Some placards and slogans at Hong Kong's latest pro-democracy protest were inappropriate and not conducive to stability and harmony, a senior Chinese official in the territory was quoted yesterday as saying.
Chanting "return power to the people," hundreds of thousands of people poured onto the streets of Hong Kong on Thursday to challenge Beijing's refusal to allow them to elect the city's chief executive and to vent their frustration at Chinese rule.
"Some protest organizers used placards and slogans that were inappropriate and not conducive to Hong Kong residents' common desire for stability, development and harmony," said an official identified only as the "person in charge" at the central government's Liaison Office in Hong Kong.
China's official Xinhua news agency did not say what the placards or slogans were, but analysts said Beijing sees the chorus to "return power to the people" as a veiled call for independence.
"We hope these people can follow the desire of a majority of Hong Kong people and play a genuinely constructive role to maintain stability and prosperity," Xinhua quoted the official as saying.
The demonstration, on the seventh anniversary of the former British colony's return to China, gave Beijing a taste of what it fears most, a mass show of public dissent.
But Hong Kong pro-democracy activists were quick to stress that what Hong Kong people wanted was more freedom under Chinese rule.
"We are here today to fight for democracy," veteran campaigner Legislator Martin Lee (
However, the Hong Kong government was warned yesterday to respond to Thursday's massive pro-democracy march or face a summer of social unrest.
Legislator David Chu (
Organizers said as many as 530,000 people joined the protest, well over the 300,000 they had expected. But final police estimates were much lower, at 200,000.
Chu said the government had to respond to people's aspirations for democracy or the stability of the former British colony would be at stake.
"If we don't accommodate for this change quickly, there will be big instability."
One of the march's organizers, Legislator Lee Cheuk-yan (
Beijing-appointed Tung held a briefing after the march to reiterate what he has said before -- that any moves toward universal suffrage in Hong Kong must be gradual and must have China's consent.
Also see story:
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
The military last week sent “no small number” of Marine Corps officers to the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島) following reports of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill targeting the islands scheduled for this month. In an interview with Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Magazine published on Saturday last week, PLA National Defense University professor Li Daguang (李大光) confirmed that the Chinese army was planning to stage a simulated invasion of the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea this month. The islands comprise three atolls, with Pratas Island, at 1.74km2, being the largest. They lie southwest of Taiwan proper in the South