Occupy Central

'Dear President Xi, please give us true democracy', says Occupy Central in open letter

Occupy Central to publish second open letter to President Xi Jinping in international newspapers

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 September, 2014, 3:55am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 September, 2014, 11:29am

Occupy Central supporters will issue another open letter to President Xi Jinping in international newspapers next week, urging the central government to address Hongkongers' call for true democracy.

"Please honour 'one country, two systems' as prescribed in the Basic Law. Hong Kong people want true democracy," the statement, to be published in advertising space in the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times, reads. "Don't stage another Tiananmen crackdown in Hong Kong. The whole world is watching."

Watch: Hong Kong financier calls for media freedom

The latest "worldwide marketing campaign" in Hong Kong's fight for democracy was initiated by Occupy Central's Finance and Banking Professional Group, which comprises around 80 of the city's banking and financial high-fliers.

"Our message is very peaceful," Edward Chin Chi-kin, group founder and hedge fund manager, said.

The open letter will be the group's second one to Xi since April. It had earlier called on the state leader to safeguard the city's rule of law and universal suffrage in an advert published in the Financial Times, Apple Daily and Roman Catholic paper Kung Kao Po.

The latest letter comes after Occupy Central's key organiser Professor Benny Tai Yiu-ting shocked supporters this week by suggesting that the movement had failed "up to this point" and public support was waning.

He later clarified his remarks and said he would not give up on the campaign.

"I don't think the movement is a failure," said Chin, one of the first batch of people who vowed to block the main roads in Central district if the government did not come up with a democratic plan for the 2017 chief executive election.

Chin, whose nine-year column in the Hong Kong Economic Journal was axed on Monday, also revealed yesterday that he planned to set up a "new Economic Journal" after the saga.

He blamed political reasons for the decision by the paper's chief editor Alice Kwok Yim-ming to kill off his column on financial and current affairs.

"If we all have to kowtow and are unable to speak what we want, [then the newspapers in] Hong Kong will become Beijing's mouthpieces," Chin said, adding that his new paper could rely on public donations or investment to avoid political interference.

University of Science and Technology political scientist Professor Dixon Sing Ming said the Economic Journal's quality had dropped drastically since Kwok took the helm last year.

"Before, almost 80 per cent of the commentaries were of high quality and liberal … But now, it is quite the reverse," Sing said.

Chin said he would discuss his new media plan with Economic Journal founder Lam Shan-muk and his wife when the couple return from holiday. Lam earlier sold his remaining shares to an offshore trust company owned by telecoms tycoon Richard Li Tzar-kai.

The Economic Journal said it was responsible for maintaining the paper's overall style and quality. It was a redesign of the paper's layout that led to Chin's column being axed, it said.