10/02/2014, 00.00
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Beijing tells US, Hong Kong is internal affair. Occupy Central calls for Leung Chun-ying to quit

by Paul Wang
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi slams democracy demonstrations as "illegal", but rules out the intervention of the Chinese army. All organized trips from China to Hong Kong blocked. Students ultimatum: Leung Chun-ying must quit by today. Otherwise they will occupy government buildings. Card. Zen advises Leung to resign. Solidarity with the democratic struggle from China. Shopkeepers and hotels concerned about the drop in business. In Shenzhen hundreds of people prevented from entering Hong Kong.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - On the fifth day of protests by Occupy Central for full democracy in Hong Kong, China, through its Foreign Minister Wang Yi, has publically spoken about the events in the territory.

After attending the UN General Assembly, Wang met in Washington with President Barack Obama and had a conversation with Secretary of State John Kerry. Speaking to reporters, Wang asked the United States to "stop interfering in China's internal affairs." He also denounced the protests in Hong Kong: " No country, no society would tolerate this kind of illegal activity which defies the rule of law and hurt the public interests; not in American cities, and not in China's Hong Kong".

At the same time he said he was confident in the local authorities' ability to "manage the situation according to the law". In all likelihood, this means that Beijing has ruled out armed intervention or  more violent police raids such as the one five days ago against the students.  This inly served to feul the protests even more.

However Beijing has intervened to prevent the "virus" of democracy spreading to the People's Republic: all organized trips from China to Hong Kong are suspended and in Shenzhen hundreds of people who wanted to come to Hong Kong to support their struggle for democracy have been detained. News and photos of Hong Kong are blocked on social networking sites, while the mainstream media slam the demonstrations as "illegal". 

The situation on the ground has reached an impasse but tension is mounting.  Students have delivered an ultimatum to the Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying: he must step down by days end. If it does not, the students will occupy (or surround) the government offices. A group of hackers, with the nickname "Anonymus", has threatened to hit government servers.

Even the Occupy Central leaders are demanding the resignation of the governor, "for the good of Hong Kong." Leung is responsible for the recent police violence and has proven unable to present the needs of the people to Beijing. At the same time, the organizers are asking students to remain calm and peaceful.

Even Card. Zen, who from the outset has been close to the democratic movement, says that Leung's resignation is the only solution to end the protests.

Meanwhile, several thousand people are still on the streets of downtown and Mong Kok: the numbers are fewer in the morning but during the day they swell to tens of thousands who take to the streets showing solidarity with the occupiers. These include people from China who praise their "Hong Kong compatriots" defense of "democracy."

However, criticism is also mounting: some tourists complain that the occupied areas are noisy until late at night, preventing them from sleeping; the shopkeepers and the federation of hotels criticize the occupation because it has led to a drastic reduction in their trade.

Solidarity with the Hong Kong is gaining ground globally: there were demonstrations in favor of what is called "the umbrellas revolution" in at least 64 cities. Umbrellas are carried by protesters who dress in yellow, in support of the democratic forces of the territory's population.


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