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  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 12:47pm
Occupy Central
NewsHong Kong

Organiser of Occupy Central poll hopes international media will put pressure on Beijing

Occupy Central organiser encouraged by wide international coverage of plebiscite, and he expects more global attention for July 1 march

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 June, 2014, 5:41am
UPDATED : Sunday, 29 June, 2014, 10:50am

An organiser of Occupy Central is hoping that extensive international media coverage of its unofficial referendum on political reform will put pressure on Beijing to implement genuine democracy in the city.

Heavyweight newspapers, magazines and websites - including The Financial Times, The New York Times and The Economist - have reported on the 10-day plebiscite, which ends today.

Many used the vote, which gauges views on how the chief executive should be elected in 2017, as a starting point to examine the city's future and its relations with Beijing.

"Coverage by international media on this scale has rarely been seen since the July 1 rally in 2003," said Dr Chan Kin-man, referring to the 500,000-strong march that forced the shelving of controversial national security legislation.

Chan said overseas media had been impressed by the unexpectedly high turnout - which hit 760,000 yesterday. They were also interested in the nature of the unofficial poll, massive cyberattacks on the electronic voting system and the aggressive response of state media.

Reports from Beijing mouthpieces such as the Global Times and People's Daily have pulled no punches in condemning the vote, describing it as an "illegal farce" that was "tinged with mincing ludicrousness".

"Beijing's mouthpieces have been saying that the turnout for our poll is 'no match' for China's population of 1.3 billion," the Chinese University sociologist said. "We hope Beijing understands that the whole world - which has a population of more than 1.3 billion - is watching how the mainland deals with 'one country, two systems' and Hongkongers' call for democracy."

He predicted more media attention for Tuesday's July 1 pro-democracy rally.

Chan said there had been more cyberattacks, with attempts to steal passwords.

The vote will decide which of three models for the chief executive election Occupy will back. Chan hopes turnout can edge above 800,000 today, when 21 polling stations will open until 10pm. Occupy hopes to give preliminary results at 11pm.

Meanwhile, a group of ethnic minority residents, backed by the NGO Unison, urged non-Chinese residents to vote today.

"Everything that is going to affect Hongkongers is going to affect us too. And this is why we vote," said Phillip Khan, 51, of Pakistani decent, who was born and raised in the city.

As well as choosing a model for reform, voters are being asked whether lawmakers should veto electoral reforms that fail to meet standards for democracy as set down by the United Nations' International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The government is expected to come up with a reform proposal later this year. Occupy has pledged to rally 10,000 activists to blockade Central streets if the government fails to come up with a reform plan that meets international standards.


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hong kong is part of china, occupy central are just minority, they're spoils brat of uk. chinese government should not give in. china will never be pressure!
Don't you think you are over-dramatizing the whole thing? Why don't you use your vivid imagination towards something more productive? What binding agreement are you referring to, stop trying to sound like you know what you are talking about just because you drink the special Koolaide fed to you.
This Dr Chan Kin-man, an organizer of the Occupy Central, is living in his dream world. For him to say that ''We hope Beijing understands that the whole world - which has a population of more than 1.3 billion - is watching how the mainland deals with 'one country, two systems' and Hongkongers' call for democracy" shows how naive he is. Really apart from the US, Canada, UK, Australia and maybe France, perhaps Germany (whose combined population equals to less than 1.3 billion), does he think the rest of the world really care about the 'One Country, Two Systems' and how China practises it for HK? He really thinks HK is so unique and special that the whole world pays so much attention to the 1C2S concept. Does he think India, the world's biggest democracy, really care a hoot? Or other Europeans, the Middle East, the South Americans and Africans or closer to home the Koreans, Japanese (they have enough on their plate over the island dispute with China), ASEAN (including democratic Philippines). Dr Chan is living in cuckoo land. He thinks China will give in and kowtow to 7 million HKers? Dream on.
If China is so determined to blatantly show of military force to dominate the whole south china sea, what makes you think that a small rally would make them flinch under international pressure ?
The numerous historic events such as 6/4 has shown it is almost impossible for the public opinion to leverage the powerful authoritarian regime. Without independence or military action, all the struggles will be in vain. Nevertheless, pay great respect to all the pro-democracy people for your endeavor. Go ahead!
What do they really want? HK to degenerate into an Iraq/Syria/Libya? Every day you find the protests escalate gradually. So what'll happen if 3 million joins the OC movement? Paralyse HK & use it as fuse for Regime Change in Beijing? I'm worried as I & my family got no where to go - unlike some of these organizers who are probably financed & guaranteed asylum in the US - just like Fat Lai.
Iraq is undisputedly the pinnacle of democratic development for the middle east. They didn't find any WMD and they've turned it into a great place for the people. I'm sure they ink their thumbs with pride, especially if they still have thumbs and haven't had them dismembered by crazy islamists. Wonderful work indeed.
If a strong expression of HK opinion is not enough to persuade BJ (something akin to the reality of the political situation at the time a la Basic Law), it is a fantasy to expect BJ to buckle under "international media" pressure. Is there any precedent for BJ responding to such media pressure? It doesn't happen every year on 6/4. Didn't happen with Liu Xiaobo. Didn't happen with Chen Guangcheng. I see no reason why BJ would start a new habit now.
No, media backlash will be ineffectual. Should there be a business backlash when it becomes evident this whole reform process is a joke, that might be minimally different.
HKers have no political sense.
HK is another typical example of how the US and UK use so-called democracy as a weapon to split up the people and the nation, like they have done to former USSR, Ukraine, Taiwan, and Iraq. The anti-China campaign cannot be more timely as China is fast growing into a global super power that US/UK consider her a major threat. Promoting violent western democracy is like promoting Candy Land in Pinocchio.
Whether you like it or not, one have to admit SCMP has become a Falun Gong newspaper. The biased writing styles (which are highly anti-China) and lack of fair and complete disclosures of various key perspectives are so apparent, demonstrated that this colonial newspaper agency is merely another extreme polarized end of the Global Times..



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