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    Hong Kong Tag

    My husband and step-daughter are touring Asia, so I asked them what the coverage of the Hong Kong protests has been like. Instead of sending out officials and experts to offer false assurances, the Chinese stations simply black out the reports about the demonstrations. However, my husband indicates that many people outside of China are closely following the developments in the international fiscal center. The demonstrations continue unabated. In fact, the latest round was inspired by a little political candor from C. Y. Leung, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region who is the focus of protesters' ire.
    Many were angered by Mr Leung's comments in an interview on Monday, where he said fully democratic elections would lead to populist policies, as poorer residents would have a dominant voice in politics. "If it's entirely a numbers game and numeric representation, then obviously you would be talking to half of the people in Hong Kong who earn less than $1,800 (£1,110) a month," he said. These startlingly frank remarks have not gone down well with many demonstrators, who see it as proof that the political system is rigged on behalf of the rich, the BBC's Juliana Liu in Hong Kong reports. It tallies with the narrative of the city as a place where the gap between rich and poor - which is one of the highest in Asia - is rising, our correspondent adds.
    A CNN report describes the latest approach by Hong Kong's officials: Invite the students in to talk, and give them a lecture on law while offering to do a report to send to Beijing. The interaction of the "t-shirts" versus "the suits" was played on a big screen, so that the demonstrators could view the dialog.

    I recently pondered: Is Hong Kong on brink of its own version of Tiananmen Square? Now, I think the answer is no. It appears the recent student-lead uprising is being handled by Hong Kong leaders the way many of our municipalities handled their "Occupy" events -- Wait until the residents tire of the disruptions, then sweep the activists away.
    Crowds of pro-democracy protesters thinned noticeably by Thursday morning after the Hong Kong government adopted a more conciliatory stance of trying to wait out the demonstrators. Downtown streets that had been fairly crowded on previous nights began to empty late Wednesday, as many went home after days outdoors in heat that had been sweltering even by Hong Kong’s tropical standards. But many predicted that crowds would build again later on Thursday, as demonstrators returned after showers, sleep and hot meals. “Compared to yesterday morning, I think there is a smaller crowd,” Venus Wong, a 22-year-old office worker, said as she sat in front of the local government headquarters with two friends, eating a McDonald’s breakfast at midmorning. “But I think more people will come back later in the day.”
    These demonstrations---collectively known as the "Umbrella Revolution", a nod to the umbrella's use in protecting people from the effects of tear gas---decry Beijing's control over the slate of Hong Kong chief executive candidates for 2017, and have been bolstered by outside contributions from Anonymous:
    The "hacktivist" group Anonymous sent this video to News2share early Wednesday morning, apparently declaring a cyber-war against Hong Kong for the treatment of protestors there. The group has already defaced several Hong Kong-based websites, and promised that dozens more would be affected over the next few days.

    My stepdaughter, a graduate of UCLA with a degree in Chinese, works in Beijing. Today, she has been regularly protesting updates via Facebook on the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, and confirms that tear gas is being used to disperse the massive crowds.
    Tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators are surging through the streets of Hong Kong to protest against Beijing’s influence over how the semi-autonomous territory elects its top officials. Police used several rounds of tear gas to scatter the mostly peaceful crowds that had blocked one of Hong Kong’s main thoroughfares in the early evening. But protestors did not disperse entirely. Earlier today, pro-democracy group Occupy Central announced the beginning of a civil disobedience campaign intended to disrupt Asia’s largest financial center until its demands for free elections are met. The campaign, originally planned for October, is riding a wave of momentum following a sit-in over the weekend where televised clashes between police and students, some of whom were pepper sprayed, prompted city residents to rally in support of the students. Organizers say that around 60,000 demonstrators were on the streets today, media reports put that number at 30,000, and police have not given an estimate.
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