Hong Kong democracy protesters call for CY Leung resignation as demonstrations continue

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The protests in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong on Monday.
Image: Raysonho.

Protestors in Hong Kong have called for the resignation of CY Leung, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, and vowed to continue the protests. If their demands are not met today, the protestors have said they will start occupying government buildings.

Tens of thousands of protestors — some affiliated with the 'Occupy Central' movement — have kept up a demonstration for seven days against plans by the Chinese government to screen candidates seeking to be on the ballot for the 2017 election. Lester Shum, the vice secretary of the Hong Kong Federation of Students and one of the leaders of the movement, outlined his plans: "Leung Chun-ying must step down. If he doesn't resign by tomorrow [Thursday], we will step up our actions, such as by occupying several important government buildings". He said there was "no room for dialogue" with CY Leung after the police fired tear gas at protestors.

Chan Kin-man, another leader in the movement, said: "I hope people will understand why the action keeps on escalating. It's because the government is getting more and more closed without listening to Hong Kong people."

Pro-democracy protestors catching some sleep.
Image: B Clarke.

United States Secretary of State John Kerry urged the Hong Kong authorities to "exercise restraint and respect for the protesters' right to express their views peacefully" and said Hong Kong needs to have the "highest possible degree of autonomy". Kerry stated the US position was support for "universal suffrage in Hong Kong, accordant with the Basic Law".

David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister, said: "What matters is that the basic agreement that we set out with the Chinese all those years ago should be stuck to [...] Universal suffrage really means not just being able to vote but having a proper choice."

A statement on Chinese state television asked residents of Hong Kong to support efforts by the city authorities to "deploy police enforcement decisively" and "restore the social order in Hong Kong as soon as possible".

Wang Yi, the Chinese Foreign Minister, appearing alongside John Kerry, said the protests were illegal and warned: "Hong Kong affairs are China's internal affairs. All countries should respect China's sovereignty. For any country, for any society, no-one will allow those illegal acts that violate public order."

People's Daily, a newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, published the following: "Hong Kong has for many years enjoyed peace and harmony. It now sees the emergence of this embarrassing 'chaos', and the root cause lies with a few people who are disrespecting the law".