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Overseas politicians show disapproval of Hong Kong's Occupy Central movement

INCUMBENT and former politicians of different countries have expressed their disapproval of the Occupy Central movement in Hong Kong, saying that the protesters are "unrealistic" and western media reports on the demonstration "biased."

Charles Powell, who served as private secretary to then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher when Britain agreed to return Hong Kong to China, said on Sunday he did not believe the protest would make a change.

"The position about elections has been clear since the law was published in 1991 and I don't believe for one moment that Chinese are going to change that basic position," Powell told British BBC Radio 4's The World This Weekend.

"Hong Kong has always been part of China," Powell said. "We rented for a while and we didn't introduce democracy," he added.

Singapore's Foreign Minister Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam said Saturday in an interview with Singapore-based Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao that many reports on Hong Kong made by the Western media were untrue and biased to China.

They have intentionally ignored a fact that Hong Kong had never implemented a democratic system under the British rule for some 150 years, he said, adding that Beijing's plan has granted Hong Kong much more democratic space than what Hong Kongers got in the times of British-ruled Hong Kong.

"Everyone shall be clear about one point, that is, what the central government did conforms with Hong Kong's Basic Law," the foreign minister said.

He said Hong Kong is deeply dependent on the Mainland, including employment and livelihood.

Even though a little anti-Mainland sentiment appeared in Hong Kong, the central government is still generous to Hong Kong, he added.

Jeff Bader, who ran Obama's first term White House East Asia policy, told the Washington Post that for Beijing, there is no room for compromise on issues such as Chinese stability and the leadership of the Communist Party of China.

He also mentioned that millions of Hong Kongers will not support or tolerate the protest that grinds the city to halt for days.

The negative impact of Occupy Central includes a bit of a brain drain, Bader predicted.

On Sunday night, former chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Tung Chee-hwa urged the Occupy Central students to leave demonstration areas as soon as possible.

Tung, who is currently vice chairman of China's top political advisory body, told the students in a statement that their appeal for democracy and faith in ideals have been heard and understood.

However, Tung said, street protests often have unpredictable and complicated changes, which could not only affect the students' studies and future, but also put themselves in danger.

Tung said he as well as many parents and teachers have worried about the students' safety and called on them to leave demonstration sites as soon as possible.

Hong Kong has a diversified society, he said. "Communications and dialogues are the way to resolve disputes in a diversified, civilized society."

"Students are Hong Kong's future, and today's students could become Hong Kong's chief executives in the future," Tung said in the statement.

Tung said he believes that the students have not only ideals and faith, but also courage and wisdom which could help them understand different views and seek consensus together with all Hong Kong citizens.

The protest has shown signs of dwindling on Monday as some protesters have begun to withdraw from areas in Hong Kong as a good gesture for talks with the authorities.

On the same day, civil servants have began returning to work and secondary schools affected by the demonstration resumed classes.

The Occupy Central initiators announced the movement's commencement on Sept. 28. Thousands of students took to the streets in Hong Kong's major commercial and tourism areas, expressing discontent with electoral reform package for choosing the region's next leader. 


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