Protests in Hong Kong ahead of G20 summit in Japan
Hong Kong, June 26 (IANS): Dressed in black, hundreds of protesters marched in silence on Wednesday to 19 foreign consulates in Hong Kong to deliver letters urging representatives to exert pressure on the Chinese President at the upcoming G20 summit in Japan.
“We will urge the countries to pressure China at the G20, to raise concerns over Hong Kong, to defend Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and free trade environment, and to protect the rights of their citizens to do business and to live in Hong Kong,” the demonstrators said, reported Efe news.
The protest plan came after China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Jun said on Monday that his country will not allow protests in Hong Kong to be discussed at the summit as it was an internal affair of the Asian country in which “no foreign country has a right to interfere.”
“This proves that China wants to avoid Hong Kong issues, and that is why Hong Kong people should seriously call on foreign countries to raise this issue that (Chinese president) Xi Jinping wants to avoid – to force Xi to review the current policy for Hong Kong,” the demonstrators said.
As part of the strategy, the Hong Kong activists have raised more than HK$5 million ($640,000) through a crowdfunding campaign to publish ads in 13 international newspapers of nine countries in an attempt to get the contentious extradition bill to be included in the agenda of the G20 summit, scheduled to be held Osaka on June 28-29.
The campaign reached its original target of HK$3 million in 10 hours, with over 20,000 donors.
The ad is an open letter asking foreign citizens to pressure their government before the summit, which will be attended by Xi and Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan.
“Now we need your support: that our voices to be heard in your governments and consulates; that freedom prevails at the next G20 summit and beyond. We can save ourselves if we act now,” the letter by the protesters said.
After visiting the 19 embassies of those countries with representatives taking part in the summit, the protesters are to join a rally organized by the Civil Human Rights Front at 8 p.m. One of the coordinators, Jimmy Sham, said the theme of the protest will be “Free Hong Kong, democracy now.”
The organizers will invite various professionals to announce a joint declaration in several languages and will speak about the relationship between Hong Kong and the international community.