HONG KONG—An estimated 130,000 Hong Kong residents celebrated New Year’s Day by winding through the city in several marches protesting the interference of the Chinese Communist Party in Hong Kong. The protesters also targeted Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, demanding his removal.
Anxiety in Hong Kong about the designs of the CCP on the Special Administrative Region have grown in recent months. Although Hong Kong’s constitution, which guarantees Hong Kong residents rights not held in mainland China, is protected by a treaty that established the doctrine of one country/two systems, the CCP has exerted increasing pressure on the former British colony.
This summer Leung—who has been accused by a former Hong Kong Party member of being an underground CCP cadre—attempted to introduce into Hong Kong’s schools the curriculum used in mainland China. Many Hong Kongers objected, describing the curriculum as a form of brainwashing. He withdrew after hundreds of thousands took to the streets in protest.
Zhang Xiaoming, the newly appointed head of the People of Republic of China’s Liaison Office—the PRC’s Embassy to Hong Kong, raised hackles when he said that Hong Kong’s Legislative Council should pass Basic Law Article 23. This controversial anti-subversion law was defeated when first advanced in 2002-3. Critics believe it would strip Hong Kong residents of many of their cherished constitutional protections.
Over the past several months, a CCP front group has on several occasions attacked or otherwise interfered with the activities of Falun Gong practitioners in Hong Kong.
The celebrated journalist Ching Cheong recently published a commentary in Hong Kong calling for resistance to the communization of the city. Ching Cheong estimates that over the past few decades the CCP has sent 400,000 Party members to live in Hong Kong.
48 civil and political organizations joined together in Tuesday’s events.
One of the longest processions started out from Victoria Park at 3 p.m., led by a group of senior citizens in wheelchairs. A massive number of citizens joined the march on its route through the city.
But as it approached past Yee Wo Street in Causeway Bay, the participants were attacked with water bombs.
The march reached its destination at the Admiralty’s government headquarters where activists confronted a CCP organization, The Voice of Loving Hong Kong, which was rallying in the headquarters’ amphitheater. The group was formed to support the Leung Chun Ying administration.
Another group of around 200 hundred young protestors gathered at the Chater Road Pedestrian Precinct at 3:30 p.m. and marched toward the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government, demanding the current chief executive to step down and Hong Kong citizens to be granted universal suffrage
The British government brought civilization to Hong Kong, whereas the CCP brought darkness, said the democracy advocate Koo Sze Yiu, who revealed that he was planning on burning a CCP flag upon arriving at the Liason Office.
However, Koo was arrested at Hollywood Road for defacing and damaging the national flag and violating national and local flag ordinances. He was then said to be taken to the Aberdeen Police Station.
A box of debris was also dropped from overhead when the procession went past Queens Road toward Bonham Strand. The incident was believed to be deliberate and the members of the march requested that local authorities enforce the law.
At 5 p.m., the group of 200 arrived their destination and stood in front of the Liaison Office door while tearing up CCP flags and shouting slogans that demanded the independence of Hong Kong from the CCP.
One of the earliest marches on that day started at 2 p.m. Held by the group People Power, it started at the Causeway Bay Central Library and ended with a rally at the Central Government House.
Spokesperson Chan Wai Yip estimated that around 12 thousand to 13 thousand people attended the event and said they were planning on staying overnight.
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