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Hong Kong protests may not stay in the streets, but “like a bad penny, I'll keep turning up”

December 3rd, 2014
02:31 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

While the street protests in Hong Kong may need to end, democracy advocates in Hong Kong have put themselves on the map and will continue their fight, Emily Lau, Chairwoman of the Hong Kong Democratic Party told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday.

The protesters “can't stay in the streets all the time. But we are not going to go away. Like a bad penny, I'll keep turning up. Many of us will keep turning up. So there is no way Beijing can just shut us out.”

Leaders of the Occupy Central movement turned themselves into the police Wednesday, urging protesters to end the months-long occupation of downtown Hong Kong; they insisted that their push for democratic autonomy from China would continue.

“This is the beginning of the end of this phase,” Lau said. “They are sending out a signal to Hong Kong, particularly to the protesters, that maybe it's time to call this part of the movement to a close.”

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Filed under:  China • Christiane Amanpour • Hong Kong • Latest Episode

Hong Kong MP praises students’ cause, but criticizes tactics

December 1st, 2014
03:11 PM ET

By Madalena Araujo, CNN

The Chairwoman of Hong Kong's Democratic Party urged pro-democracy protesters on Monday to “exercise maximum restraint” following hours of violent clashes with the police as they tried to encircle government headquarters.

“I think people are getting frustrated because we do not get any response from Beijing and from the Hong Kong government. But the students want to escalate the action and their confrontation with the police, and [this is] resulting in police brutality,” Emily Lau told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

“But I hope the people will exercise maximum restraint. We want to conduct the struggle in a peaceful and non-violent way."

"I think they are beginning to realize that [if] you keep escalating the action; you keep having confrontation with the police, you will lose the support of the Hong Kong people and the international community.”

The renewed violence came after the student leaders’ call for an escalation of their civil disobedience actions, a move that marked a shift in the so-far largely peaceful “Umbrella Revolution.”

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Filed under:  China • Christiane Amanpour • Hong Kong • Latest Episode

Hong Kong demonstrators may scuttle democracy progress, says pro-Beijing legislator

October 7th, 2014
02:54 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

By disrupting life in Hong Kong and rejecting Beijing’s ruling on how Hong Kong should be governed, pro-democracy demonstrators there may actually be scuttling progress on democracy, pro-Beijing Hong Kong legislator Regina Ip told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.

“In terms of guarantee of personal freedoms and rights, we were free before we became democratic,” Ip said. “The democratic process only started getting under way in the 1980s, very late in the colonial era. And we've made a lot more progress since 1997.”

“I fully understand and sympathize with [the protesters’] aspirations. But they also need to recognize that our democratic model is laid down in the basic law.”

“We are not an independent country. We are part of one country.”

Students and pro-democracy activists clogged Hong Kong’s central business district through the end of last week, protesting a ruling by China that Hong Kong residents would be able to directly elect their chief executive, but only from a list of Beijing-approved candidates.

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Filed under:  China • Christiane Amanpour • Hong Kong • Latest Episode

Reading, writing and revolution

October 1st, 2014
02:32 PM ET

Across the world, students are using civil disobedience to further their agendas; in Hong Kong, they protest for democracy; in Colorado, they boycott classes to protest a new history curriculum.

Christiane Amanpour has the story.


Filed under:  China • Christiane Amanpour • Hong Kong • Imagine a World • Latest Episode • U.S. Politics

Hong Kong standoff shows ‘lack of confidence’ in Beijing

September 30th, 2014
03:31 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

The standoff between Beijing and Hong Kong over that territory’s right to choose its own leaders reflects “a lack of confidence on the part of Beijing leaders,” Anson Chan, who led Hong Kong during its transition from British to Chinese rule, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.

“Quite frankly, [China’s leaders] have a number of very formidable challenges on their plate, and the last thing they want to risk is any suggestion of instability and the loss of control over Hong Kong.”

