Sobre os protestos em Hong Kong

‘Umbrella Revolution’ brings Hong Kong to a halt in push for democracy (publicado pelo jornal canadiano The Globe and Mail):
What do the protesters want?

China rules Hong Kong under a “one country, two systems” formula that accords the territory limited democracy. The protesters are pushing for more open elections than mainland Chinese authorities have said they will allow. Their immediate aim is the removal of CY Leung, the powerful chief executive who has become a focal point of the protesters’ anger.

“One country, two systems” guarantees Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy and freedoms not enjoyed in mainland China, with universal suffrage set as an eventual goal. However, Beijing last month rejected demands for people to freely choose the city’s next leader, prompting threats from activists to shut down the Central business district. China wants to limit 2017 elections to a handful of candidates loyal to Beijing. (...)

How are Hong Kong authorities responding?

Mr. Leung, the Beijing-friendly chief executive whose resignation the protesters want, called the occupation “unlawful,” and again committed to pushing forward a Chinese proposal for elections in 2017. Under the proposed terms, the chief executive must love China, and be nominated by a 1,200-person committee, a process critics have said gives Beijing control over who Hong Kong can vote for. Mr. Leung, however, on Tuesday called it “surely better than a stalemate” with protesters in a statement he read on television.

He called for “rational discussions through peaceful and lawful means.”

Pro-democracy leaders in turn called for Mr. Leung to speak with them, rather than read scripted comments. “The thing to do is for the government here and in Beijing to come out and to be conciliatory, and to say you’ve heard the voices of people, you are sorry for what you’ve done, and you will try to address their concerns,” said Emily Lau, who heads Hong Kong’s Democratic Party. (...)

Bedlam in a banking city

Hong Kong’s business community – including the local Canadian chamber of commerce – has largely spoken out against the Occupy movement, out of nervousness that it could bring economic damage. On Monday, some of their fears were made real, as the main Hong Kong stock market index fell nearly 2 per cent.

Banks in Hong Kong, including HSBC, Citigroup, Bank of China, Standard Chartered and DBS, temporarily shut some branches and advised staff to work from home or go to secondary branches. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the city’s de facto central bank, said it had activated business continuity plans, as had 17 banks affected by the protests.

The protests have spooked tourists, with arrivals from China down sharply ahead of this week’s National Day holidays. Hong Kong on Monday canceled the city’s popular fireworks display over the harbour meant to mark the holiday. The United States, Australia and Singapore have also issued travel alerts.

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