Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Showdown: China Warns Against ‘Foreign Meddling’

Hong Kong Democracy Showdown

Protesters are taken away by police officers after hundreds of protesters staged a peaceful sit-ins overnight on a street in the financial district in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s simmering summer of discontent gets even hotter on Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014 when Beijing is expected to recommend restricting the first direct elections for the Chinese-controlled financial hub’s leader, stepping up chances of a showdown with democracy groups. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

BEIJING (AP) — China warned against foreign meddling in Hong Kong’s politics Saturday ahead of an expected announcement to recommend highly contentious restrictions on the first direct elections for the leader of the Chinese-controlled financial hub.hk-protest

An article in the ruling Communist Party’s flagship newspaper People’s Daily said that some in the former British colony were colluding with outside forces to interfere in Hong Kong’s governance.

“Not only are they undermining Hong Kong’s stability and development, but they’re also attempting to turn Hong Kong into a bridgehead for subverting and infiltrating the Chinese mainland,” said the article.

[Also see – Hong Kong Tensions Rise as Beijing Critic’s Home Raided – WSJ]

“This can absolutely not be permitted,” it said, citing an unidentified official in the Foreign Ministry‘s department for Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan affairs. Read the rest of this entry »


Meet China’s Top Graft Buster Wang Qishan: His Mighty Probe is Probing Thousands

wang-quishan

A broad assault on corruption in China is being led by Wang Qishan, a member of China’s Politburo Standing Committee and President Xi Jinping’s right-hand man.

NANCHANG, China—When Wang Qishan, China’s top graft-buster, dispatched a dozen investigators to this south China river town last summer, his message was clear: The investigators should inspire “shock and awe” among local officials, according to an account posted on a government website.

Former party official Su Rong is being investigated for suspicion of violating party rules and state laws. European Pressphoto Agency

Former party official Su Rong is being investigated for suspicion of violating party rules and state laws. European Pressphoto Agency

Anti-Corruption Drive Headed by a Heavy-Handed Communist Party Loyalist

Mr. Wang’s inspectors told local media they had settled in at a government-owned hotel. Within days, hundreds of residents lined up to give evidence about what they viewed as wrongdoing by corrupt local officials. Complaints also flooded in via the Internet, according to officials with knowledge of the matter.

Penalties in Major Cases
Penalties in Major Cases

“The leadership realizes that if they don’t stop massive corruption, the regime will collapse.”

— Huang Jing, a China specialist at National University of Singapore

Yang Peng, a restaurateur, says he told investigators he was jailed and tortured because of his association with an enemy of an important local mandarin who was accused of rigging the sale of a steel mill in exchange for kickbacks. Read the rest of this entry »


INFOGRAPHIC: Zhou Yongkang’s Web of Power, Money, Connections

A look at the extensive business interests of Zhou Yongkang, after the former security chief was placed under formal investigation, shattering the decades-old political taboo of not prosecuting the highest ranking Communist Party officials for corruption.

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Click to view the full-size infographic in high resolution. 

South China Morning Post


Free Elections for Hong Kong

Civil Human Rights Front Gather For July 1st Marches - Getty

For The Weekly StandardEllen Bork reports: Over half a million people filled the streets of Hong Kong on July 1, marching for democracy on the anniversary of the British colony’s handover to Chinese Communist rule in 1997.

On June 29, an unofficial referendum organized by democracy activists concluded with 800,000 votes cast—more than one-tenth of Hong Kong’s population. The overwhelming majority supported a democratic election for Hong Kong’s next chief executive.

“The Obama administration’s response to the massive display of support for democracy has been more appropriate to a teenager shrugging ‘whatever’ than a major power expressing itself on a central pillar of the president’s Asia policy.”

Beijing has promised that in 2017, the Hong Kong chief executive will be popularly elected. Hoping to tamp down expectations of an actual democratic election with a competitive nomination process, however, Beijing issued a white paper on June 10 that identified “loving the country” as the “basic political requirement” for civil servants, including the chief executive. For Beijing, “love” means loyalty to the Communist party, disdain for civil liberties undergirded by the rule of law, and hostility to democracy. Read the rest of this entry »