Mon, Oct 04, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Longhair Leung's behavior draws ire of Beijing stooges

AP , HONG KONG

A China official denounced a veteran gadfly recently elected to Hong Kong's legislature for "stirring trouble" by chanting pro-democracy slogans at a Chinese National Day celebration, reports said yesterday.

"Stirring trouble at the celebration under the false pretense of freedom of expression won't be approved or accepted by most citizens," the Ming Pao Daily News quoted Wang Rudeng (王如登), an aide to the head of China's liaison office in Hong Kong, as saying.

He was referring to Leung Kwok-hung (梁國雄), known as `Longhair,' a longtime fixture at Hong Kong pro-democracy demonstrations where he heckled officials, burned flags and scuffled with police.

Armed with his new legislator-elect status, Leung took his activism inside the corridors of power Friday, yelling "long live democracy" at an official Chinese National Day reception also attended by Hong Kong's leader and China's top representative in the territory.

Yesterday, the Apple Daily newspaper quoted Wang as saying that Hong Kong's free speech rights, preserved when the territory was handed over in 1997, were still in place -- but that its people should respect themselves, others, their country and race.

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