Chinese community leaders in London blast HK protests
Updated: 2014-10-22 06:49
By LAURA DAVIS and ZHANG KEXIN(China Daily Europe)
Leaders of the Chinese community in Britain on Monday called on protesters in Hong Kong to stop the Occupy Central movement and let things return to normal.
According to a statement issued by the London Chinatown Chinese Association, the Occupy Central movement has disrupted Hong Kong long enough and needs to be wrapped up soon.
The statement called for stability through the "one country, two systems" policy and continued successful economic development for the international financial capital.
Under Hong Kong's basic law and its top legislature's decisions, more than 5 million Hong Kong voters have a say in who will become the chief executive in 2017 through the "one man, one vote" electoral system, said Chu Ting Tang, chairman of the London Chinatown Chinese Association, at a forum on the Hong Kong situation in London's Chinatown.
Residents of Hong Kong, under the "one country, two systems" rule, enjoy freedom of speech, religion, education and employment, Tang said, adding that "residents can demonstrate in the streets, criticize the government, media and members of the legislative body and monitor the government without restriction".
Tang believes that Hong Kong residents have been enjoying prosperity from a thriving economy and that their standard of living has been improving year by year.
"Since rejoining the Chinese mainland in 1997, Hong Kong's status as an international center for commerce and trade has been strengthened. The employment rate has also reached an all-time high," Tang said.
Shan Sheng, president of the UK Chinese Association for the Promotion of National Reunification, noted that the Occupy Central movement has had a serious impact on the residents of Hong Kong by obstructing administrative operations.
The students among the protesters are young, some even not yet in their 20s, Shan said. Their understanding of politics is rather shallow.
Since being implemented in 1997, the policy of "one country, two systems" has been progressing smoothly in Hong Kong, Shan said, adding that real estate and the economy of Hong Kong have thrived.
The current protest movement is negatively influencing that development and the everyday livelihood of Hong Kong residents, Shan added.
Thousands of Hong Kong protesters, most of them students, joined the Occupy Central movement to express their discontent over the process set by the top legislature for electing the region's next leader through universal suffrage.
China's Hong Kong government on Tuesday held its first formal talks with students who have been participating in the Occupy Central movement since Sept 28.
Zhang Chunyan contributed to this story.