World press follows Hong Kong protests

Protesters hold their hands as they gather around the Golden Bauhinia Square during an official flag raising ceremony to commemorate the Chinese National Day in Hong Kong, October 1, 2014. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Thousands have joined pro-democracy protests in central Hong Kong on China's 65th National Day

The protests in Hong Kong are attracting considerable comment in the European, East Asian and Latin American press.

The tenor of reporting is sympathetic to the demonstrators, and there is concern that China might crush the protests.

East Asian papers often draw parallels with protest movements in other countries in the region, and some are worried about East Asian guest workers in Hong Kong.

The protests are attracting far less comment in the Middle Eastern and South Asian media.

Malaysian website Malaysiakini

"Thailand in 2013 saw more than 200,000 peaceful protesters demanding the Thai government's resignation and democratic reforms… And in Malaysia we held two mega rallies to push for electoral reform. What's happening in these countries reflects the people's deep disappointment with the system, and so they now demand transparency, accountability, clean and fair elections and better governments".

Taiwan's Taipei Times

"It is important to respect diverse opinions in a democratic society. Chinese nationalism is becoming a threat. How should Taiwan deal with this? The government, political parties and the public must draw on collective wisdom to seek a solution together."

Thailand's Bangkok Post

"The people of Hong Kong are not happy, but what about the people of Thailand? We Thais are told that we are happy because nobody goes out to protest on the streets anymore. We are told we are happy because Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha decided to continue with his regular televised speeches on Friday evenings, and because he's planning to write soap operas that can return happiness to us."

Hong Kong academic Toby Carroll, in Indonesia's Jakarta Globe

"Perhaps the pro-democracy movement's greatest failure has been its inability to galvanize support around substantive issues facing most Hong Kongers. This is in a city where inequality is among the highest on earth and where, with a massive concentration of wealth and power in the hands of tycoons often close to the interests of Beijing, costs are exorbitant and opportunities for decent jobs and living conditions for many seem to get lower every year. The pro-democracy push could have easily capitalized upon this, outlining an agenda based on what the redistribution of power could mean for addressing many pressing problems in Hong Kong. Alas, this to date has not significantly been the case, with narrow liberal proceduralism and superficial identity politics seemingly dominating discussions."

Malte Philipp Kaeding in The Manila Times

"A crackdown would not only be a PR debacle for the Chinese government, but could also lead to severe economic fallout for Hong Kong and China's economic development in general. Yet rational arguments might not apply in this situation. The enormous loss of face for the Hong Kong government and the Beijing leadership cannot be underestimated. The firework display for the 65th Anniversary of the National Day has already been called off. Furthermore, both governments have labelled the demonstrations as illegal and said that there is therefore no room for further negotiations."

France's Le Monde headline

"The Revolt of the Umbrellas: In Hong Kong they are showing they are capable of holding out over time."

Spain's El Mundo

"Actually, the kids in Hong Kong are just copying tactics used by their counterparts in Taiwan during the Sunflower Revolt in 2013, in which they used the Firechat tool to keep in touch."

Germany's Die Welt

"Ultimatum in Hong Kong: students are preparing for riots... The leadership in Beijing is becoming more nervous each day, because the crisis in Hong Kong is also the greatest challenge to the new Chinese leadership under state and party chief Xi Jinping."

Italy's La Repubblica

"On the streets of resistance there are umbrellas, biscuits and fear. 'The army has surrounded us,' say protesters... More determined than ever, the protesters in Hong Kong remain mobilised for today's Chinese national holiday, deaf to the calls of the chief executive and the authorities."

Academic Andrei Ostrovsky in Russia's Komsomolskaya Pravda

"It is clear that everything is happening with the involvement of the USA and the use of all-too-familiar techniques. The main reason for the acts of provocation is the fast growth of the Chinese economy amid economic stagnation in the USA. The current rapprochement between Beijing and Moscow has had its effect, too... The problem will be resolved in 7-10 days. The Chinese will not act as Yanukovych did in Kiev - they are not noticeably merciful to rebels."

Brazil's Folha de Sao Paulo

"So far the USA and UK, the guarantors of the transition in Hong Kong, have been very cautious in their reaction to the crisis. On the one hand they sympathise with the demands for greater freedom, but on the other hand they are pragmatic because of the economic and strategic power wielded by the Eastern power - which is also Brazil's main economic partner."

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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