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400,000 Protesters in Hong Kong as New Leader Sworn In

Common Dreams staff

Tens of thousands of protestors filled the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday as Chinese President Hu Jintao swore in Hong Kong’s new leader Leung Chun-ying, 57, now Hong Kong’s third 'chief executive'.

Much of the protester's anger revolves around growing economic inequality, flawed democratic procedures, and a political system plagued by corruption in Hong Kong. The position of 'chief executive' is not democratically elected by the 3.4 million registered voters, but selected by a 1,200-seat committee of business elites, according to Associated Press.

Before being restrained by security officials, a pro-democracy protester interrupted the leader's ceremony, waving a small flag and yelling slogans calling for China’s leaders to condemn the brutal June 4, 1989, crackdown on protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

Today marked the 15th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to Beijing’s control from British rule. Organizers' estimates put the crowd at 400,000, their largest claimed turnout for eight years.

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Pro-democracy protesters march in the streets urging new Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying to step down, during the 15th anniversary of the territory's handover to China, in Hong Kong July 1, 2012. (Reuters/Tyrone Siu)

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