Tue, Sep 23, 2014 - Page 1 News List

HK students rally, strike for democracy

‘GRASP YOUR DESTINY’:Student groups estimated the turnout at a rally to launch a week-long strike at 13,000, ahead of Occupy Central’s financial district shutdown

Reuters, HONG KONG

“We will continue to carry out ‘one country, two systems’ and the Basic Law in Hong Kong, which serve the interests of the nation, the interests of Hong Kong people, and the interests of foreign investors,” said Xi, who was flanked by former Hong Kong chief executive Tung Chee-hwa (董建華). “The central government will firmly support and push for the democratic development in Hong Kong and will maintain the prosperous development in Hong Kong.”

The Basic Law refers to the mini-constitution for post-1997 Hong Kong, which enshrines the “one country, two systems” formula.

Leading academics in Hong Kong have voiced support for the student boycott, with some offering to record lectures and post them online for students who miss school to watch later.

“As long as the spirit of democracy stays alive, we cannot and will not be defeated,” Occupy Central cofounder Chan Kin-man (陳健民) said.

Student group Scholarism is planning to lead a boycott of secondary-school classes on Friday to rally further support for the democracy movement, while Occupy is expected to lock down the financial district on about Wednesday next week.

“I believe on Aug. 31, when the National People’s Congress made their decision, it crushed the dreams of some Hong Kong people who have been fighting hard for democracy for the past 30 years,” third-year student Hong Yuen said, referring to Beijing’s decision to rule out full democracy.

Hong Kong has been dogged by a series of rallies this summer over the issue of electoral reform. A survey by the Chinese University showed more than one-fifth of Hong Kong residents are considering leaving the territory, spurred by concerns over its political future.

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