MOSCOW, October 28 (RIA Novosti) – Hong Kong’s Occupy Central activists marked the one month anniversary of their so-called 'Umbrella Movement' on October 28, in attempt to lend new momentum to the protest. "Organizers striving to inject new momentum into the movement told crowds to gather at the main protest camp opposite the city's government headquarters for commemorations, starting with an 87-second silence," Agence France-Presse reported.
Demonstrators are urging Beijing to reconsider its decision to vet candidates running for city's leadership, denouncing the policy as non-democratic. However, "the Chinese government shows no sign of backing down and protest leaders are unsure of how to achieve their goals," the media outlet emphasizes.
The Occupy Central movement’s organizers have admitted that the protest has apparently stalled. Although the students' leaders held talks with government representatives about a week ago, no significant progress has been achieved since then. It should be also noted that the disruption caused by the protest campaign has triggered growing anger among Hong Kong's civilians. Thus, Occupy Central's co-founder Professor Benny Tai has told the reporters he was going to return to teaching, adding that "it was not a retreat."
"It's not that we will leave the movement. On the other hand, for the movement to continue, we need to make adjustments to our daily lives so that our psychological status and physical strength can support it," he said as quoted by Agence France-Presse.
Meanwhile China's official media sources continue to criticize the Occupy Central movement, insisting that the protest is "impeding the region's democratic development." According to the People's Daily, the protesters are trying to hijack public opinion in Hong Kong in order to counter "legal procedures and the democratic spirit." "Without the rule of law, so-called 'democracy' may be led astray into peril," the newspaper's statement reads.
Another official Chinese media outlet, Xinhua, cites Charles Powell, a former aide to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, as saying: "China has now kept its promise by offering universal suffrage for the 2017 elections, and that was a positive step." The former British official stressed that those who oppose Beijing's election plan were "fundamentally mistaken," adding that the "one country, two systems" policy had proved successful in Hong Kong.
"I am afraid that those who demonstrate in Hong Kong are perhaps a little ignorant of history. They are basically younger people, who were not around at the time when the agreements were reached, and have not been aware of their significance," emphasized Charles Powell.
"China has made clear that the choice of candidates will be made by an elected committee… it was China's right to make that determination. It was clear in the Basic Law, and that was what would happen," he added in an interview with Xinhua.
The former British aide said that he believed that the city would continue to prosper and develop despite the temporary disruption.