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A Weekend in Guangzhou, Where to Put the WTO Protestors; Is Hong Kong Soccer Worth Bothering With? (23 Sep 2005)


As we go to air, Hong Kong's legislators, some of whom haven't been allowed onto the mainland for a long time, are packing their bags for the trip to Guangzhou. Pro-democratic figures have specific subjects they would like to discuss, mainland officials are warning that legislators are free to express their views but they have to respect mainland law, and public security authorities are getting ready for impromptu demonstrations by radical lawmakers. But it's not only the mainland authorities getting nervous about protest. With the MC6 meeting fast approaching the government appears to be getting nervous. It's designating special protest zones for demonstrators, some a long way from the meeting. This week the Wanchai District Council voted against the use of Southorn playground as a protest area. We interview Suzanne Wu of the HK People's Alliance on WTO and John Tse, Vice-Chairman of the Wanchai District Council. As every September, a new soccer season has begun. The game was very high profile in the 1950s and 1960s but it has long since fallen on hard times. Exhibition matches by overseas teams sell well, but the local fields are often half empty, many of the players underpaid. It's a far cry from the days when local teams were paying good money for foreign players to boost their profile. Should Hong Kong's football clubs just give up professional status?

The Pulse
Publish Date: 
Friday, September 23, 2005
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