Pro-democracy protesters are continuing demonstrations in Hong Kong, with riot police responding with tear gas.
What had Beijing decreed that protesters are not happy about?
Elections for Hong Kong’s Chief Executive – its leader – are due to take place in 2017 and for the first time will use votes from the general public.
However last month, China’s National People's Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) ruled out further voting reforms, meaning that only the candidates that Beijing approves of can run.
The four previous Chief Executives – following the end of British rule in 1997 – were elected by a committee of 1,200 people, many of whom had strong ties to China. This committee size has grown from 400 in 1996.
Though China declared that its bold move to allow the vote for the 2017 elections is something “we should all feel proud of”, it didn’t go far enough for the protesters, who criticised it as still muzzling those with differing political views.
In pictures: Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong
In pictures: Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong
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Police officers reacts outside Hong Kong government complex
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The "Umbrella Revolution": Riot police launch tear gas into the crowd as thousands of protesters surround the government headquarters in Hong Kong
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A man takes a picture with his mobile phone of a pro-democracy protest on Nathan Road, a major route through the heart of the Kowloon district of Hong Kong
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A police car is blocked by protesters after thousands of people block a main road to the financial central district outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong
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Riot policemen use pepper spray to young pro-democracy activists who forced their way into Hong Kong government headquarters during a demonstration in Hong Kong
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Police officers stand in a cloud of tear gas during a demonstration in Hong Kong
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Police officers stand in front of pro-democracy protesters during a demonstration in Hong Kong
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A pro-democracy protester confronts the police during a demonstration in Hong Kong
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A shield wall of unbrellas is formed as thousands of demonstrators storm onto a highway after breaking through police cordons on 28 September
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A woman holds a protest sign at a pro-democracy protest on Nathan Road, a major route through the heart of the Kowloon district of Hong Kong
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Protesters argue with a man (centre) opposing a pro-democracy demonstration as they block the Mong Kok MTR station exit next to Nathan Road
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Riot police fire tear gas on protesters in the early hours of this morning
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Three women rest on the streets after a night of protesting
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Riot police arrested scores of students who stormed the government headquarters compound
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The dispersal followed a night of scuffles between police and about 150 protesters who forced their way into the government compound, some scaling a tall fence
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Hong Kong Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok told reporters that police acted appropriately and gave students sufficient warning
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The scuffles came out of the end of a week-long strike by students demanding China's Communist leaders organise democratic elections in 2017
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Hong Kong's young people have become vocal supporters of full democracy in recent years
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Thousands of university and college students who had spent the week boycotting classes were joined by a smaller group of high school students
Occupy Central said in a statement at the time: “Genuine universal suffrage includes both the rights to elect and to be elected.
“The decision of the NPC Standing Committee has deprived people with different political views of the right to run for election and be elected by imposing unreasonable restrictions, thereby perpetuating 'handpicked politics’.”
What is Occupy Central’s demands?
In an English-language statement on its website today the movement said it has two distinct demands:
- The immediate withdrawal of the NPCSC’s decision on the framework for Hong Kong’s political reform
- The swift resumption of the political reform consultation. The Leung Chun-ying administration has failed in the political reform process. We demand Leung re-submits a new political reform report to the central government which fully reflects the Hong Kong people’s aspirations for democracy. If Leung refuses to respond, the action will escalate.
Today’s statement added: “The two nights of occupation of Civic Square in Admiralty have completely embodied the awakening of Hong Kong people’s desire to decide their own lives.
“The courage of the students and members of the public in their spontaneous decision stay has touched many Hong Kong people. Yet, the government has remained unmoved. As the wheel of time has reached this point, we have decided to arise and act.”
Who initiated Occupy Central?
A law professor called Benny Tai Yiu-ting, who started the campaign in January 2013.
What is the police and governmental response to today’s formal sit-in?
Police have sealed off the site at Tamar, leaving hundreds of other people not able to reach that protest blocking other thoroughfares instead, the South China Morning Post says. It is thought that are tens of thousands of people in and around the protest zone.
Political protests are prohibited by Beijing and this trickles down to Hong Kong, which after British rule came back under Chinese power in a "one country, two systems" set-up.
Leaders of China's ruling Communist Party are worried that the dissent could spread to the mainland.
The current Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Leung Chun-ying, has implored people not to participate in “illegal” protests.
He also said today that the government will start a new round of consultations on electoral reform shortly, according to Reuters, though there was no mention of when this would be.
Some violent clashes happened in the two days until Sunday, with riot police targeting students with pepper spray and arresting at least 78.
Protesters are today equipped with umbrellas, goggles and masks ready for further confrontations with police after officers warned them to “leave now, for the sake of their personal safety”.Reuse content