Hong Kong: thousands protest over Beijing-backed leader Tens of thousands of people marched in Hong Kong on the first day of 2013 to call for the city's Beijing-backed leader to step down over allegations he lied about illegal renovations at his mansion. Police said 26,000 people joined the march at its peak while organisers said 130,000 took part. They carried banners and chanted slogans urging the leader, Leung Chun-ying, to resign. Some held signs depicting Mr Leung as Pinocchio or with wolf-like fangs, a play on Leung's nickname, the wolf. One demonstrator was dressed as a wolf wearing a Communist Red Guard uniform, a reference to fears over his close ties to China's leaders. Many waved Hong Kong's British colonial-era flag. In the evening, about 2,500 members of a small radical group briefly blocked several roads after they were stopped by authorities from marching to Mr Leung's official government residence. At one point, protesters pushed and shoved with police. In a sign of the widening political divisions in the semiautonomous region 15 years after Britain handed control back to China, thousands of other Hong Kongers joined a rival march held in support of Mr Leung on the same day by pro-government groups. Organisers of that march said 60,000 people took part while police put the number at 8,000. The day of protest comes half a year after Mr Leung took office after being chosen by a 1,193-member committee of mostly pro-Beijing elites. Leung won the job of Hong Kong's leader, known as the chief executive, after a scandal over a huge, illegal basement brought down his rival. But illegal structures were later discovered at Mr Leung's house, prompting politicians to accuse him of covering it up and calling for his impeachment. Demonstrators are using the controversy to push for full democracy for Hong Kong. Mr Leung's popularity has plunged since he took office because of the scandal over his house and other controversies. Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997 and granted Western-style civil liberties not seen on mainland China. Beijing has pledged that Hong Kong's leader can be directly elected by 2017. Full democracy for the legislature, where some representatives are chosen by business groups, is promised for 2020. Hong Kong: thousands protest over Beijing-backed leader - Telegraph *********************************** This is a clear indication of the serious divide in the mindset that exists on the Mainland and the one that is in the semi autonomous Hong Kong. As the earlier protests had indicated against what the Hong Kongers called the CCCP's attempt to brainwash the h|Hong Kongers with 'constructed' history, this protest too apparently is a signal that the Hong Kongers are totally against the Communist style of governance and the anger of corruption is but a catalyst. There is no doubt that the Hong Kongers apparently wants full democracy wherein they are free to exercise their will. No wonder some carried the colonial flag to indicate that they are not in sync with Communism and the Communist party.