Why Hong Kong’s Informal Referendum Makes Beijing So Nervous

Matt Schiavenza | 23 June 2014 | International Business Times

The latest reform initiative by pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong is garnering enthusiastic support in the territory but outrage in mainland China.

An informal referendum held by Hong Kong’s Occupy Central movement, a pro-democracy organization modeled after Occupy Wall Street, recorded 700,000 votes, indicating broad support for political reform in the Chinese-run city-state. The referendum — which began Sunday and will last one week — was intended to gauge support for implementing full universal suffrage in the territory by 2017, a goal of Occupy Central and other pro-democracy activists.

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China Censors Hong Kong’s ‘Occupy Central’ Referendum Vote On Weibo

Michelle Flor Cruz | 23 June 2014 | International Business Times

While hundreds of thousands of people in Hong Kong cast their votes in a sovereignty referendum over the weekend, mainland China’s censors quickly took action to quiet online discussion of the reform initiative on popular social media platform Weibo.

More than 700,000 Hong Kong residents cast their votes in the unofficial poll on electoral reform as part of a larger “Occupy Central with Love and Peace” movement, which promotes the international standard of “universal and equal suffrage” in elections for the chief executive of Hong Kong. China’s central government has instead announced that the upcoming 2017 election for the post will include nominees appointed by a mainland government committee.

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