Thousands March for Democracy in Hong Kong

Residents demand universal suffrage
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2007 1:03 PM CDT
Thousands March for Democracy in Hong Kong
Protesters raises flags with Chinese that reads "Universal Suffrage" as thousands of people march in a Hong Kong downtown street Sunday, July 1, 2007. The July 1 pro-democracy street rally, marking the former British colony's return to Chinese rule in 1997, has become an annual tradition since half...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Hong Kong observed the 10th anniversary of the handover to China today as tens of thousands took to the streets for the now-traditional annual pro-democracy rally. Beijing appears no more amenable to universal suffrage, however—Hu Jintao was in town to swear in the territory's new chief executive and his government, but the Chinese president departed before the march began.

The agreement ceding control of Hong Kong from Britain to China includes a provision for general election of the chief executive, but it doesn't specify a timetable. Tentative early efforts only aggravated government concerns about subversion spreading to mainland China, the Times of London reports, and Beijing has recently clamped down on pro-democracy efforts like today's demonstration. (Read more China stories.)

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