Hong Kong Feels Less Invested in Fight for Democracy on Mainland

A pro-democracy activist shouts slogans on a street near the government headquarters where protesters have made camp, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014 in Hong Kong. Holiday crowds swelled into the tens of thousands as student leaders met with other pro-democracy protesters Wednesday to thrash out a strategy for handling the government's rejection of their demands that the city's top leader resign and Beijing revise its plans to limit political reforms. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
A pro-democracy activist shouts slogans on a street near the government headquarters where protesters have made camp, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014 in Hong Kong. Holiday crowds swelled into the tens of thousands as student leaders met with other pro-democracy protesters Wednesday to thrash out a strategy for handling the government's rejection of their demands that the city's top leader resign and Beijing revise its plans to limit political reforms. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
A pro-democracy activist shouts slogans on a street near the government headquarters where protesters have made camp, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014 in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

 

HONG KONG (New York Times) — For years, Hui King-to has taken part in the solemn candlelight vigil in Victoria Park here commemorating those who died during the Chinese government’s suppression of protests in Tiananmen Square in Beijing on June 4, 1989.

But this year, Mr. Hui, a 20-year-old student, stayed away, along with many others. And a student group that has been one of the mainstays of the annual vigil pulled out this year after a quarter-century of support.

Such a response by young Hong Kong residents should be music to the ears of China’s leaders in Beijing, who for decades have worked to airbrush the events of 1989 from the nation’s collective memory, banishing any mention of June 4 from the Internet, classrooms and history books.

One place on Chinese soil where that has been impossible is Hong Kong, whose people enjoy civil liberties denied to mainland Chinese under the agreement that returned the former British colony to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. Albert Ho, a Democratic Party lawmaker, announced to the crowd Thursday night that 135,000 people were there, an estimate that represents a drop from the 180,000 that organizers said took part last year.

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