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Push is rapidly coming to shove between China and Hong Kong, which bills itself as the “World City.” If the world doesn’t sit up and take notice soon, the political future of the autonomous territory could be imperiled and things could end badly all around.
A degree of antagonism between the mainland and Hong Kong’s democracy advocates has been a feature of life in the territory since Britain handed its colony back to China in 1997 under a legally inscribed formula called “one country, two systems.” Hong Kong was designated a Special Administrative Region and guaranteed 50 years of autonomous self-government, including direct elections and universal suffrage.
Related: China’s Strategy Has Completely Eluded Washington
But the friction now intensifies, and for the time being, at least, there appears no stepping back on either side. Two weeks ago, China’s State Council, its administrative authority, issued an unprecedented “white paper,” “The Practice of ‘Two Systems’ in the HKSAR.” The gist is that China will place “one country” before “two systems” from here on out.
Beijing’s paper has provoked a firestorm in the territory. Advisedly or otherwise, it was published in response to one event and in anticipation of another:
• It followed by a week the anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre and Beijing’s declaration of martial law in 1989. Hong Kongers always mark the occasion; this year up to 150,000 peaceably poured into the streets.
• It arrived 10 days before Occupy Central (the liveliest of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy groups, named for the territory’s business and financial district) opened an online referendum on the question of a directly elected chief executive, as the post-colonial governor is titled.
Beijing and the Hong Kong government both condemned the unofficial poll as illegal. When the online mechanism immediately suffered an apparent cyber-attack, Occupy Central did not hesitate to accuse the mainland of sabotage. In response, the group opened 15 polling stations around the territory and extended the vote by a week.
Related: China’s Bold Power Play Pushes Asia to the Brink
All of which makes the results so far the more embarrassing. By Sunday evening, Occupy had counted almost 700,000 ballots, all favoring one form or another of free, open polling.
originally posted by: Expat888
Been keeping eye on that .. latest heard was hk presented a request to the mainland to run their own candidates in elections .. dont think china would pull a putin with hk more likely theyll work out a deal of some type ..