Beijing Tightens Its Grip in Hong Kong Again
Two months after tumultuous legislative elections, and two years after the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement paralyzed the city center, Hong Kong is in the throes of another great political crisis.
Last Monday [November 7], the Chinese government intervened in the territory’s political affairs in an unprecedented way. Brazenly exploiting a technicality, and to the extreme, it barred two young legislators-elect who advocate for greater freedoms for Hong Kong from taking their seats.
The night before, demonstrators had briefly turned the cramped area around Beijing’s Central Liaison Office in Hong Kong into a battleground reminiscent of the worst of the 2014 protests, replete with police batons and tear gas. They had anticipated the bomb that was about to go off: By interfering in a case against two lawmakers brought by the Hong Kong government before a local court, Beijing demonstrated with one single gesture that it was ready to quash any electoral outcomes in Hong Kong that displeased it, to subordinate Hong Kong’s legislature to its executive branch and to subdue its judiciary, which has a reputation for independent-mindedness.
Hong Kong voters breached a floodgate in September with the election for the local legislature, known as LegCo, and now Beijing wants to close it at all costs. A group of young candidates with separatist leanings won half a dozen seats in LegCo, having campaigned on platforms that went well beyond what protesters in the Umbrella Movement ever demanded — from rewriting the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution since 1997, in order to cement Hong Kong’s autonomy, to self-determination or even outright secession from China. Last week, the empire struck back [read on]…
But can our government resist the lure of the lucre, especially with Donald Trump elected, the TPP dead and NAFTA apparently in the balance:
Chinese business leaders laud ‘golden era’ for Canadian relations
Canada, China at dawn of golden decade [at Chicom mouthpiece, Global Times]
Oh, that cuddly panda.