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China blocks Beijing flight for Hong Kong democracy activists

Three pro-democracy student leaders from Hong Kong have been stopped from boarding a plane to Beijing.
Three pro-democracy student leaders from Hong Kong have been stopped from boarding a plane to Beijing. (Photo courtesy: AP)

(TibetanReview.net, Nov17, 2014) – With President Xi Jinping having declared the ongoing student-led Hong Kong democracy movement illegal and one supported by the West, it was only to be expected that Beijing would be in no mood to discuss the issue with the protesters. And so it was that on Nov 14, three members of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, seeking talks with the central leadership, were prevented from boarding a flight to Beijing after China cancelled their travel permit.

The federation wanted China to reverse a decision to vet candidates for Hong Kong’s chief executive election in 2017, thereby opening the way for an open and free election, the group said in a statement posted on its Facebook page. While Hong Kong authorities had expressed helplessness in the matter, former Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa and Rita Fan, a Hong Kong deputy to China’s National People’s Congress, refused to heed the students’ requests to arrange a meeting with the central leadership in Beijing. The student leaders, led by Alex Chow, therefore planned to seek talks with top Chinese officials on their own.

Beijing has in the past blocked Hong Kong activists from travelling to mainland China.

Earlier, the three student leaders, accompanied by around 300 supporters, were greeted at the airport by fellow democracy activists, who unfurled yellow umbrellas – a symbol of Hong Kong’s democracy movement, reported bbc.co.uk Nov 15.

At least four other student protesters had been barred from travelling to the mainland since the Occupy Central demonstrations began, reported SCMP.com Nov 17.

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