Hong Kong superstar Chow Yun-fat on Wednesday (Oct 1) defended pro-democracy protesters and criticised the police for the use of tear gas on demonstrators in Hong Kong as tens of thousands of protesters continued to shut down the city’s main arteries.
In an interview with newspaper Apple Daily, Chow Yun-fat said:
I’ve met the residents, the students – they are very brave and it’s touching to see that they’re fighting for what they want. The students are reasonable. When the government uses violent measures on students, it’s a turn-off for the people of Hong Kong. I don’t wish to see anyone getting hurt… it was a peaceful demonstration and there was no need for any violence or tear gas. If the government can come up with a solution that the citizens or students are satisfied with, I believe the crisis will end.
But he concluded that demanding the resignation of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying would not help the political unrest. “Demanding the resignation of any person will not help matters. What’s important now is to solve the issue at hand,” he said.
Earlier on Wednesday, actor Andy Lau had also spoken up on the pro-democracy protests, calling for peace in Hong Kong as demonstrators blocked main thoroughfares in the city. In a post on the Andy World Club fan site, he called on protesters to “not let their feelings be swayed by a few people sowing discord”, and said there should be “no tear gas, no violence, no abuse”.
“Students and protesters, you should be worried for your safety, and you should know that you have family members who are concerned about you,” he added.
What spurred #OccupyHK?
Hong Kong belongs to China and operates under a policy of “one country, two systems”. Hong Kong, a British colony until 1997, when China resumed sovereignty, is governed by a mini-constitution, the Basic Law. The city maintains an independent judiciary, and residents enjoy greater civil liberties than residents of mainland China. Hong Kong has a robust tradition of free speech.
Democratic groups say Beijing has chipped away at those freedoms, citing an election law proposed last month that would limit voting reforms. China had promised free elections for Hong Kong’s chief executive in 2017. But the government rejected a call for open nominations, instead proposing that candidates would continue to be chosen by a committee dominated by Beijing.
The current city leader, Leung Chun-ying, has clashed with the pro-democracy opposition. After the crackdown on protesters Sunday, some called for his resignation.
Pictures from #OccupyHK here: