Hong Kong leader says Beijing won't back down

Hong Kong leader says Beijing won't back down

Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong set a Wednesday deadline for a response from the government to meet their demands for reforms after spending another night blocking streets in an unprecedented show of civil disobedience, Associated Press reported.

A brief statement from the Occupy Central civil disobedience movement said it had set an Oct. 1 deadline for the city's unpopular chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, to meet their demands for genuine democracy and for him to step down as Hong Kong's leader.

The group said on Twitter it would "announce new civil disobedience plans same day," without elaborating.

Even larger crowds are expected to flood the streets Wednesday, China's National Day holiday. The government said it was canceling a fireworks display to mark the day.

Leung on Tuesday urged Occupy Central to take into account the considerations of other residents and stop its protest, which has snarled traffic and disrupted public transport for days. But he said China's communist leaders in Beijing would not back down from an August decision to restrict voting reforms for the first direct elections to pick his successor in 2017.

"The central government will not rescind its decision," he said.

One day after police shocked the city by firing tear gas at the crowds, the protesters passed a peaceful night Monday singing as the blocked streets in several parts of Hong Kong. They also staged a brief "mobile light" vigil, waving their glowing cell phones as the protests stretched into their fourth day. Crowds chanted calls for Leung to resign, and sang anthems calling for freedom.

Police arrested a man who drove his Mercedes-Benz through a crowd of protesters occupying a street in the densely populated Kowloon neighborhood of Mong Kok. Local television footage showed people scrambling as the car sped through the crowd while honking just before 2 a.m. No one was injured.

By Tuesday morning, the crowd, mostly students, continued to occupy a six-lane highway next to the local government headquarters. The encampment was also edging closer to the heart of the city's financial district.

Police said they used 87 rounds of tear gas Sunday in what they called a necessary but restrained response to protesters pushing through cordons and barricades. They said 41 people were injured, including 12 police officers.

"Police cordon lines were heavily charged by some violent protesters. So police had to use the minimum force in order to separate the distance at that moment between the protesters and also the police," said Cheung Tak-keung, the assistant police commissioner for operations.

The atmosphere was more festive Monday as constantly shifting crowds blocked major roads. People moved in and out of the sit-ins, some bringing in food and drink while others fetched their own. Some high school students, still in their school uniforms, sat on the pavement doing their homework.

"It's already the fourth day, so it's really tiring," said Ching-ching Tse, a 24-year-old student at the Chinese University of Hong Kong who was on her second day of collecting trash in the protest area with her friends. "So we are forming some groups and hope we can do some shifts and take turns."

Officials announced that schools in some districts of Hong Kong would remain closed Tuesday because of safety concerns, while dozens of bus routes were canceled and some subway stops near protest areas were closed.

The protests have been dubbed the "Umbrella Revolution" by some, because the crowds have used umbrellas to not only block the sun, but also to stop the police from hitting them with pepper spray. Political slogans calling for freedom have also been written on the umbrellas.

Many younger Hong Kong residents raised in an era of plenty and with no experience of past political turmoil in mainland China have higher expectations. Under an agreement set in 1984, before most of them were born, Beijing promised to allow Hong Kong residents civil liberties - unseen in the rest of China - after it took control of the city in 1997.

The protesters are dismayed by China's decision last month that candidates in the city's first election for its top leader must be hand-picked by a committee of mostly pro-Beijing tycoons. That move is viewed by many residents as reneging on promises to allow greater democracy in the semi-autonomous territory of 7.1 million, since Beijing had promised that the chief executive would eventually be chosen through "universal suffrage."

China's communist leaders take a hard line against any threat to their monopoly on power, including clamping down on dissidents and Muslim Uighur separatists in the country's far west, but it cannot crack down too harshly on the semi-autonomous territory where a freewheeling media ensures global visibility.

Across the border, Chinese state media have provided scant coverage of the protests beyond noting that an illegal gathering spun out of control and was being curtailed by police.

The protests began a week ago with a class boycott by university and college students demanding reforms of the local legislature and a withdrawal of Beijing's requirement that election candidates be screened.

