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Talk of the day--HK marks 15th year of return to China amid protests

2012/07/01 20:16:22

Chinese President Hu Jintao was met with heavy protests wherever he went on a visit to Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China that celebrated the 15th anniversary of its return from British to Chinese rule Sunday.

Addressing an audience of about 2,300 at the inauguration of newly elected Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, the president vowed to support Hong Kong's special status.

However, his speech was disrupted by a protester, who shouted in Cantonese, "Vindication of the Tiananmen Square Massacre!" "End one-party rule!" and "Build a democratic China!"

The protester was immediately taken away by police.

Elsewhere, civil groups in Hong Kong demanded that the China government investigate the death of Chinese dissident Li Wangyang.

Many other protesters also took to the streets in the special special administrative region, where residents have been increasingly identifying themselves as "Hong Kongers."

In Taiwan, opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang said Hong Kong's discontent toward China should serve as a warning for Taiwan.

The following are excerpts from the media coverage of the 15th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to Chinese rule.

United Daily:

A Hong Kong reporter from the Apple Daily was reportedly taken away by police for questioning after he asked Chinese President Hu Jintao whether he had "heard of the Hong Kong people's wish to vindicate the June Fourth Incident (Tiananmen Massacre)."

The reporter was reportedly held by police for 15 minutes and asked for his personal information. The police later said the move was necessary to prevent public disorder.

The incident sparked public fury. The Hong Kong Journalists Association released a statement Saturday, condemning the authority's action and asking the police to cease its "mainland approach" toward Hong Kong reporters.

Several civil groups, including the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China and Civil Human Rights Front, also took to the streets Saturday, demanding that the government vindicate the Tiananmen Massacre and investigate the suspicious death of Tiananmen Square activist Li Wangyang.

Li was found hanging from a hospital window by a strip of cloth around his neck, in Hunan Province on June 6 this year. It is believed that the activist, who was blind and deaf, may have been murdered because of his political stance.

Police erected giant barricades to block a protest march and some used pepper spray to deter demonstrators who tried to break through the barricades. (July 1, 2012)


Some twenty members of the League of Social Democrats and the April Fifth Action Group took to the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday, calling on the Chinese government to investigate the death of Li.

They carried a red coffin emblazoned with the words, "Bad future ahead for Hong Kong" and "Hong Kong is ruled by Beijing's Liaison Office."

Lee Cheuk-yan, chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, said Hong Kong has become "a police state" in which freedom of expression is regulated by the authorities.

Lee said Hu was never given the chance to see the "real" Hong Kong.

Some 50,000 people had registered to take part in an anniversary march scheduled for Sunday afternoon in Hong Kong. (July 1, 2012)

Liberty Times:

DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang said Saturday in a Facebook post that the separate system of governance in Hong Kong envisioned by China's late leader Deng Xiaoping has become a void promise.

Instead, the gap between China and Hong Kong has been closing, as evidenced by the self-censorship that is prevalent in politics, business and the media in Hong Kong, he said.

History has shown that when people are stripped of their freedom, they yearn for it, he said. The record-high turnout at last year's July 1 march in Hong Kong proved that saying true, he added.

Taiwan should look at Hong Kong and take heed, he said.

If Taiwan cannot maintain a firm stance in its interactions with China, Hong Kong's democratic future will be cloudy, he said. (July 1, 2012)

(By Ann Chen)
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