Hong Kong activists seek support from US Congress

Wednesday, 18 Sep, 2019

Chan stressed the need to put an worldwide spotlight on Hong Kong, especially in the run-up to the October 1 celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Wong urged lawmakers to prohibit U.S. firms from exporting tear gas and other items, which he said police in Hong Kong are using excessively against the protesters.

The world's largest brewer, AB InBev, which produces Budweiser and Corona, provided a fillip to the city as it revived plans Tuesday to list its Asian business to raise up to $4.8 billion in Hong Kong's biggest IPO this year.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks to reporters during a press conference at the government building in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019. Already, this Sunday, protesters burned Chinese flags and ripped down banners congratulating the party for 70 years in power. China has benefited from this, and lawmakers believe, used it to evade US export controls and sanctions. Wong appears before a USA congressional commission Tuesday to press for robust US action in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong's leader, Carrie Lam, said on Tuesday she and her team would begin dialogue sessions with the community next week, while reiterating that violence that has roiled the city over three months of protests must end.

Joshua Wong, one of the 2014 Umbrella Movement leaders who was recently arrested for his role in the current protests, will testify before the Congressional Executive Commission on China, along with pro-democracy activist Denise Ho and student group spokesperson Sunny Cheung.

The trigger for the unrest was an extradition bill, now withdrawn, that would have allowed people to be sent from Hong Kong to mainland China for trial. Almost 1400 people have been arrested since the protests started in June, but police gave no update on the number arrested over the weekend. But his unparalleled stature also means singular responsibility for both successes and failures.

"The present state of affairs reveals Beijing's utter inability to understand, let alone govern, a free society", Wong said. Police arrested more than a dozen people and hospital authorities said 25 were injured.

Hong Kong protesters have rallied outside the U.S. consulate in a bid to gain global support.

She urged United Nations rights chief Michelle Bachelet to "support our appeal for this council to convene an urgent session and to establish a mission of inquiry to ensure the human rights of the people of Hong Kong". "We stand in solidarity with you", he told them. Mrs. Lam admitted there exists a "huge degree of fear and anxiety amongst people of Hong Kong vis-à-vis the mainland of China". "Xi Jinping is left with very few options on the table".

Bachelet has voiced measured concern over violence by all sides in Hong Kong and urged the authorities to conduct a "prompt, independent, impartial investigation" into alleged excessive force by police against protesters. They include several young people who have emerged as prominent figures in a leaderless movement.

By Sunday evening, the running battles between anti-government protesters and police had spilled into street brawls between rival groups in the districts of Fortress Hill and North Point further east on Hong Kong island, where men in white T-shirts, believed to be pro-Beijing supporters, some wielding hammers, rods and knives, clashed with anti-government activists.

While more moderate protesters may be swayed by moves to address social inequality, their die-hard peers are unlikely to give up, he said.

Police had turned down a request by the Civil Human Rights Front to hold the march, but the demonstrators were undeterred, as they've been all summer.

"The situation now is a bit risky, and everyone has to handle it very carefully", says Yik Chan Chin, lecturer in media and communications studies at the Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in Suzhou, China.

Lam said the Moody's decision disappointing. Beijing's leaders "are willing to play long.so you have no short-term solution".