Hong Kong, Aug 9 (GCCurrentAffairs) Hundreds of people on Friday staged a sit-in at Hong Kong International Airport to seek global support for their protest, which aims to bring in a political reform in what is currently known as the Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.
South China Morning Post reported that since the protest started in the airport’s arrival hall, protesters have been distributing leaflets to travellers explaining the main demands of the movement, which erupted from opposition to the now-abandoned extradition bill.
The five demands include a full withdrawal of the draft legislation, implementation of universal suffrage and a retraction of the riot label attached to recent anti-bill protests.
Organisers were expecting thousands to show up and hoped police would respect what they said would be a peaceful protest that was initially billed to last until Sunday.
Ahead of the demonstration, the airport had increased security that led to passengers experiencing delays in reaching departure gates, as airlines warned travellers to arrive early for their flights.
Hong Kong is currently administered under ‘One Country Two System’ after it was handed over to Chinese sovereignty by Britain in 1997. Hong Kong enjoys autonomy as per its own ‘mini constitution’ according to which it has its own legal system, and some democratic rights like free speech and the freedom of assembly under the Basic Law. However, its residents cannot elect their own leaders; rather, a chief executive is elected by a 1,200-member election committee.
The identity, outlook and worldview of Hong Kongers are different from that of their counterparts in mainland China. They speak Cantonese, not Mandarin. They look to Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the western world for their culture, not the mainland. When they travel on holiday, it is not to China but to other parts of the world. When they go abroad to study, it is not to China, but to the West. Like their parents who grew up under British rule, they have no desire to be integrated with the rest of China; they are suspicious of Chinese intentions.