Head Off a Tiananmen Massacre in Hong KongPosted: September 30, 2014
“Two of the world’s powerful autocracies, both rooted in the idea and practice of communist dictatorship, are bent on encroaching upon freedom and democracy on two different fronts: Ukraine and Hong Kong.”
Thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators turned out in Hong Kong on Monday, defying a government crackdown over the weekend that saw riot police using tear gas, pepper spray and batons against protesters. As demonstrations grow against Beijing’s violation of its promise to allow universal suffrage, there is a danger that the infamous 1989 massacre in Tiananmen Square could be repeated in Hong Kong.
“Requiring voters to select leaders from two to three candidates selected by a committee controlled by Beijing is not meaningful “universal suffrage.'”
The crisis began in June, when Beijing released a white paper that reneged on the “One Country Two Systems” principle laid out in the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 and the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s constitution.
China had pledged that Hong Kong could rule itself on all matters apart from defense and foreign affairs, and voters could freely choose their own leader.
Instead, the white paper claimed that Beijing has complete jurisdiction over Hong Kong, with the only autonomy being what the central government decides to grant. All aspects of local government are subject to oversight by Beijing, and even judges must meet its standard of patriotism.
Not surprisingly, this angered many in Hong Kong. Some 800,000 people participated in an unofficial referendum on the system for nominating candidates for chief executive; 90% voted for the citizens, rather than a committee, selecting nominees. More than half a million people then protested to underline this demand.
Nevertheless, China’s National People’s Congress, a figurehead of the Central Committee of the China’s Communist Party, released restrictive rules to select Hong Kong’s chief executive in 2017. A nominating committee will be composed mostly of those approved by Beijing. Candidates for chief executive must then obtain approval from the majority of the committee and only two to three candidates will be chosen to run.
Requiring voters to select leaders from two to three candidates selected by a committee controlled by Beijing is not meaningful “universal suffrage.” Hong Kong people‘s hopes for real democracy were again shattered…(read more)
- Chinese Govt Mouthpiece: Hong Kong Protests Wont Spread to Mainland (cnsnews.com)
- News You Really Need To See: “Hong Kong Protesters: Students See a ‘Chance to Set People Free'” (notwhatyoumightthink.wordpress.com)
- Hong Kong’s leader: China won’t back down (wsbt.com)
- Leung may be sacrificed as Hong Kong protests continue (wantchinatimes.com)
- Hong Kong protesters prepare for long haul (worldbulletin.net)
- Protests in Hong Kong caused by China failing to honour its promises (chinadailymail.com)
- Flashpoint Hong Kong: China rules out democracy for the former British territory (hotair.com)
- Democracy in China: ‘The struggle for Hong Kong,’ or ‘The Great Leap Sideways’ (punditfromanotherplanet.com)