News Analysis Warning signs are flashing all over China’s banking sector. Chinese regulators have seized and bailed out lenders at an unprecedented pace amidst a surge in bad debt all the while forcing banks to step up lending at increasingly lower interest spreads. It’s a way to keep banks in business but not a recipe for future longevity. Increasing worries about the health of China’s financial system have hit investor confidence in banks and hurt recent capital raising efforts as well. I wrote in August that after three Chinese bank bailouts in three months, more will follow. After a few months of calm, two local bank runs in November have added fuel to the fire. Yingkou Coastal Bank is the latest to suffer a bank run. Yingkou faced a “flash…
HONG KONG—Hundreds of office workers in Hong Kong’s business district gathered on Dec. 2 for the first in a week of lunchtime protests backing the pro-democracy movement after its resounding victory in district polls last month in the Chinese-ruled city.
A day earlier police again fired tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters as they marched past the city’s Kowloon waterfront, after first going to the U.S. consulate on Hong Kong island to show gratitude for Washington’s support.
There was no such confrontation at the two-hour rally in the central business district on Monday, as some people went back to their offices after their demonstration of solidarity. Others said they would be striking for the full five days.
The gathering in Chater Garden probably drew Hong Kong’s best-dressed protesters, and organizers have called on them to come out every day this week.
Protests over the last six months have drawn a wide swathe of Hong Kong society—from students to pensioners. Even white-collar professionals, like those in Chater park, have sometimes blocked roads in recent weeks, leading to face-offs with police.
Fred, a 24-year-old advertising professional, said he and his colleagues had helped create promotional materials in their own time for the so-called “yellow economy,” the businesses seen as supporting the pro-democracy movement.
Many pro-democracy protesters have adopted the color yellow and yellow balloons have been seen at rallies.
“From the advertising perspective, we can help promote the brands that speak out for Hong Kong,” said Fred.
Another protester in the park said his advertising agency had closed for the week in solidarity, and hoped other agencies would do likewise.
“We are trying to come out and be the first industry to come out and stop working for five days,” said 28-year-old Ryan.
“We are just stopping work for companies. But the advertising talent will keep advertising for the movement, designing posters and leaflets.”
During Sunday’s protest police fired tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters, some of whom chanted “revolution of our time” and “liberate Hong Kong.” That followed a period of relative calm after Nov. 24 district elections delivered an overwhelming victory to pro-democracy candidates.
Fity-eight people were arrested over the weekend, bringing the total number of arrests since early June to 5,947, police said.
The protest in the busy shopping district of Tsim Sha Tsui followed a “Thanksgiving” march by hundreds to the U.S. consulate.
The protesters’ demands include an end to Beijing’s alleged meddling in the freedoms promised to the former British colony when it returned to Chinese rule in 1997, universal suffrage and an inquiry into police use of force.
The unrest since June has at times forced the closure of government offices, businesses, schools and the international airport, helping drive the city into recession for the first time in a decade in the third quarter.
By Sarah Wu and Twinnie Siu
This article is from the Internet:Hong Kong Office Workers Begin Week of Lunchtime Protests
Protesters could be heard shouting slogans such as “disband the police force,” and “the heavens will eliminate the Chinese Communist Party, let the entire Party die.” The peaceful march, which was organized by a local netizen who identified himself as Swing, had been granted police approval. But soon after it took off, police interrupted the scene. A sizable force had gathered, with at least nine police vans in the area. At around 4:50 p.m. local time, riot police suddenly charged at protesters at an area near the intersection between Salisbury Road and Nathan Road, which is right before Salisbury Garden. The police fired pepper spray and tear gas, before making at least two arrests. The police then put up a blue flag, declaring that people are engaging in an illegal…