China Allows Hong Kong to Vote in 2017

Enraged by delay, democracy activists condemn decision
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 29, 2007 4:23 PM CST
Hong Kong's Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Stephen Lam, left, hands a report submitted to China's legislature to Secretary for Justice, Wong Yan Lung, right, as Hong Kong Chief Secretary...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Reacting to years of pro-democracy rallies in Hong Kong, China agreed today to let the territory elect a leader in 2017 and a legislature in 2020, BBC reports. Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang had lobbied Beijing for elections by 2012, but hailed today's news as a "hard-earned opportunity." Activists, however, were outraged over the decade-long delay, AFP reports.

"We strongly condemn the decision that violates the opinion of the majority people," activists said in a joint statement; one has been hunger-striking for almost 100 hours. China also vexed activists by demanding constitutional changes before democracy kicks in—and requiring that Hong Kong, Beijing, and political parties agree on amendments ahead of elections.