5 March, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 07/01/2006
HONG KONG - CHINA
Tens of thousands march for democracy in Hong Kong

Cardinal Zen presided over a time of prayer before the march. Anson Chan emphasized that robust economic growth is impossible without democracy.



Hong Kong (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of central Hong Kong this afternoon to call for full democracy, on the ninth anniversary of the return of the territory from Great Britain to China. Before the march started, in Victoria Park, Cardinal Joseph Zen, bishop of Hong Kong, held a moment of prayer which Catholics participated in.

Police said not more than 20,000 people attended the march but the river of people swelled as it flowed through the streets of the centre, bearing banners and chanting slogans. Anson Chan, one of the most renowned and respected political figures in the territory, took part in the march for the first time

Since 1997, Hong Kong has been governed according to the "one country, two systems" principle, which should grant the territory wide autonomy. But Beijing has often intervened in Hong Kong's decisions, to the extent of taking on itself all political reforms.

In 2003, the march drew more than half a million people of all social classes, who turned up to criticize the government of Tung Chee-hwa, a lack of freedoms and a poor economic situation. Last year, attendance dropped to around 20,000.

With the economy improving, many analysts predicted that this year's march would draw only a few thousand participants. But the presence of Anson Chan renewed the lustre and credibility of the democracy struggle. "The fact that the economy is now on a strong path does not mean that the voice and the aspiration for universal suffrage and for democracy is any less," Chan told reporters. "I would say that without democracy one cannot really have sustained economic growth."

During the ceremony to commemorate the return to the motherland, Beijing politicians and the chief executive of Hong Kong underlined the positive sign of economic growth after years of crisis. One of the people who joined the march said: "Of course the Heng Seng (stock market) index has reached new highs, but for Hong Kong people, things are not improving."

Addressing a prayer meeting before the march, Cardinal Zen, one of the most resolute champions for democracy, called on all to persevere in the quest for their rights. "If we persist, our aim will be met."

Brian Fong, a bank employee who took part in the march, criticised Chief Executive Donald Tsang "for only listening to his political masters in Beijing and not the people of Hong Kong."

 In the morning, Donald Tsang presided over the official commemoration at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, exalting the "one country, two systems" principle. In the late morning, perhaps to counter the march for democracy, a festival parade was held with displays of martial arts by the People's Liberation Army and traditional Chinese dance. Police claimed that around 40,000 people turned up.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
06/30/2006 HONG KONG - CHINA
Anson Chan tells China: economy is not enough, Hong Kong wants democracy
06/28/2006 Hong Kong – China
Anson Chan to attend 1 July democracy march
12/04/2005 HONG KONG - CHINA
100,000 march for full democracy in Hong Kong
07/02/2007 HONG KONG – CHINA
More than 68,000 march for democracy
07/03/2006 HONG KONG
Chief executive's silence over universal suffrage comes in for criticism

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.