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    » 12/06/2005, 00.00

    HONG KONG - CHINA

    Chinese premier "concerned" after Hong Kong march



    Currently on an official visit in Paris, Wen Jiabao expressed hope that development in Hong King "and eventual universal suffrage" can be reached "through the law". The Chinese media did not cover the demonstration at all.

     

    Beijing (AsiaNews/SCMP) – China's premier, Wen Jiabao, has said he is "very concerned' about the situation in Hong Kong and its political development. Wen is in Paris as part of an official tour of European capitals. He made his statement on Monday, the day after the march for universal suffrage drew 250,000 people on the streets to call for democracy in the territory. The protest was completely ignored by all the Chinese media.

    "I sincerely hope the people of Hong Kong can adhere to the Basic Law [Hong Kong's mini-constitution – ndr] and the requirements set out by the NPC Standing Committee," he told journalists. "In this way, the principle of gradual progress may be adopted to promote Hong Kong's democratic political development, to be conducive to the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong as well as the eventual attainment of universal suffrage."

    Sunday's demonstration did not feature at all in Chinese national media. The main story in the Hong Kong section of the website of Xinhua, the official press agency, was about local coral reefs. The same section of the China News Service was dominated by news items describing security arrangements in the territory in the lead-up to a meeting of the World Trade Organisation slated for next week. Sina and Sohu, the largest Chinese portal websites, did not publish anything about the former colony.

    Annie Zhou, a 24-year-old government research centre employee, said from Guangzhou – the capital of the southern Guangdong province which is a few km away from the Hong Kong coast – that she "had heard" about a march.

    Ms Zhou said: "I watched three other channels from TVB and ATV but there was no coverage that afternoon."

    A survey undertaken in Guangzhou and Shenzhen revealed that 14 out of every 20 people interviewed knew nothing about the matter. A journalist in Guangdong said: "I didn't know there was a big march in Hong Kong but I would be interested in it because Hong Kong's marches are always connected with state policy".

    Kou Zuomin, a 30-year-old architect living in Shenzhen, said he knew about the march from a Singapore website. "I think the Hong Kong community is mature enough for universal suffrage because Hong Kong has well educated citizens and a sound legal system," Mr Kou said.

    Sunday's march received extensive coverage from main television stations around the world (including CNN, BBC e Al Jazeera) and its impact and motives were discussed the following day by the American and European press.

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    See also

    16/12/2005 Hong Kong – EU
    European Parliament backs timetable on democracy for Hong Kong

    During the plenary session lawmakers supported moves to work for achieving a full democracy on  Territory. Resolution will be presented to United Nations and the National People's Congress Standing Committee.



    27/10/2004 Hong Kong - China
    Bishop Zen supports referendum for full democracy

    The Hong Kong bishop says "open-minded" Beijing leaders could agree.



    01/09/2014 HONG KONG - CHINA
    Hong Kong, Beijing excludes democracy: Senior Chinese official heckled
    MPs and activists interrupt the speech of Li Fei, deputy Secretary General of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China, and accuse the government of the territory of having "broken their promises." Mainland China excludes "a political future" for those who want freedom in the Territory.

    02/12/2005 HONG KONG - CHINA
    Hong Kong's people urged to turn out in force for democracy rally

    Pro-democracy lawmakers say the pro-universal suffrage rally is a "unique event". Among participants is a former delegate of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.



    01/07/2013 HONG KONG - CHINA
    Four hundred thousand people march in Hong Kong for universal suffrage
    At the traditional 1 July rally that commemorates the return of the former British crown colony to mainland China, protesters demand universal suffrage and true democracy "before it is too late."



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