- Title: CHINA-HONGKONG/FLAG RAISING/CY LEUNG Hong Kong marks National Day amidst protests
- Date: 1st October 2014
- Summary: HONG KONG, CHINA (OCTOBER 1, 2014) (REUTERS) ****WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** PEOPLE STANDING DURING RECEPTION FLAGS ON TABLE VARIOUS OF PEOPLE STANDING CAMERAMAN VARIOUS OF LEUNG TOASTING PEOPLE ON STAGE WITH CHAMPAGNE
- Embargoed: 16th October 2014 13:00
- Location: China
- Country: China
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVABYOGIF3UFQ13HKFPFOMG5CWW0
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: A flag-raising ceremony marking China's National Day took place as scheduled in Hong Kong on Wednesday (October 1) despite continued pro-democracy protests that have disrupted the city for five days.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and other Hong Kong and mainland dignitaries attended the event at Bauhinia Square on the Hong Kong waterfront.
Underlining nervousness among some activists that provocation on National Day could spark violence, Hong Kong University students made an online appeal not to disturb the flag-raising ceremony that began at 8 a.m. (midnight GMT).
Proceedings went ahead peacefully, although scores of students who ringed the square booed as the national anthem was played. The Hong Kong and Chinese flags billowed in the wind at the completion of the ceremony.
The dignitaries later moved inside for a reception. As Leung and others stood on stage, pro-democracy lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung shouted at the chief executive to resign. He was drowned out by a band playing and people singing the Chinese national anthem, and was escorted out of the room by security.
Thousands of demonstrators demanding universal suffrage thronged the streets of Hong Kong on Wednesday, ratcheting up pressure on the pro-Beijing government that has called the action illegal. The student leaders of the protest had set a deadline of Tuesday (September 30) night for Leung to meet with them, but he did not meet their ultimatum.
In his National Day speech, he voiced his support for the election plan set by Beijing in which voters could choose from up to three pre-selected candidates for the next chief executive.
"It is understandable that different people may have different ideas about a desirable reform package. But it is definitely better to have universal suffrage than not. It is definitely better to have the CE (Chief Executive) elected by five million eligible voters than by 1,200 people. And it is definitely better to cast your vote at the polling station than to stay at home and watch on television the 1, 200 members of the election committee cast their votes," Leung said.
He called on all segments of society to work together for the election, scheduled to be held in 2017.
"We hope that all sectors of the community will work with the government in a peaceful, lawful, rational and pragmatic manner to duly complete the subsequent consultation and legislative work, and make a big step forward in our constitutional development," he added
China rules Hong Kong under a "one country, two systems" formula that accords the former British colony a degree of autonomy and freedoms not enjoyed in mainland China.
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