HONG KONG (Reuters) – The Chinese and Hong Kong governments condemned one of Asia’s leading press clubs on Tuesday for hosting a speech by an independence activist that has sparked debate about the viability of the city’s freedoms.
U.S. lawmakers have nominated Joshua Wong, a university student who played a prominent role in pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, and other local activists for the Nobel Peace Prize in a move that risks backlash from China.
Five officials with a Hong Kong publisher have now disappeared after that company printed books critical of China’s Communist Party, raising concerns that Beijing has escalated its efforts to crack down on opponents in the territory.
Chinese authorities are now exerting pressure on Christians in Hong Kong, the latest blow to freedoms in the city that has traditionally enjoyed some autonomy from the mainland, the New York Times reports.
Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement is likely to incur more resistance to reforms in the coming years after the recent defeat of a China-backed proposal for restricted elections in the city, analysts say.
Nearly 50,000 people demonstrated in the streets of Hong Kong on Wednesday, the anniversary of the city’s transfer from British to Chinese rule in 1997. Democracy advocates say Beijing has failed to fulfill its promise to Hong Kong of sustaining a “one country, two systems” policy, whereby city residents would enjoy free elections and more civil liberties than the mainland.
Thousands of protesters returned to the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday ahead of a contentious vote this week on a China-backed election proposal.
Hong Kong’s traditionally free press is increasingly under assault from the city’s police, censorship by media owners, and violent intimidation, according to a new report.
President Barack Obama on Monday declined to speak out directly on behalf of the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, stating that while U.S. officials are concerned about human rights, they must also maintain business ties with China.
HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hundreds of Hong Kong police used sledgehammers and chainsaws on Tuesday to tear down barricades erected by pro-democracy protesters near government offices and the financial centre, reopening a major road for the first time in two weeks.
Chinese authorities have detained or harassed dozens of activists this week who expressed support for the protests in Hong Kong, including some who simply posted messages of solidarity online.
The activist group Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) reports that several Chinese dissidents were detained or questioned by police on Monday and Tuesday as the demonstrations in Hong Kong swelled.