Tens of thousands protest against Hong Kong leader


Thousands of pro-democracy protesters take to the streets calling for new Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to step down in Hong Kong on January 1, 2013. Organisers have said they expected 50,000 people to join the New Year’s Day march against Leung Chun-ying, while pro-government groups staged separate and smaller rallies in support of the Beijing-backed chief executive. AFP / RICHARD A. BROOKS

HONG KONG— Tens of thousands of people marched in Hong Kong on the first day of 2013 to call for the city’s Beijing-backed leader to step down over allegations he was untruthful about illegal renovations at his mansion and to press for full democracy.

Police said 26,000 people joined the march at its peak Tuesday while organizers said 130,000 took part.

They carried banners and chanted slogans urging the leader, Leung Chun-ying, to resign. Some held signs depicting Leung as Pinocchio or with wolf-like fangs, a play on Leung’s nickname, the wolf. One demonstrator was dressed as a wolf wearing a Communist Red Guard uniform, a reference to fears over Leung’s close ties to China’s leaders. Many waved Hong Kong’s British colonial-era flag.

In the evening, about 2,500 members of a small radical group briefly blocked several roads after they were stopped by authorities from marching to Leung’s official government residence. At one point, protesters pushed and shoved with police.

In a sign of the widening political divisions in the semiautonomous region 15 years after Britain handed control back to China, thousands of other Hong Kongers joined a rival march held in support of Leung on the same day by pro-government groups. Organizers of that march said 60,000 people took part while police put the number at 8,000.

The day of protest comes half a year after Leung took office after being chosen by a 1,193-member committee of mostly pro-Beijing elites. Leung won the job of Hong Kong’s leader, known as the chief executive, after a scandal over a huge, illegal basement brought down his rival.

But illegal structures were later discovered at Leung’s house, prompting lawmakers to accuse him of covering it up and calling for his impeachment. Demonstrators are using the controversy to push for full democracy for Hong Kong.

Leung’s popularity has plunged since he took office because of the scandal over his house and other controversies.

Leung “is not honest. As chief executive, he cannot convince the public that he is a leader with credibility,” said Sandy Chung, a clerk. “I don’t want Hong Kong to be led by a person without credibility.”

Another protester, designer Calvin Tse, said he was upset that he didn’t have a say in choosing the city’s leader.

“We don’t even have a vote, he is elected by a small group of people. We cannot use our voting right to express our view no matter how his performance is,” Tse said.

Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997 and granted Western-style civil liberties not seen on mainland China. Beijing has pledged that Hong Kong’s leader can be directly elected by 2017. Full democracy for the legislature, where some representatives are chosen by business groups, is promised for 2020.

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  • DurangoJoe

    This is just the tip of the iceberg of the level of corruption happening in mainland China. Anyone with the politburo connection like Leung Chun-ying will enjoy untold financial reward. They should investigate his dollar account. Maybe his kids are also studying at Harvard university like Bo Xilao and Xi Jinpig. This is exactly how China’s kleptocracy works. Hongkong people should lead and turn the wheel of political reform in their own beloved island.  Stupid of Taiwan to be sucking up with Beijing.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TI55XLCNTWAACFSQMEP3AOSHPA Mita

    The beginning of the breakaway Chinese republics and the end of the Communist Party.

  • WeAry_Bat

    Interesting.  Because land is so precious, the ones who can afford but do not want to be noticed, they will dig down instead.

  • adriel0104

    chinese citizens are idiots ever since for being slaves for centuries.It’s their way life.

  • $5699914

    ….and they say, ‘In communism, ALL ARE EQUAL’.
    Am I right, comrade?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/OS3MVCRQH7UV4MJRZURFNIXGBI Cho

    China wanted to change Hongkong educational system, by infusing communist doctrine. Now, we are against on it. China’s money flowed abundantly to local small business sector to influence legislatures the changes. Too bad for hongkong and South east Asia.

  • https://me.yahoo.com/a/DWRHqlNoppBOATBbtwpQkaAEQdMOmejmkPJb#24a25 jeff

    wen jiabao the appointed prime minister of communist china from 2003 to 2012 amassed 
    wealth of $2.7 billion.

    These greedy communist leaders of china are not contented with their loots inside 
    china. they also intend to rob the properties of neighboring countries.

    Communist china has become a GIANT CROCODILE, soon it will swallow not only hongkong but  its small neighboring countries as well.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MXOWXSFICOTS2EABQMULUO7UTY Rommel Jason

    HongKong is the Trojan horse from Britain and would lead to the downfall of communism in China.

  • tabingbakod

    Beijing will not change politically for tiny Hong Kong.

    Maybe its the colonial effect but the wealthy and supposedly smart Hongkongers are spineless. After fifteen years and still even now, they have never really fought for any democratic ideals. Maybe they were blinded by ethnic commonality with the communist mainland that they just accepted being ruled by Beijing.

    Moral of the story is we cannot be racist. Communist China is the evil shadow hovering above Asia whether you re a Filipino, Vietnamese, Japanese or Chinese.


  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OJWHBJLMWPTRUOZMN6JOMHLO2A Banana Na

    sayang naman ang HONGKONG kung mawawala ang peoples nila ang rights to vote a leader nila sa government, it was dictated by the china government who the leader it wants in HK GOVERNMENT…KAYA, ito si jacky chan, ang sabi pa niya na magulo daw ang mga tao sa HK…di sila magulo, nawawala lang ang karapatan ng tao nila to choose a leader in their government…porke kumikita siya ng marami ng pera sa mainland china ngayon ay di na siya marunong tumatanaw ng utang na loob kung saan siya galing ng wala pa siyang pera…kapwa niya ay ini-insulto pa niya…sayang lang, favorite ko pa naman siya….

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