- Title: 'Life is better now': Pro-Beijing supporter critical of Hong Kong protesters
- Date: 29th September 2019
- Summary: HONG KONG, CHINA (SEPTEMBER 26, 2019) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Cantonese) 57 YEAR-OLD PRO-BEIJING TAXI DRIVER, MR. LI, SAYING: "What changed is, the country that rules us is now China not England, but in general, our life doesn't change much. The rich people can continue to travel anywhere they want as long as they have the money and the time. No one will stop you. Don't say that you are being restricted to travel. That's because you break the rules, or you're a wanted suspect, so then you cannot leave. In general, I don't see any difference, but I think life is better now." VIEW OF TAXI DRIVING INTO TUNNEL FROM REAR WINDSHIELD LI'S HANDS ON STEERING WHEEL, DRIVING THROUGH TUNNEL CALENDAR FOR MONTH OF SEPTEMBER IN FRONT SEAT TIMELAPSE OF HONG KONG SKYLINE AND TRAFFIC AT SUNSET (MUTE)
- Embargoed: 13th October 2019 03:03
- Keywords: Hong Kong China Beijing taxi driver protests extradition bill
- Location: HONG KONG, CHINA
- City: HONG KONG, CHINA
- Country: Hong Kong
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA006AYPKWUF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Mr. Li, who did not want to give his full name, is a 57-year-old taxi driver in Hong Kong, and believes he's part of a silent minority who supports the policies of mainland China.
Even though anti-government protests have rocked Hong Kong for the past few months, he says his business hasn't really been affected.
The protests have escalated from mass rallies opposing a controversial law that would extradite suspects to mainland China to demonstrations against the government. Some have even voiced their demand for democracy to be given to Hong Kong.
Protesters are angry about what they see as creeping Chinese interference in Hong Kong, which returned to China in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" formula intended to guarantee freedoms that are not enjoyed on the mainland.
Li compared the protesters to "spoiled children".
"When they don't get what they want, they throw a tantrums and vandalize everything in their home," referring to video showing protesters throwing rocks at police and breaking machines at MTR stations.
Li said life under British rule was not democratic, even though protesters have been appealing to the UK to push for democracy.
"I didn't like the U.K. when they were ruling Hong Kong, they wouldn't ever ask you whether you liked them or not, everything was all decided by them," said Li, chided the young protesters for being 'naive'.
"What changed is, the country that rules us is now China not England. In general, life is better now," he added.
Hong Kong is on edge ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on Oct. 1, with authorities eager to avoid scenes that could embarrass the central government in Beijing. Activists have planned a whole host of protests on the day.
(Production: Tommy Ardiansyah, Angie Teo, Joseph Campbell)
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