Hong Kong own country
Hong Kong’s Protesters Feel Betrayed by Their Own GovernmentKong Ng—Getty Images A pro-democracy protester displays his T-shirt on a street in Mongkok district on October 22, 2014 in Hong Kong.
The only solution to the monthlong protest, they insist, is for the local government to fight for Hong Kong's rights instead of always capitulating to China
Hong Kong and China are “one country” with “two systems.” Yet these days, pro-democracy protesters say, the emphasis is patently on “one country.”
Just shy of one month into the protests paralyzing key traffic arteries in Hong Kong, democracy supporters here are outraged over what they say is the local government’s failure to meet even low expectations for interceding on their behalf to Beijing.
“Under normal circumstances, the government should argue the people’s case in Beijing and help Hong Kong to secure universal suffrage, ” says Emily Lau, chair of Hong Kong’s Democratic Party.
“But it has done the reverse, ” she says, “by urging Hong Kong people to accept the unacceptable.”
Indeed, supporters of the protests point to concrete steps Hong Kong’s top leader, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, could take — but hasn’t — to get Beijing to end the deadlock. That Leung hasn’t approached Beijing for reforms, but has instead encouraged protesters to back down, illustrates to demonstrators one of the chief reasons for their ongoing sit-ins: if Beijing gets to vet candidates for Hong Kong’s top leader, as it plans to do in 2017, this city is bound to get another local government unwilling to defend “two systems.”
“We are supposed to have autonomy, ” said 30-year-old civil servant Cheong Kung on Thursday night, as he leaned back on his hands in the main protest area of Harcourt Road (recently dubbed Umbrella Square by protesters after the movement’s symbol). “Supposed to have it, ” he added with wry emphasis. “Supposed.”
“This is why we are here, ” said his friend Yai Pon, 30, a travel writer. “If we don’t get universal suffrage, we will never really have autonomy.”
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