Hong Kong’s coming political battle with China
Those who have dealt with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) know that China’s rulers usually get their way and, when they don’t, seldom give up. So after the pro-democracy legislators in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (Legco) voted down Beijing’s proposal to replace the former British colony’s undemocratic electoral system with another equally undemocratic version, the only thing we should expect is that this is not the end of the story.
In August 2014, the Chinese government announced that Hong Kong’s next chief executive would be popularly elected, but the candidates would need to be vetted by a special committee consisting mostly of pro-Beijing elements. Currently, the chief executive is elected by a committee of 1,200 local notables. In the eyes of Hong Kong’s citizens, the existing system is designed to produce a government beholden to Beijing, not the people of Hong Kong. Since the Chinese government has formally pledged to institute “universal suffrage,” many Hong Kong residents viewed Beijing’s new electoral plan as reneging its promise. Unable to pressure Beijing directly, protesters in Hong Kong staged street demonstrations that shut down the busiest parts of the city in October and November.