China reveals just how sincere its commitment is to supporting Hong Kong democracy.
Beijing has an allergy to real elections.
September 2, 2015
It’s enough to make you think you can’t trust a repressive authoritarian regime to honor its word. For years, the Chinese government had assured the people of Hong Kong that by 2017 they would be allowed to elect the city’s leader. On Sunday, though, it might as well have said, “It depends on the meaning of the word ‘elect.'”
Instead of holding a truly free election, Beijing said it will permit just two or three candidates — and only those approved by a panel that undoubtedly will be controlled by the Communist Party. The government stipulated that anyone allowed to compete must “love the country and love Hong Kong.”
The effect, and obvious intent, of these rules is to block any pro-democracy contender from entering the race. One critic said it amounts to letting citizens choose any one of the Three Stooges.
“Hong Kong people are right to feel betrayed,” said pro-democracy lawmaker Alan Leong, The New York Times reported. “It’s certain now that the central government will be effectively appointing Hong Kong’s chief executive.” No sense in letting the true desires of Hong Kong residents get in the way of Beijing’s plans. [FULL STORY]