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Monday, Nov 3, 2014

Asia

HK protestors may crash Beijing forum

The New Paper | Monday, Nov 3, 2014

Democracy protesters in Hong Kong are thinking of petitioning the Communist authorities directly in Beijing.

They have been discussing the possibility of crashing the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Beijing on Nov 10 and 11, raising the stakes of the movement.

At the event, Chinese President Xi Jinping will host leaders including US President Barack Obama and others from nations such as Russia and Japan, reported AFP.

The protesters have held continuous street rallies for a month, demanding free leadership elections for the semi-autonomous city in 2017.

But China has refused to back down.

The authorities insist that a loyalist committee must vet candidates in the vote, a move critics say will ensure the election of a pro-Beijing stooge.

Mr Alex Chow, head of Hong Kong's main student union, told demonstrators at the main protest site on Thursday: "We should tell the world and the government...that the decision made on Aug 31 must be rescinded."

UNCLEAR

But it is not clear whether these student leaders will be allowed to travel to the capital.

Hong Kong citizens may travel freely into China as long as they have travel permits issued by mainland authorities, but border officials can deny them entry, a tactic that has been used to keep critics of Beijing out in the past.

Mr Chow said: "If we can't go through customs, then Beijing is sending a message that they do not care about Hong Kongers' views on the decision made by the National People's Congress, and the direction of constitutional development."


This article was first published on Nov 1, 2014.
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