Hong Kong Protesters in Front of a “Chinese” Station
In China, information is heavily censored by the “Great Wall”. The Hong Kong demonstrations are described as violent, resulting from a plot hatched abroad to destabilize the motherland, not like a massive popular movement against Beijing’s growing control over the city.
“We want to show tourists, including tourists from mainland China, what is happening in Hong Kong and we hope they can bring this concept back to China,” 18-year-old Eddison Ng told AFP.
Hong Kongers speak Cantonese, but protesters sent messages in Mandarin to neighboring phones via Bluetooth, hoping to reach Chinese visitors by digital word of mouth.
A protester used a loudspeaker to ask in Mandarin: “Why are there so many protesters? Because the government did not listen to us.
Many streamers had simplified characters used on the continent instead of traditional characters in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The protesters are demanding outright cancellation of the extradition project, an independent investigation into police use of rubber bullets, an amnesty for those arrested, and the resignation of Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam.
Beijing has put all its weight in the balance to support the authorities, calling for a criminal investigation against those involved in the violence.
In a BBC interview, the Chinese ambassador to London said the text on extraditions was needed to “fill a legal void,” adding that he had “full confidence in the Hong Kong government.”
Protesters joined the new West Kowloon station, which opened in September to connect Hong Kong to China’s high-speed rail network.
The glass and steel complex was almost cordoned off by police and surrounded by heavy plastic safety barriers filled with water. Only passengers already carrying tickets were allowed to enter. The sale of new tickets has been suspended.
The station, which has cost several billion euros, is denounced by its critics as the Trojan horse of China because the Chinese laws apply in some areas, such as those related to immigration and customs or docks even if the border is kilometers to the north.
The protesters have no intention of occupying the station, as the catalyst of the movement is the fear of being sent to China, ironically assured Ventus Lau Wing-hong.
In the early evening, masked demonstrators were facing the police, but there were no clashes.
The Hong Kong Constitution states that Chinese law does not apply to the territory except in certain areas such as defense.
The 1997 retrocession agreement between London and Beijing gives Hong Kong freedoms unknown elsewhere in China, such as that of expression, under the principle of “one country, two systems”.
But many consider these freedoms threatened, citing in recent years the disappearance of dissident booksellers who have re-appeared in detention on the continent, the disqualification of opposition MPs, the de facto expulsion of a foreign journalist or the prison sentences imposed on foreigners. leaders of the pro-democracy movement.
Beijing has also refused to allow the election of the head of the Government of Hong Kong by universal suffrage as demanded in 2014 the protesters of the “umbrella revolt”.