The Asian Age

HK ac­tivists fight back China vote decision

- JEROME TAY­LOR

Hong Kong ac­tivists launched their fight­back Mon­day against Beijing’s land­mark decision to limit vot­ing re­forms, heck­ling a se­nior Chi­nese of­fi­cial in angry scenes after hopes for full democ­racy were crushed.

Li Fei, a mem­ber of the top com­mit­tee of China’s rub­ber- stamp Par­lia­ment, was forced to speak over the cries of pro- democ­racy legislator­s and pro­test­ers dur­ing a meet­ing with lo­cal of­fi­cials in the semi­au­tonomous Chi­nese city.

Brief scuf­fles erupted out­side the venue as the po­lice used pep­per spray to stop pro­test­ers from storm­ing the hall, where Mr Li told del­e­gates that China will not tol­er­ate a lo­cal leader who is dis­loyal to the main­land. “Any­one who does not love the coun­try, love Hong Kong or is con­fronta­tional to­wards the cen­tral gov­ern­ment shall not be the chief ex­ec­u­tive,” he said. His visit comes a day after democ­racy ac­tivists vowed an “era of civil dis­obe­di­ence” in­clud­ing mass sit- ins at the in­ter­na­tional business hub’s fi­nan­cial dis­trict in re­sponse to Beijing’s decision to grant only limited re­forms in the for­mer Bri­tish colony. Demo­crat legislator­s said Mon­day they would sink Beijing’s pro­posal when it comes be­fore the city’s leg­is­la­ture early in 2015. The pro­posal needs to win two- thirds support in the 70- seat leg­is­la­ture to pass.

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