Umbrella Movement leaders, Joshua Wong and Nathan Law among several arrested ahead of Xi’s visit

By Lobsang Tenchoe

DHARAMSALA, June 29: Pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong have staged a protest ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to mark 20 years of Hong Kong’s handover to China by Britain.

According to a report on BBC, several well-known activists, including former Umbrella Movement leaders, Joshua Wong and Nathan Law, were arrested on the eve of Mr Xi’s arrival to mark 20 years of Chinese rule in Hong Kong.

Image: BBC
Image: BBC

Around two dozen pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong staged a protest storming the golden sculpture of a bauhinia flower which symbolizes the handover of the territory. The sculpture by the city’s harbor was a gift from China and was earmarked for the official flag-raising ceremony later this week.

The activists reportedly chained themselves to the statue and unfurled a banner demanding justice for imprisoned Chinese Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo who was released on medical parole earlier this week and greater democracy for Hong Kong.

After three hours of confrontation, police cleared the area by arresting several activists.

Former Umbrella Movement leaders, Joshua Wong and Nathan Law were among the activists arrested by police on charges of causing public nuisance.

Xi Jinping later arrived at Hong Kong’s main Chek Lap Kok airport to a reception of choreographed marching band with children waving Hong Kong and China’s flags.

Image: HKFP
Image: HKFP

This is XI’s first visit since he took charge of the Chinese regime in 2012. A series of official celebrations are planned in Hong Kong during the course of his three-day visit (June 29- July 1). Xi will also administer the oath to Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s incoming Chief Executive amidst heightened security.

The handover ceremony of Hong Kong in July 1, 1997 officially marked the transfer of Hong Kong’s sovereignty from Britain to the Communist Chinese regime.