Thousands to rally for Hong Kong democracy on New Year's Day
HONG KONG (AFP) - Tens of thousands of people will rally in Hong Kong on Wednesday to call for universal suffrage, as the city grapples with how its future leaders will be chosen under a long-awaited political reform.
Organisers say more than 50,000 people are expected to take part in the annual New Year's Day protest, less than one month after an official public consultation for the city's future electoral system opened.
Beijing has pledged that the important trade hub, which was given a semi-autonomous status after it was returned by Britain to China in 1997, will be able to choose its own leader in 2017.
It means that the former British colony could for the first time have a leader elected by the general public 20 years after the sovereignty handover.