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Thousands march in Hong Kong against China 'suppression'
On New Year's day, protesters in Hong Kong raised their voice over democracy. Pascale Davies reports. Thousands of demonstrators marched the streets of Hong Kong on New Year's day (January 1), demanding full democracy, fundamental rights, and even independence from China (SOUNDBITE) (Cantonese) CIVIL HUMAN RIGHTS FRONT CONVENOR JIMMY SHAM, SAYING: "I would like to tell to the international community that in every aspect, the self-rule of Hong Kong is declining. It is becoming another mainland Chinese city. But I would also like to tell the world that we the people of Hong Kong will keep the fight for justice and good governance in our hearts. We have many people who are deeply committed to the values of democracy." International concerns have grown in the last year over Hong Kong's freedoms and autonomy Following the jailing of activists, a ban on a pro-independence political party, and the expulsion of a Financial Times journalist, after he hosted a talk at a press club by the head of the National Party. The former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" formula, with the promise of a high degree of autonomy. However, China considers Hong Kong to be an inalienable part of its territory and denounces so-called "separatists" as a threat to national sovereignty.