Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Cardinal Joseph Zen and members of the Democratic Party are urging the people of Hong Kong to cast their vote on the democratic future of the territory by joining in the referendum of June 20-22 launched by the Occupy Central movement. Meanwhile, criticism towards the Beijing's "White Paper" is increasing as it stresses China's "comprehensive sovereignty " over any change in Hong Kong.
The bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, speaking this morning on Commercial Radio, said that the "White Paper" will push even more residents to express their opinion in a referendum. "[This is because] Hongkongers still care about their dignity. They would hit back if they are repressed and forced to be slaves,"
Today a delegation of the Democratic Party canceled a meeting with the director of the Liaison Office (Beijing's representative in the Territory) to criticize the "White Paper", which reduces the "high degree of autonomy" in Hong Kong.
The "White Paper" published by Xinhua on June 10 in 7 languages, states that the central government in Beijing has "full sovereignty" over the territory; that the "high degree of autonomy" promised to Hong Kong - with the formula "one country, two systems" - should not work to the disadvantage of the formula "one nation." This means that any reforms in Hong Kong must be measured by the good they bring "to the one nation", that is, to China.
The White Paper also demands a submissive patriotism to Beijing, in short, that all the city's administrators must "love the motherland."
Administrators include lawyers and judges. Because of this, the Bar association has criticized the document, saying it is "wrong" to put the judges in the category of civil servants and that they always defend the independence of the courts. "Elsewhere - they state - courts "sing in unison" with the government, but this is not the case in Hong Kong".
Groups of young people linked to the Occupy Central movement find the Beijing document very serious and troubling. "In this way - they say - the autonomy of Hong Kong and the statement 'one country, two systems' is thrown in the trash". "Beijing treats the Basic Law [the mini-constitution of Hong Kong] like toilet paper."
For this reason, some young people have burned the White Paper in public; others have shown a roll of toilet paper printed with sections of the Basic Law.