Hong Kong Public Announcement
Issued by US Department of State
Dec 05, 2005
This Public Announcement is being issued to remind American Citizens that the Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will be held in Hong Kong December 13-18, 2005, and to alert Americans to the likelihood of protests and demonstrations surrounding the event. This Public Announcement expires on December 19, 2005
Protests and Demonstrations: Americans should be aware of the possibility of protests and demonstrations related to the WTO conference, some of which may become violent. Although the WTO sessions will take place in the Wan Chai area of Hong Kong Island, protests may also occur at other locations. While the majority of these demonstrations are not likely to target American citizens, the threat of being caught up accidentally in some incident is such that Americans are strongly advised to monitor local media and avoid large crowds and protests.
Protestors will be directed to stage demonstrations at the Wan Chai Sports Ground and the Wan Chai public cargo working area. Victoria Park in Causeway Bay has also been mentioned as a demonstration site. Hotels near Pacific Place, Tamar and areas adjacent to the WTO site, where many delegates will stay, may also be the sites of protests and/or security zones. Traffic lanes between the hotels and the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center in Wan Chai where the WTO will be held will be congested, and may be the sites of protests and/or subject to security restrictions. Foreign consulates, including the U.S. Consulate General, as well as Chater Garden and Government House may also be the sites of protests. At least one group has indicated it will protest in Kowloon.
Access in the Wan Chai Area: In an effort to control activities around the Wan Chai WTO site, public transportation in and through the area will be subject to short-notice stoppages and rerouting. The Hong Kong Police have set up a web page to track these changes at http://www.info.gov.hk/police/hkp-home/english/misc/mc6/traarr.htm. Real time traffic information via webcam, road closure details and more are also online at http://traffic.td.gov.hk/. Areas will also be designated off-limits to those without proper WTO-issued credentials. Visitors to the nearby areas may be required to show photo ID and submit to security screening. Parking will be unavailable near the WTO site.
Americans living or traveling in Hong Kong are encouraged to register and update their contact information at the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong. Registration may be done on line, and can be done in advance of travel. Information on registering can be found at the Department of State's Consular Affairs website: https://travelregistration.state.gov.
U.S. citizens should consult the Consular Information Sheet for Hong Kong and the latest Worldwide Caution Public Announcement at the Department's Internet site at http://travel.state.gov. Updated information on travel and security in Hong Kong may also be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States or by calling 1-202-501-4444 outside the United States.