Protests & Pledges of Democratic Reform In Hong Kong
Tens of thousands marched today in Hong Kong for democracy on the 10 year anniversary of its transfer of power over to communist China.
Thousands of protesters march in a Hong Kong downtown street Sunday, July 1, 2007. The July 1 pro-democracy street rally, marking the former British colony’s return to Chinese rule in 1997, has become an annual tradition since half a million people took to the streets in 2003 to protest a national security law. (AP Photo/Lo Sai Hung)
Pro-democracy protesters take part in a protest march demanding universal suffrage in Hong Kong July 1, 2007. (AFP)
Democracy party members unfurl banners on the steps of the legislature on the 10 year anniversary of Hong Kong’s transfer of power over to communist China.
The banner reads… “We Want Democracy!”
Hong Kong democratic party members release two banners urging people to take to the streets for greater democracy during a midnight protest on the balcony of the Legislative Council building on Sunday, July 1 2007. The pro-democracy lawmakers staged a similar protest 10 years ago, when the former British colony returned to Chinese rule. The banner at left reads ‘ July 1 march ‘ (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Pro-democracy protesters carry a model of a coffin as they walk in downtown Hong Kong during a demonstration July 1, 2007. Pro-democracy activists demonstrated on Sunday carrying a mock coffin on the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China. (REUTERS/Nir Elias)
Hong Kong’s leader Donal Tsang pledged greater democratic gains as he was sworn into office for his second term on Saturday.
This week marked the 10 year anniversary since the communist government of China took charge of the former British colony on the mainland.
The BBC reported:
Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Donald Tsang, has reiterated a pledge to create a more democratic system in the territory. His comments came shortly after he was sworn in for a second term in office by Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Mr Hu is in Hong Kong to mark the 10th anniversary of the territory’s handover from British to Chinese rule.
Speaking after Mr Tsang, he said that political development in Hong Kong should be “gradual and orderly”.
Hong Kong was returned to China at midnight on 30 June 1997 after more than 150 years under the British.
At midnight, Buddhist monks held a bell-chiming ceremony, counting down to the moment of the anniversary. Fireworks and celebrations are scheduled for later in the day.
“A green paper will be published this year so that we can all work together to identify the most acceptable mode of universal suffrage to best serve the interests of Hong Kong,” he said.
Mr Hu emphasised Beijing’s sovereignty over Hong Kong.
“One country, two systems cannot be separated from each other,” he said. “The one country means that we must uphold the power vested in the central government.”
Hong Kong residents cannot elect their chief executive. They can vote for half of the seats in the legislature.
China and Britain promised in 1997 that Hong Kong would become a full democracy, but did not state when that would happen.
A pro-democracy protester protects himself as police use fire-extinguishing powder during a demonstration in Hong Kong July 1, 2007. Pro-democracy activists demonstrated on Sunday carrying a mock coffin on the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China. (REUTERS/Nir Elias)