the world. Aside from Taiwan, he plans to visit Germany and the United States to draw international attention to the Hong Kong issue.

Joshua Wong at the Taoyuan airport Sept. 5

Wong, together with Hong Kong lawmaker Eddie Chu (朱凱迪) and Lester Shum (岑敖暉), former deputy secretary-general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, said before concluding their three-day visit to Taiwan that he had achieved three goals during the trip.

First, letting Taiwan's people know that the protests will continue until the protesters' demand for democratic elections and a democratic system are met and soliciting support for Hong Kong from Taiwan's political parties across the political spectrum.

Second, canvassing support from Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council to provide assistance to Hong Kong people in Taiwan, including on visa and education issues.

Third, calling on Taiwanese civic groups to support the ongoing Hong Kong pro-democracy protests, Wong said, adding that an event dubbed "safeguard democracy, support Hong Kong" will be held Sept. 28 or 29 to let Beijing know it cannot suppress Hong Kong and Taiwan.

(By Shen Peng-ta, Wen Kuei-hsiang and Evelyn Kao)
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