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AP Interview: HK lawmaker says democracy fight needs rethink

HONG KONG (AP) — When Wu Chi-wai, chairman of Hong Kong’s largest pro-democracy party, decided to serve an extended term in the city’s legislature, he did not expect to resign two months...

11/30/2020 7:37:00 AM

“I kept my promise, I fought to the end.” After nearly three decades in politics, the chairman of Hong Kong ’s largest pro-democracy party is stepping down as a lawmaker while urging supporters to rethink how to continue their fight for change.

HONG KONG (AP) — When Wu Chi-wai, chairman of Hong Kong ’s largest pro-democracy party, decided to serve an extended term in the city’s legislature, he did not expect to resign two months...

HONG KONG (AP) — When Wu Chi-wai, chairman of Hong Kong’s largest pro-democracy party, decided to serve an extended term in the city’s legislature, he did not expect to resign two months later.After nearly three decades in politics, the 58-year-old Wu is stepping down Monday. All 15 lawmakers in the pro-democracy camp have tendered their resignations to protest a Beijing resolution in early November that led to the disqualifications of four of their colleagues.

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The resignations came at a fraught time for Hong Kong, as Beijing tightens control over the semi-autonomous city. Activists say that China is clamping down on freedoms that distinguish Hong Kong from the mainland.ADVERTISEMENTSince the 2014 Umbrella Movement protests, pro-democracy activists have demanded greater democracy and accused China of going back on its promise to allow the people to vote freely for their leader.

Last year, protesters clashed with police in months of anti-government rallies. Partly in response, China tightened its grip on Hong Kong in June, imposing a national security law that targets dissent.For Wu, quitting was a last resort. He said that staying on would not have changed things, as the pro-Beijing government was determined to push through policies that the pro-democracy camp would not have been able to stop. Pro-democracy supporters will need to rethink how to continue their fight now that so much has changed, he said. headtopics.com

“I kept my promise, I fought to the end,” he told The Associated Press in an interview, adding he hopes those who voted for him would not think that they had done so in vain.Wu, known for his feisty personality, often delivered impassioned speeches in defense of democracy. He was arrested earlier this year for participating in an unauthorized vigil in remembrance of the bloody 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing, and later again in November for contempt and interfering with other lawmakers during a clash in the legislative chamber in May.

Democracy supporters must keep their determination to achieve their goals, even if it takes decades, he said. He conceded that he doesn’t yet know the path ahead, but sounded a hopeful note.“I’m getting into a whole new ball game,” he said. “It opens a new imaginative area to imagine the future, because in the past, I was stuck in a … boundary that made me tired.”

For Wu, the fight for democracy has been a long and difficult one, akin to a political career that saw both election wins and defeats.ADVERTISEMENTHe was an economics student in the U.S. when he decided in 1991 to return to Hong Kong — then a British colony — ahead of its return to China in 1997 to observe the changes from a transfer of sovereignty. He cut his teeth in politics as a legislative assistant, working for then-lawmaker Conrad Lam, who was part of pro-democracy party United Democrats of Hong Kong.

In the ensuing years, Wu served on municipal and district councils before being elected to the citywide legislature in 2012. Since 2016, Wu has headed the Democratic Party -– Hong Kong’s largest pro-democracy political party.The mass resignations came shortly after the beginning of an unprecedented one-year extension of the four-year legislative term. That followed a postponement of legislative elections, with authorities citing public safety issues due to the coronavirus pandemic. headtopics.com

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Most of the pro-democracy legislators criticized the move as unconstitutional but initially decided to remain in the legislature. Then came the decision to disqualify four of them, which Wu described as sudden, although not unexpected.“(With) the latest decision, the central government simply tells everybody in the world that … ‘in Hong Kong, we are in total control, everything is under control,’” he said. “So, we need to reconsider the way to fight in the future.”

Wu said the pro-democracy camp could run in future elections, in part to sustain the determination for democracy, but he pointed out that they may not be able to serve their whole terms, citing the recent disqualifications of his four colleagues.“History repeats in a cycle,” said Wu, pointing to the fight for democracy in the Soviet Union decades ago and the protests in Tiananmen Square.

“The key now is how to keep our determination in the coming time, because it is easy for people to give up when they fail,” he said. “We may need to wait for 20 years, and some people may find that discouraging. But ... if we believe in the value of democracy and freedom, we need people to fight for it.”

