Hong Kong Holds Huge Protests On China’s National Day

Thousands of pro-democracy protesters thronged the streets of Hong Kong on Wednesday, some of them jeering National Day celebrations, and students threatened to ramp up demonstrations if the city’s pro-Beijing leader did not step down.

For the rest of the story and dozens more of photos from the protests go here.

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China: El arte de las réplicas alimenticias de cera [3:36]

En China la apariencia es importante, y los escaparates de los restaurantes siempre están llenos de representaciones hiperrealistas de la comida que podrás encontrar en el interior. Esas representaciones son realmente caras, pero porque su elaboración artesanal es todo un arte.

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In Pictures: ‘Chocolate City’

African migrants in China comprise perhaps two percent of Guangzhou’s 13 million residents but still face difficulties.

By Dave Tacon

Guangzhou, China - African migrants have been arriving in Guangzhou, China’s third largest city ever since the Chinese economic boom began in the late 1990s. 

Current estimates put their numbers anywhere from 20,000 to 200,000. The latter figure would place their population at almost two percent of Guangzhou’s 13 million residents. In any event, Guangzhou’s Africans constitute Asia’s largest African community. The majority of them reside in a 10 square kilometre area in the central districts of Yuexiu and Baiyun locally known as “Chocolate City”.

[Continue reading article and view photo essay at Al Jazeera.]

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National Day                                                  

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests swelled for a sixth day as student leaders renewed an ultimatum for Leung Chun-ying to resign after jeering the city’s top official at a ceremony to mark China’s National Day.

Demonstrators poured back into the three main protest areas at 6 p.m. local time after crowds thinned this morning. With Hong Kong celebrating two days of holidays, numbers may grow beyond last nights tallies, when organizers estimated at least 100,000 people in the main protest areas and tens of thousands more at the secondary sites. 

Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg

© 2014 Bloomberg Finance LP

anonymous said:

What do you think about the accusations that the protests in HK have been instigated by the US to destabilize China and China needs to vet candidates to make sure people with pro-US interests are not in charge?

  • I think it’s really insulting. It’s an implication that Hong Kongers don’t have any agency or legitimate interests and would only demand civil and political rights if they were American puppets. We know HK for ages has had a lot of issues with mainland China and never quite sees eye to eye with Beijing. These protests are coming from genuine, homegrown sentiment, whether or not we agree or disagree with what they’re demanding. Very, very often, governments in Asia use the excuse that “human rights is a Western concept” to oppress their own people. That’s just a cheap excuse. Because the right to self-determination- to choose your own system of government- is universal. Democracy in Taiwan, South Korea and Japan certainly ISN’T exactly like the West- they have their own culturally specific dynamics- but they are indeed democratic nonetheless.
  • Plenty of today’s democracies are former colonies who vigorously fought and won their independence from European colonial rule- like India, Indonesia, Mexico, and Ghana  etc. These countries I have listed are far from perfect, but it’s to illustrate many of them underwent their tumultuous political transitions from autocratic regimes to democracies on their own. It’s still a work in progress, indeed but the notion that Hong Kongers are American stooges is insulting when these examples show how democratic aspirations can be very much homegrown and non-Western. Also, I do not buy arguments that say “oh, Asia is culturally not ready for democracy.” Who is, really? Western countries themselves had an extremely messy road to the stable democratic regimes today. This is why I am also quite annoyed whenever commentators go, “Oh, I guess the Middle-East isn’t compatible with democracy.” Like dude does anyone remember the Terror in France, years of chaos and strife after what was supposed to be a populist revolution against authoritarianism? Would French people today say, well I’d rather we stuck with the monarchy instead of the Republic? Authoritarianism is not a good system forever. Once your people get educated enough, they will not be satisfied by it. 
  • It’s also irresponsible and lazy. The foreign bogeyman- the oldest trick in the book- a cynical use of patriotism and nationalism to blame everything on an external enemy to distract from internal issues. During the Mao’s Cultural Revolution, a lot of people were branded foreign agents, traitors or saboteurs to discredit them. I cannot tell you how often governments of former colonies, for example, always use colonialism or foreign saboteurs as a bogeyman, LONG AFTER colonial rule ended and they have to take some responsibility for the corruption and ineptness of their governments. Yes, colonialism affected us. But seizing the mantle of perpetual victimhood is an abdication of responsibility, a cynical and  cheap distraction to ignore the genuine grievances of a section of your population. 
  • A tad ironic, considering how the a lot of provincial governments enable a lot of US MNCs to pollute China indiscriminately. That…is actually damaging the interests of more Chinese than Hong Kongers demanding to be able to choose their own candidate, even if their views happen to be more pro-US. (Which imo, isn’t as simple as that. It’s just that politically they are more opposed to Beijing.) Unregulated capitalism and economic exploitation is actually running roughshod over far more mainland Chinese than any perceived US agents or whatnot.  
  • Democratic aspirations aren’t just confined to what Beijing may see as a misbehaving former British colony… I mean, Tiananmen, 1989?

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October 1, 1949: People’s Republic of China founded

Proclamation of the Central People’s Government of the PRC

The people throughout China have been plunged into bitter suffering and tribulations since the Chiang Kai-shek Kuomintang reactionary government betrayed the fatherland, colluded with imperialists, and lunched the counter-revolutionary war. Fortunately our People’s Liberation Army, backed by the whole nation, has been fighting heroically and selflessly to defend the territorial sovereignty of our homeland, to protect the people’s lives and property, to relieve the people of their sufferings, and to struggle for their rights, and it eventually wiped out the reactionary troops and overthrew the reactionary rule of the Nationalist government. Now, the People’s War of Liberation has been basically won, and the majority of the people in the country have been liberated. On this foundation, the first session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference , composed of delegates of all the democratic parties and people’s organization of China, the People’s Liberation Army, the various regions and nationalities of the country, and the overseas Chinese and other patriotic elements, has been convened. Representing the will of the whole nation, [this session of the conference] has enacted the organic law of the Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China, elected Mao Zedong as chairman of the Central People’s Government; and Zhu De, Lui Shaoqi, Song Qingling, Li Jishen, Zhang Lan, and Gao Gang as vice chairmen [of the Central People’s Government].

- Mao Zedong (1st October, 1949)

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had i walked this street last week, i would have died. my city is at a standstill, no cars, no busses, nothing but people on the streets. in my area, you can’t get anywhere without walking. and never have i been prouder to be a hong konger. i’m going to be walking around for the next hour or so, feel free to ask questions.

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