“But there are also moderate voices in Beijing who realize the role that Hong Kong plays not only in sustainable economic growth in the mainland, but also helping our country modernize and come into the twenty-first century.”

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Filed under:  China • Christiane Amanpour • Hong Kong • Latest Episode

The Simpsons go to China

September 29th, 2014
03:45 PM ET

The images of massive protests in Hong Kong are nowhere to be seen in China, but a unique American form of subversion will soon be available there, streaming twenty-four hours a day.

For the first time, The Simpsons will be available for all Chinese to see. CNN's Christiane Amanpour has the story.


Filed under:  China • Christiane Amanpour • Hong Kong • Imagine a World • Latest Episode

China faces ‘most complicated’ protest movement since Tiananmen

September 29th, 2014
02:59 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

In confronting thousands on the streets of Hong Kong demanding more democracy, China is facing “the most complicated outbreak of street unrest that China has faced since Tiananmen Square,” James Miles, China Editor for The Economist, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday.

“It knows that the risks here are enormous,” he said. “The world’s eyes are watching Hong Kong.”

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Filed under:  China • Christiane Amanpour • Hong Kong • Latest Episode

Hong Kong ‘Occupy’ activist digs in for the long-run: ‘It is a war,’ not a battle

September 29th, 2014
02:57 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Hong Kong’s democracy movement is peaceful and in it for the long-haul, Occupy Hong Kong Central leader Chan Kin Man told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday, warning Beijing that military intervention would be “very costly.”

“We do not know whether we can obtain our goal in the short run. But we shouldn’t look at a democracy movement as a battle. It is a war. As long as the spirit of democracy is alive, we are not, and we will not be defeated.”

Thousands of protesters packed the streets of Hong Kong on Monday to push Beijing to rescind its recent decision to maintain veto power over candidates for Hong Kong’s chief executive. Police cracked down on the protests overnight on Sunday, firing tear gas and pepper spray.

“The demonstration was in a very peaceful and orderly manner,” Chan said. “It is totally unacceptable for the police to use such a brutal force.”

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Filed under:  China • Christiane Amanpour • Hong Kong • Latest Episode

Mo’ democracy for Hong Kong? No, says Mo

September 9th, 2014
09:22 AM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

With a new decision by the Chinese government on how Hong Kong elects its leader, the dream of democracy “is nearly dead,” Hong Kong legislator and democracy activist Claudia Mo told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday.

What China has offered instead, Mo said, is a “sort of fake democracy.”

It was not too long ago that Hong Kong was not Chinese at all; in 1997, the United Kingdom handed control of the territory over to Beijing. The agreement the two powers then signed promised “a high degree of autonomy” and “universal suffrage” Hong Kong’s population.

Now, activists say, China has reneged on that agreement. The government last week said that while Hong Kong’s population will be able to directly elect their leader for the first time, the candidates for the position of chief executive must be approved by a committee of Communist Party leaders.

China’s decision must still be approved by Hong Kong’s legislative council before it goes into effect.

“I think China, Beijing, is essentially very insecure and paranoid, and they want to play tough with Hong Kong. And the message is ‘We don't care about Hong Kong anymore. Hong Kong is disposable.’ The supposed financial hub in Asia; the supposed cosmopolitan city, never mind. If you don't like it here, Hong Kong people, you can leave.’”

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Filed under:  China • Christiane Amanpour • Hong Kong • Latest Episode

Hong Kong seizes massive ivory shipment

August 8th, 2013
04:51 AM ET

Hong Kong has just announced that, in cooperation with mainland China, its customs enforcement seized $41 million worth of ivory tusks and other exotic animal parts.

The butchering of elephants is, according to the U.S. government, the result of massive organized crime, not simply excessive hunting. It is a topic that Christiane Amanpour has examined recently, with The New York Times’ Jeffrey Gettleman and with reporter Bryan Christy, who made a documentary for National Geographic called "Battle for the Elephants."

The full statement from the Hong Kong government is below.

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Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Hong Kong • Poaching