Beijing White Paper 2014

Protesters burn Beijing’s white paper on ‘one country, two systems’

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 June, 2014, 1:59pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 June, 2014, 10:17am

Beijing's white paper on Hong Kong sparked a series of rallies outside the central government's liaison office yesterday, with protesters burning copies of the document and accusing state leaders of treating the Basic Law like "toilet paper".

Callers to a radio programme described the paper - in which Beijing asserts that it holds "comprehensive jurisdiction over Hong Kong and is the source of its autonomy" - as "saddening" and "scary".

Yesterday's protests at the office in Sai Wan started with a demonstration by the League of Social Democrats, People Power and student group Scholarism, who threw copies of the Basic Law and paper offerings into the office. They also burned copies of the white paper.

They were followed by the Civic Party, Labour Party and Democratic Party, who said the paper was trampling on the "one country, two systems" principle.

Civic Party leader Alan Leong Kah-kit suggested "comprehensive jurisdiction" meant there would be "only one country and not two systems", which would be unacceptable to Hong Kong.

Members of the Federation of Students held up a roll of "toilet paper" made up of pages from the Basic Law, accusing the central government of devaluing the city's mini-constitution.

Other demonstrators held up signs promoting the Occupy Central public vote on political reform plans, which will be held from June 20 to 22.

A Facebook group is organising a protest on Sunday at the British consulate in Admiralty, urging Britain to re-establish rule in Hong Kong because the white paper had broken the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which paved the way for the handover of Hong Kong. By last night, about 150 people had indicated they would attend.

On an RTHK phone-in programme, a caller said the paper was "saddening". He said he had not been active in the Occupy Central movement, but had decided to cast a vote in its ballot after the white paper's release.

Another caller said Hong Kong was like a young man who was pursuing the woman he loved while Beijing imposed economic sanctions like a grandfather to stop him from doing so.

"It's very scary," she said. "It's just telling us that they could punish us because our beef, water and even electricity are all from them."

READ IN FULL: Chinese State Council white paper on ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy in Hong Kong