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  • Jul 22, 2014
  • Updated: 4:51pm
Occupy Central
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POLITICS

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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This article is now closed to comments

537c548c-f230-4ac6-97c6-350c0a320969
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.
537c58d9-aa48-4188-8e84-35050a320969
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..
scmpgt
I believe if mainland was not run by the communist party, then HKers and mainlanders would be best friends. None of these occupy central events would exist.
luisdyding@gmail.com
i don' agree, hkers are lackey(few like oc) of the west. bad habit hard to change.
cal10ten
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.
ejmciii
Yeah, sadly no pressure on China is likely to make any impression. The only leverage is to make sure Taiwan and other nations see how China reneges on all agreements when it supports China. Sadly we are a demonstrator model.
oxymoron19
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 ?
Demking
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!
luisdyding@gmail.com
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!
ejmciii
And you as a Beijing tool are a happy tool. Sadly, people like you are allowed to enslave us. People like you need to pay for your sins. Well, the Taiwanese are watching you liars and thieves. So are your neighbors. Liars and thieves. Calling you filth is an insult to filth.

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