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Occupy Central Movement Endangers Hong Kong Democratic Development: China's Ruling Party

RIA Novosti

20:12 02/10/2014

MOSCOW, October 2 (RIA Novosti), Ekaterina Blinova – The Communist Party of China has accused Hong Kong's Occupy Central movement of ruining the image of the city, violating its core values and the spirit of the rule of law, stressing that the illicit campaign has been affecting Hong Kong civilians' daily lives.

'The illegal gatherings of the Occupy Central movement, instigated by some people in Hong Kong, do not promote democratic and constitutional development in the special administrative region. Instead, they are ruining it,' Xinhua, a Chinese state-run media outlet reports.

The media source emphasizes that the unrest triggered by the protest movement has already led to 'serious traffic disruption, temporary closures of schools and banks, and a slump in the benchmark Hang Seng Index, impacting the region's economic development and international reputation.'

Thousands of Hong Kong citizens occupied Hong Kong's main roads on Sunday, paralyzing the city's infrastructure. The participants of the Occupy Central campaign demand wider suffrage and open democratic elections, in accordance with 'international standards.' They also demand the resignation of Leung Chun-ying, the current Chief Executive of Hong Kong.

However, the Communist Party's central leadership has underscored that it supports Leung and is 'extremely satisfied with his work,' the New York Times reports, citing a statement issued by China's officials. The US media outlet underscores that it seems that Hong Kong's authorities havedecided to wait until public opinion turns against the protesters.

'The government has chosen to divide and conquer, and strangle the movement bit by bit,' said Michael DeGolyer, a political analyst at Hong Kong Baptist University, as cited by the New York Times.

The expert stressed that the Hong Kong tourism industry is highly dependent on tourist flow from mainland China (about 54.3 million visits per year).

It should be noted that the industry provides a large number of jobs to city's low-wage workers. Since the protest movement poses a significant threat to the tourism business, it may provoke outrage, experts note.

"We believe that an open society with the highest possible degree of autonomy, and governed by the rule of law, is essential for Hong Kong's stability and prosperity," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

Angela Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert added, "Our hope is it that government forces in Hong Kong react with consideration, so that the rights of the citizens are upheld and their opinions can be voiced freely."

In response to Kerry's remark, the Chinese Foreign Minister has emphasized that Hong Kong's protests are an internal matter.

'I believe for any country, for any society, no one will allow those illegal acts that violate public order. That's the situation in the United States and that's the same situation in Hong Kong. We believe that the Hong Kong special administrative region government has the capability to properly handle the situation in accordance with the law,' said Wang Yi, as quoted by the People's Daily.

Experts point to the fact that while calling on China's authorities to act with 'restraint,' the US itself responded with force to the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014, using crowd-control stun grenades, tear gas, and SWAT teams in order to suppress public riots and restore order.

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