Hong Kong just had its new ‘chief executive officer’ — Leung Chun-ying — sworn in during a ceremony on Sunday, while on the island people took to the streets in protest. Leung Chun-ying, of course, was surely not on any ballot. According to Reuters and Agence France Presse reports on the ground in the former British colony of Hong Kong, tens of thousands of protestors filled the streets of the financial district Sunday, saying there was nothing to cheer in their new leader Leung Chun-ying, a millionaire property consultant seen as close to China’s communist rulers. During the swearing in ceremony with Chinese President Hu Jintao, protesters disrupted a speech with calls for a modern democracy.
Hu’s visit and Leung’s inauguration have become focal points for growing discontent towards Beijing. The cost of living on Hong Kong has surged to a new post-colonial high, sparking much of the outrage with the mainland. “Hong Kong has become much worse off,” Eric Lai of the Civil Human Rights Front told the marchers. “Our rights are under serious threat.”