Student leaders in Hong Kong have decided to take their pro-democracy protest to the streets of Beijing next week during a major international summit.
Student members of the Hong Kong Federation of Students threatened last week to attempt to protest at a gathering of leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, a way to gain publicity for their demand that China allow free elections in Hong Kong. (Latest: Hong Kong Government Supporters Grow Impatient With C.Y. Leung)
The exact dates and which student representatives will attend hasn’t yet been decided, a person familiar with the group’s thinking said Monday.
Chinese President Xi Jinping will host the event in Beijing, which U.S. President Barack Obama also will attend. The Apec meetings begin this week but the two-day leaders’ summit starts Nov. 10.
Whether the students will gain entry to the country remains uncertain. While Hong Kong citizens can travel into China as long as they have a special travel permit issued by mainland authorities, mainland border officers have the right to deny entry.
Their attempt comes amid a high-profile moment for China’s leadership. China last hosted the Apec summit 13 years ago and the meeting is the first major international conference held in Beijing since Mr. Xi took power as Communist Party chief.
Earlier Monday, a person familiar with the thinking of the Chinese government said it was “not appropriate” to discuss the Hong Kong protests at the Apec meeting, which is primarily a trade forum.
The person added the issue is a Chinese internal affair and not a matter for discussion at an international event.