- Apr 17, 2009
That was the plan but how did it go?Hong Kong activists plan protest trip to Beijing
Hong Kong student leaders plan to fly to Beijing Saturday to try to meet China's top officials to press their case for a greater say in choosing the territory's next leader.
Eason Chung, a member of a student group that played a main role in organizing street protests that started nearly two months ago, said Friday that he and two others had bought plane tickets for the trip.
If they are allowed to enter mainland China, they will go straight to China's legislature to seek talks with Premier Li Keqiang and other officials.
The students have already asked the Hong Kong government's No. 2 official as well as former leader Tung Chee-hwa to arrange a meeting but their requests have been rebuffed.
"When those bridges between the Hong Kong government and Beijing rejected all our demands, we think they are not doing their due responsibility, so we'll go ourselves," said Chung, a member of the Hong Kong Federation of Students.
Federation leader Alex Chow and two deputies, Chung and Nathan Law, are scheduled to depart the former British colony for the Chinese capital on a Cathay Pacific flight at 5 p.m. Saturday.
They had previously considered going to Beijing during a major summit of Pacific Rim leaders that ended Wednesday but decided against it.
The protesters have been occupying streets in three business and shopping districts to oppose Beijing's decision that a panel screen candidates for the territory's inaugural 2017 elections.
Hong Kong activists plan protest trip to Beijing - The China Post
It went like this:
The CPC is running scared and will allow no idea of democracy to manifest itself on the Mainland and topple the Communists from power.Hong Kong student activists' attempt to travel to Beijing fails
Three Hong Kong students who have led protests for greater democracy in the former British colony were denied in their attempt Saturday to go to Beijing to meet with top Chinese officials.
Alex Chow, Nathan Law and Eason Chung — members of a student group that played a main role in organizing massive street protests that started nearly two months ago — arrived at the Hong Kong airport greeted by dozens of well-wishers. But they were denied boarding passes for a Cathay Pacific flight when they were told their documents that would allow them to travel to Beijing were invalid.
"The Cathay Pacific has confirmed ... that the (students) got their return-home cards cancelled by the mainland authority, so they cannot get the required certificates to get onto the plane," said Yvonne Leung, general secretary of Hong Kong Federation of Students.
The student group left the airport, and a news conference was scheduled for later in the evening.
Chow and his colleagues had planned to fly to Beijing and head straight to China's legislature to seek talks with Premier Li Keqiang and others.
"We would say the point of going to Beijing is really to voice the opinion of Hong Kong people," Chow said at the airport, before he was turned away.
The protesters oppose Beijing's decision that a panel screen candidates for the territory's inaugural 2017 election for its chief officer. Since late September, the students and their supporters have been occupying streets in three business and shopping districts in Hong Kong to express their objection to the Beijing decision, but the Chinese authorities have declared the gatherings illegal and showed no sign of backing down.
Talks between the students and the Beijing-backed Hong Kong government have been futile, and the students said they hoped to take their concerns directly to Beijing.
An editorial appearing in the Saturday edition of the party-run newspaper Global Times said the students were not to meet with Chinese leaders and said their travel plans were merely a show for sympathy.
"These activists may be too naive," the editorial reads. "Do they really know who they are and whom they can represent? How can they meet whomever they want in Beijing?"
Beijing has in the past confiscated or refused to renew travel permits — commonly known as return-home cards — for a number of Hong Kong activists, banning them from entering mainland China. Pro-democracy lawmakers are also routinely denied entry to mainland.
Chow and his two deputies arrived at the Hong Kong International Airport amid a large crowd of supporters, prompting security officers to set up barriers to control the crowd so as not to disrupt the flow of travelers through the facility.
The crowd sang songs and chanted slogans, and about 80 of them held up yellow umbrellas, which have become a symbol for the pro-democracy movement.
When the flight took off, the seats booked by the student leaders were draped with a sign that read: "SEAT INOP, DO NOT OCCUPY."
Hong Kong student activists' attempt to travel to Beijing fails - The China Post