Leaders of the broader Occupy Central civil disobedience movement joined the protesters early Sunday, saying they wanted to kick-start a long-threatened mass sit-in demanding Hong Kong's top leader be elected without Beijing's interference.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Ankara expects to host Putin-Zelensky meeting - Erdogan
Ankara expects to host Putin-Zelensky meeting - Erdogan
Russia records another 38,850 coronavirus cases, highest daily number since Nov 13
Russia records another 38,850 coronavirus cases, highest daily number since Nov 13
Russian MFA talks about expansion of transport corridors within GUAM
Russian MFA talks about expansion of transport corridors within GUAM
Loading Bars
Latest
Children over 5 years old allowed to be vaccinated against coronavirus in Uzbekistan
Ankara expects to host Putin-Zelensky meeting - Erdogan
Turkey, Qatar agree on ensuring security at Kabul airport
Turkish Parliament speaker pays tribute to memory of martyrs of Azerbaijan's January 20 tragedy
Georgia slightly decreases imports of petroleum gases from Azerbaijan
US will keep probing diplomats’ health incidents: Blinken
Georgia shares data on cement imports from Azerbaijan
Kazakhstan Railways opens tender to buy spare parts
Azerbaijan's metallurgical production increases
Cost of manufactured computers up in Azerbaijan
Central Bank of Turkey makes decision on key rate
President Ilham Aliyev receives Advisor to French President's Cabinet and EU Special Representative for South Caucasus
January 20 tragedy laid foundation for Azerbaijanis' struggle to restore their statehood and independence
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Price indexes of industrial, trade sectors at Uzbek stock exchange rise
Azerbaijan confirms 1,186 more COVID-19 cases, 582 recoveries
Turkish VP tweets about anniversary of Azerbaijan's January 20 tragedy
Kazakhstan talks persons not eligible for support on loan deferrals, write-offs
Uzbekistan’s Bukhara oil refinery discloses volume of its production in 2021
Turkmen enterprise releases its first tablets and smartphones
Azerbaijan is beneficiary of recovery trend in hydrocarbon market - Gazprombank
Technical specifications of Azerbaijan’s Khizi-Absheron power plant revealed
Uzbek Central Bank makes decision on its main rate
Azerbaijan boosts oil exports to Georgia
State Statistics Committee discloses cost of machinery, equipment produced in Azerbaijan
Cars re-export from Georgia to Azerbaijan increases
Uzbekistan’s gas chemical complex reveals volume of its products for 2021
Kazakhstan unveils value of vehicles insurance over 11M2021
Kazakhstan reports increase in monetary base value
Kazakhstan's first president to retain right to speak at parliament and government
Azerbaijani Executive Power in Baku opens tender for purchase of truck spare parts
Tesla Berlin factory to elect works council on Feb 28
Kazakhstan to introduce two alternative ways to repay deferred payments
Introducing hydrogen as energy carrier can raise energy security risks
Impact of large-scale protests in Kazakhstan yet to play out - WoodMac
Azerbaijan's State Agency for Use of Mineral Resources opens tender on survey services
India’s cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage exceeds 158.88 Cr
PM Modi to host first ever India-Central Asia Summit in virtual format on Jan 27
Indian NSE world’s largest derivatives exchange for 3rd straight year
Artel launches Innovative Educational Center in Tashkent
Uzbekistan shares data on industrial production in 2021
Events held in Azerbaijani army, dedicated to January 20 tragedy (PHOTO)
Guides to accompany passengers of bus trips to Azerbaijan’s liberated Aghdam, Shusha cities
Can hydrogen market be cartelized?
Azerbaijani NBCO eyes boosting car loan portfolio
Memory of January 20 tragedy victims honored in Azerbaijan's Shusha (VIDEO)
Indian economic recovery yet to attain durability: Icra
Russia records another 38,850 coronavirus cases, highest daily number since Nov 13
PM to launch India-assisted projects with Mauritius counterpart Jugnauth today
Rapid growth of hydrogen to underpin rising demand for nickel, zirconium
Azerbaijani State Border Service to purchase building materials via tender
Iran’s CBI discloses data on balance of bank loans
Uzbek Statistics Committee reveals amount of construction work done in 2021
Azerbaijan's minister of health talks quarantine regime
Turkmen garment factory ramps up production
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for January 20
IEA expects Azerbaijan to increase oil output in 2022
Turkish MoD shares publication on anniversary of January 20 tragedy in Azerbaijan
Work related to Armenia's environmental crimes in Azerbaijan's Karabakh in progress - ministry
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to rise
Turkish, Armenian special reps to discuss confidence-building measures - FM
IEA evaluates Azerbaijan’s OPEC+ compliance
Kazakhstan crude and condensate production estimated to go up in 2022
European Hydrogen Backbone joined by six more companies
Swiss Expo inks solar power purchase agreement in Poland
Кazakh Electricity Grid Operating Company opens tender to buy spares for vehicles
Turkmenbashi refinery opens tender to purchase necessary equipment
EBRD to allocate loan for Turkey’s renewable energy sector
Azerbaijan develops action plan to provide liberated areas with internet
Georgia shares data on trade turnover with Azerbaijan
Russian MFA talks about expansion of transport corridors within GUAM
Recognise ‘Hinduphobia’ and violence against Buddhists, Sikhs too: Indian envoy to U.N.
Work related to Armenian crimes against Azerbaijanis continues - Prosecutor General
Momentum in India's favour, need to prevail over COVID-19: Deloitte CEO on economic development
Central Bank of Iran shares data on exchange of bank checks countrywide
Proud to hold TEKNOFEST int'l aviation, space, technology festival in Azerbaijan - Turkish Baykar Makina
EU special rep for South Caucasus to visit Azerbaijan
Iran boasts potential to vastly increase exports to Russia
India extends suspension on international flights till February 28
Kazakh Gas Processing Plant opens tender to buy electric engines
Companies from UAE, Netherlands to build solar photovoltaic stations in Uzbekistan
Israel signs $3.4 bln submarines deal with Germany's Thyssenkrupp
Azerbaijan eyes holding clinical trials of Turkovac COVID-19 vaccine soon
Turkmen state concern to purchase material and technical resources via tender
Georgia names main goods in domestic exports in 2021
Azerbaijani minister talks potential omicron infection rate among local COVID-19 patients
Azerbaijani people honor memory of victims of January 20 tragedy (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Iranian banks issue big loans in services sector
UN Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan expresses condolences in connection with January 20 tragedy
Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Azerbaijan honors memory of victims of January 20 tragedy (PHOTO)
Uzbek association signs agreement with Russian enterprises to develop textile industry
Inflation accelerating worldwide: How Azerbaijan responds?
Azerbaijan honors memory of martyrs of January 20 tragedy by minute of silence (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Turkish embassy in Azerbaijan shares publication on 32nd anniversary of January 20 tragedy
Turkmenistan's TML eyes co-op with Ukraine's Smart Maritime Group
Uzbekistan to strengthen cooperation with Saudi company in energy field
Leadership of Azerbaijani MoD visits Alley of Martyrs (PHOTO)
Georgia’s revenues from tourism to surge in 2022 – Galt & Taggart
Iran provides several loans in trade sector
January 20 events strengthened resolve of Azerbaijani people for independence - aide to president
All news