Over 20 Hong Kong pro-democracy activists including Joshua Wong and Leung Kwok-hung are staging a sit-in protest at the Golden Bauhinia in Wanchai.

UPDATE: In Pictures: ‘Xi Jinping, can you hear us?’ – Hong Kong democracy activists arrested after scaling monument

The activists from Demosisto, the League of Social Democrats, People Power and Student Fight for Democracy are surrounded by a cordon of around 400 police, but are threatening to stay overnight.

HKFP LIVE: Police move in as Hong Kong pro-democracy activists stage a sit-in on the eve of President Xi Jinping’s arrival in city.

Posted by Hong Kong Free Press HKFP on Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The action comes on the eve of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s arrival in Hong Kong on a three-day visit, ending on the 20th anniversary of the city’s transfer of sovereignty.

The activists are calling for political reform and universal suffrage in Hong Kong, as well as the release of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, diagnosed with terminal-stage cancer and currently on medical parole.

HKFP LIVE: Hong Kong pro-democracy activists are staging a sit-in on the eve of President Xi Jinping’s arrival in city.

Posted by Hong Kong Free Press HKFP on Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Activists currently surrounding the statue include Demosisto’s Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Agnes Chow, the League of Social Democrats’ Leung Kwok-hung, Avery Ng and Raphael Wong, and People Power’s Tam Tak-chi.

Some of them have chained themselves to the statue, while others have climbed on top of it.

‘Black Bauhinia Square’

“Tonight, on the eve of Xi Jinping’s Hong Kong visit, we will cover the false golden aura of the statue,” wrote the activists in a Wednesday afternoon statement.

Photo: Jimmy Lam Kin Hang.

“We are determined to stay here at the Black Bauhinia Square and wait for sunrise.”

The police have cleared tourists away from the area, and are asking the protesters to leave – a request that has been ignored.

Photo: League of Social Democrats.

Police have also told activists via a loudspeaker that they are engaging in a public disturbance, and have threatened to arrest them.

However, activist Joshua Wong responded that the group will insist on non-violent principles and stay as long as they can.

On Monday morning, the Golden Bauhinia was the site of another protest, when Wong and activists draped the statue in a black cloth.

See also: Black bauhinia: Activists cover handover monument in protest of China President’s Hong Kong visit

The bauhinia is Hong Kong’s symbolic flower, and is featured on the flag of the Special Administrative Region. A flag-raising ceremony is held at the Golden Bauhinia Square – a popular tourist site – every morning.

Elson Tong

Elson Tong is a graduate of international relations and former investigations consultant. He has also written for Stand News.