CUHK president rocked in chaotic scenes

Top News | Stella Wong 4 Oct 2019

Chinese University students created a chaotic scene on campus yesterday before starting a dialogue with president Rocky Tuan Sung-chi over the issue of 30 arrested CUHK students.

Several students broke into the university administration building, smashing a glass door, while later Tuan pounded on the table when he was interrupted by students inside a conference hall.

Students also sprayed black paint on walls and security cameras, while others besieged the president's office.

At 1pm hundreds of students boycotted classes and marched across campus.

The march aimed to show support for CUHK students arrested in the past three months, including six charged with rioting on September 29

Students arrived outside the administration building at 3.30pm. Tuan promised to offer help to arrested students during a 10-minute exchange with students.

Tuan said colleges and the office of student affairs have been trying to contact the students to understand their situations. He added that some said they were mistreated after arrest and so the university will help them to ensure their legal rights.

Tuan said the government has to do more, including conducting all-rounded independent investigations to "fully understand the issue and finding out the truth."

Tuan then promised to meet students together with two vice presidents. Dozens of students lined up to ask questions, while hundreds of others sat at the venue. At about 4.45pm, Tuan met students at the Cho Yiu Conference Hall in the building and criticized them for vandalizing facilities on campus. Interrupted by students, Tuan pounded on the table and said: "Can you stop speaking? I am talking now."

The university's top officials said that the university will do its best to offer help, promising to provide legal and financial support to the students arrested in connection with the ongoing protests.

Tuan said the campus is unrelated to politics. "It is a place for academic study but not a venue for political confrontation."

He questioned why students covered their faces while demanding a face-to-face dialogue. Some took off their masks in response.

Tuan said he condemned all acts of violence by all sides.

He added that he is arranging meetings with the arrested students, while the university will provide counseling to students who need emotional support.

The dialogue ended about two hours later after Tuan promised to inform students before midnight on the details of the next dialogue.

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