Today is October 1st, 2014, it is the 65th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. In Beijing, tens of thousands people went to Tiananmen Square in the early morning to watch the flag-raising ceremony. It is a national holiday and a day of celebration. In China this day is called 国庆日 (national day), literally, it is “nation(al) celebrate (celebration) day”. On this special day, people like to get together with families and eat delicious food, visit parks, go for tourist travels, or stay at home and watch TV. In many cities, national day firework shows are organized in the evening for residents to enjoy. But today, in Hong Kong, instead of beautiful fireworks and more tourists pouring in for shopping and visiting, tens of thousands of Hong Kong people are “Occupy(ing) Central” and launching an “Umbrella Revolution”, protesting against the new election policy decided by Beijing.
What is “OCCUPY Central”?
Occupy Central is a civil disobedience movement which began in Hong Kong on September 28, 2014. It calls on thousands of protesters to block roads and paralyse Hong Kong’s financial district if the Beijing and Hong Kong governments do not agree to implement universal suffrage for the chief executive election in 2017 and the Legislative Council elections in 2020 according to “international standards.” The movement was initiated by Benny Tai Yiu-ting, an associate professor of law at the University of Hong Kong, in January 2013.
Since Sunday night, the so-called “umbrella revolution” has turned the city’s gleaming central business district into a virtual conflict zone, replete with shouting mobs, police in riot gear, and clouds of tear gas. Tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents – young and old, rich and poor – have peacefully occupied major thoroughfares across the city, shuttering businesses and bringing traffic to a halt. They claim that Beijing reneged on an agreement to grant them open elections by 2017, and demand “true universal suffrage”.
What is the new election policy?
On August 31, 2014, the Chinese government announced that Hong Kong people could “elect” our CE (Chief Executive) by a “univeral suffrage” through “one-person-one-vote”. However, they also point out that: You can vote, but not everyone can run for the election as the candidate must first be nominated by a “Nomination Committee”.
These Committees are formed by “The Four Sectors” (The Commercial and Financial Sector, Professional, Labour and Religion Sector and Political Sector). The question is, concerns arise as to whether there are too many representatives from Commercial and Financial Sector, and also some declining industries. Also, there are eligibility concerns that there are people who are not related to the issue. The most important point is that the relationship between these 1200 representatives and the Chinese government is questionable.
Where are these 1200 representatives coming from? Basically they are elected by around 250,000 Hong Kong people of respective professions. That is, if you are a teacher, you can elect the representatives of the Education sector.
Before: 1200 people elect the CE.
Now: 1200 people elect the candidates of CE, and then the rest of Hong Kong people elect the CE from the candidates.
Who are the organizers?
Who are the people on street and what are they fighting for?
The reaction from the international community?
The whole world is watching, just like 25 years ago, the whole world was watching Tian’anmen Square tens of thousands of Chinese students demonstrating against corruption and calling for democracy. There is supporting voice from the United States government, but it seems not from many other Western governments.
White House Shows Support For Aspirations Of Hong Kong People
But there is support from people around the world.
The reaction from mainland China?