From the Times: Thousands of demonstrators wearing black armbands marched through downtown streets [in Hong Kong] this afternoon in a peaceful protest to the Chinese government's decision last Tuesday to limit further moves by this territory toward democracy. After a large but violent demonstration in Taipei on Saturday over an election dispute there, the rally here was another reminder of the strong democratic sentiments now bubbling around China's periphery. Vice President Dick Cheney, in Japan now, is to visit Beijing and Shanghai from Tuesday through Thursday. The State Department has been increasingly critical in recent weeks of China's efforts to restrict Hong Kong's democratic development. Organizers estimated that "more than 15,000" people participated in today's march, while the police declined to provide a figure. The unexpectedly large turnout for an event scheduled just last Tuesday night and held in the middle of the four-day Easter holiday weekend was the latest sign of the growing politicization of a city once known for its preoccupation with material prosperity.


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