Hong Kong Protesters Want Attention at G-20 to Beijing's Dismay
(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong protesters are planning another rally to coincide with the G-20 summit as China looks to quash any discussion about the historic demonstrations when leaders meet in Japan.
The Civil Human Rights Front, which organized rallies this month that drew hundreds of thousands of people opposing legislation that would allow extraditions to China, called for a “G-20 Free Hong Kong” rally to be held Wednesday night. It will come two days before the Group of 20 forum, where U.S. President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping are due to meet.
China drew a hard line on Monday, saying it would not allow discussion about recent events in the city during the summit in Osaka. The G-20 is a platform for the economy and China’s focus will be on trade and finance, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Zhang Jun told reporters in Beijing.
Zhang repeated China’s stance that no foreign country has the right to interfere in its domestic affairs, including semi-autonomous Hong Kong. China has pushed a narrative blaming the protest movement on U.S. interference, with state media describing hostile foreign players looking to stir up unrest.
See How Hong Kong Got a Million Protesters Out on the Streets
Protesters resumed demonstrations Monday to demand the release of people arrested in recent rallies and establish an independent investigation into the use of force by police at those that turned violent. A few hundred people marched peacefully from the central Legislative Council to Revenue Tower, a government building in the Wan Chai area.
Sending a Message
Protests over the proposed extradition bill have brought hundreds of thousands of people onto Hong Kong’s streets this month and prompted Chief Executive Carrie Lam to postpone work on the bill indefinitely. Protesters have since called for the legislation’s complete withdrawal and for Lam to resign.
The events have embarrassed the central government in Beijing, which continues to back Lam’s administration. Now demonstrators want to send a message to global leaders -- including Xi -- that Hong Kong deserves more democracy, Jimmy Sham, a protest leader, said Monday.
Longread: Hong Kong’s Future Remains Unsettled Despite a Win by Protesters
Activists have no plans to travel to Japan to protest, Sham said. Marches over the last two Sundays have already shown the world what Hong Kong people want, he added.
“The reason why the extradition bill has caused so much concern among the public is because China has no fair and open trial, and humane imprisonment,” Sham said. “As you can see, all issues lead back to whether Hong Kong has a democratic system.”
--With assistance from Justin Chin.
To contact the reporters on this story: Natalie Lung in Hong Kong at firstname.lastname@example.org;Peter Martin in Beijing at email@example.com
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org, Karen Leigh, Daniel Ten Kate
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