Read more: The Associated Press »

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Yes ! HKers never back down. Although we are under the suppression, the totalitarian regime can't stop our determination to fight for freedom, democracy, justice and human rights. HKers, Keep Fighting ! FightForFreedom FreeHK save12hkyouths kerokero_HKer The World should say no to Tyranny! . Although facing the evil Chinazi, NationalSecurityLaw & PoliceBrutality, Hongkongers are not giving up! Sanction XiJinPing, CarrieLam, HKGov & CCP Officals! FreeHK SOSHK SAVE12HKYOUTHS StandWithHongKong AntiChinazi

kerokero_HKer Hongkonger is under HumanitarianCrisis now :( Pls dont give up HK in this big crisis, HKer not surrender! Still fighting for justice, HumanRight & democracy! Dear world, StandWithHK! SOSHK FreeHK save12hkyouth HongKongNeedsHelp NationalSecurityLaw DefendingHongKong kerokero_HKer No matter how evil the CCP Chinazi NationalSecurityLaw are No matter how brutal the HKPolice is HKer are still fighting for justice, liberty & democracy 💪🏿😠 Hongkonger are not giving up! StandWithHongKong HongKong PoliceBrutality HumanitarianCrisis save12hkyouth

kerokero_HKer Say no to Tyranny! . As a Hongkonger, my dream is simple but difficult.. So difficult for HK to have justice, HumanRight, liberty & democracy.. But We’re still fighting! save12hkyouths No PoliceBrutality, CCP Chinazi Totalitarianism! StandWithHongKong StandWithHK HK people have no right to vote. legislative council was controlled by CCP.

NationalSecurityLaw utterly sabotages the Joint Declaration and 1country2systems, snuffing out freedom and democracy and conniving hkpolicebrutality. We wish democratic countries can hold CCP's accountability for its crackdown on HK. The legislation council is totally off! Hong Kong is dead! StandWithHongKong

bubupig_ How evil can the Chinazi Tyranny be? . Hongkonger well knew CCP China & HKPolice HKGov are evil brutal Totalitarianism long ago.. HKer is still fighting, For justice, HumanRight & democracy! StandWithHK FreeHK SAVE12HKYOUTHS SOSHK SAVE12 StandWithHongKong CCP is not working under legal restrictions or rules, new ideas will be needed to fight with them. standwithHongKong HKprotests

stand with hk,fight for freedom,save 12 hk youths,hope Donald Trump can win,support and respect china only allow one voice in hongkong, thats why HK people resist The CCP has completely changed the elections rules and there are no longer any truly fair elections in Hong Kong now. Don't trust the CCP and the bloodycarrie puppet government anymore. CCP_is_terrorist CCPLiedPeopleDied HumanRightsViolations

HongKong is totally off and become the NewWestBerlin after the NationalSecurityLaw. OneCountryTwoSystemIsDead. HongKongers, even non-HKer not in HK is suffering in that law. StandWithHongKong FreeHongKong save12hkyouths BringThemBack Setting up an exile legislature could be an option... We need an independent legislature free from CCP if we had the chance to liberate Hong Kong in the end.

joshuawongcf reminded us that apart from the struggle in the parliament, there is still room for all kinds of resistance outside the parliament. The most important thing is that we still do not give up and continue to adhere to the ideals of democracy and freedom💪💪 China transformed Hong Kong into a typical mainland city. The road to freedom is long and rocky, some of us may be forced to leave HongKong, but wherever we are, we will carry on fighting until Hong Kong has the freedom and democracy we deserve.

It has been 100 Days of 12HKyouths being trapped by China. save12hkyouths FreeHongKong StandWithHongKong In fact,the times are constantly changing. When the enemy continues to use more cruel means to persecute us,HKers must give up kindness of the past and use more direct actions to fight the enemy to the end. Everyone must continue to progress,otherwise they will only be eliminated

Actually the legislative council is dead, no reason for us to vote again, only those pro-China lawmakers are allowed to get in. StandWithHongKong Native and underestimate cruelty of CCP are the main reasons of the failure of his political party. jeffreychngo 闘い方を再考する。 諦めない香港を応援したいです🍀 Traitors all end in failure

Hat goes off to my Pro Democracy brothers & sisters in HK. Thanks to people like Wu, they’ve fought the good fight, but we’ve gotta adapt to fight China in smarter way! When this grifter does go fly a kite, Hong Kong will have one less pest. Without help these freedom-loving HK citizens will be swallowed up whole by violations of the treaty China signed with GB and Western nations that helped them fight Japanese occupation during WWII.

flee to Taiwan. begin again in a real democratic nation. HK + Isis 🥱🥱🥱 Well, l know a place that has a lot of money lying around... Difficult to fight back when the powers that be “shoot first and don’t bother asking questions”... Migrate to survive dude! So sad! We need to stop buying chinese products!

Inside out. all your bases are belong to china