Occupy Central

Student leaders may try to crash Apec summit in Beijing to seek talks

PUBLISHED : Friday, 31 October, 2014, 4:33am
UPDATED : Friday, 31 October, 2014, 11:14am

Student leaders are considering whether to send representatives to Beijing during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit next month to convey their demand for genuine universal suffrage directly to top officials.

Alex Chow Yong-kang, secretary general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, said the idea had been suggested by some Occupy protesters. But he was not sure whether such representatives would make it to Beijing, as pan-democrats had in the past been turned back at the airport.

Details of the plan, who should go and how many, and whether there would be a back-up plan if they were refused entry to Beijing were still open to discussion, Chow said.

"If the representation can enter Beijing successfully, of course we would want to have a dialogue with officials on universal suffrage," he said. "If Beijing officials value the opinion of Hong Kong people, I believe they will talk to students."

Meanwhile, in Legco yesterday, pro-establishment lawmakers called for an investigation of the organisation and funding sources of the Occupy Central movement.

Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, of the Business and Professionals Alliance, moved a motion to invoke Legco's special powers to set up a select committee to explore the "large-scale unlawful occupation of roads in a number of districts since 28 September".

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"There have been plenty of supplies to protesters," Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, of the New People Party, said in support of the motion. "The water may be bought by themselves, but how about the barricades made of bamboo sticks and the cement? Who brought them in and made it?"

The financial strength of the Occupiers was "beyond imagination", said Ip Kwok-him, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and the Progress of Hong Kong. "It seems the Occupy founders and students are only puppets manipulated by others."

Ip said he heard many local churches with American ties had provided shelter and food to the protesters.

Dennis Kwok, of the Civic Party, said he was shocked at the suggestion of an inquiry into churches. "Since when should we investigate the people, churches and civil groups? This will be an abuse of power."

Lee Cheuk-yan, of the Labour Party, criticised lawmakers' remarks that external forces were manipulating the movement.

"It is usual for local trade unions to have contact with labour rights groups overseas. Are you saying that only capitalists and investors can have links with overseas and civil society cannot?" he said.

Debate on Leung's motion was adjourned until today, when lawmakers will also vote on a motion moved by Wong Yuk-man seeking an inquiry into police handling of October 3 attacks on protesters in Mong Kok.