posted on Jul, 2 2012 @ 06:01 AM
Pepe Escobar was in Hong Kong to witness the fifteenth anniversary of the handing back of Hong Kong to China. The plan was to have a one country, two
system approach to the governance of the country. It was not supposed to turn out like this.
They won't see it on CCTV in the motherland - it won't be reported anyway. At least 400,000 Hongkongers, snaking all over Central in absolutely
sweltering heat, from early afternoon until deep into the night, and from all walks of life (tycoons excluded), all of them expressing their anger at
Hong Kong's new CEO, pro-Beijing property developer Leung Chun-ying; the notion of "one country, two systems"; their impossibility to actually
vote; and last but not least, motherland China.
He went on to add that:
Hong Kong's 3.4 million registered voters are fed up with the stratospheric wealth gap graphically expressed by multi-billionaires flaunting
their wealth in contrast to people actually living in cages in Kowloon; income inequality has never been higher over the past four decades. They want
serious measures against air pollution. They want proper pensions. They want adequate housing at reasonable prices. And most of all they want to vote.
A Hong Kong Spring has been brewing in slow motion for 15 years now.
Kent Ewing had a different estimate of the number of protesters, he estimated around 100,000 but his tone also reflected the protesters
dissatisfaction with the current system.
Officially, it was time to proclaim the success of the unique "one country, two systems" formula that allowed the handover of sovereignty to
take place in that same convention center on July 1, 1997, with a wholly different cast of characters on stage - among them, at the top of the bill,
Britain's Prince Charles, the then Chinese president Jiang Zimen, outgoing governor Chris Patten and incoming chief executive Tung Chee-hwa, the
territory's first Chinese leader.
Complicating the city's social and economic landscape, a wave of newly rich, free-spending visitors from the mainland have been buying up
everything from property to baby formula milk, driving up prices and becoming easy scapegoats for the anger and resentment felt by the growing
"have-not" population, as well as an increasingly pinched middle class. Nearly 20% of Hong Kong families now live below the poverty line, many of
them in "shoe-box" apartments or, even worse, "cage homes" so small that dwellers must sleep in the fetal position. Adding further to social
discontent, the men and women whom the underclass blame for their plight, Hong Kong's leaders, are the world's highest-paid bureaucrats with the
exception of those in Singapore.
While a Hong Kong spring seems unlikely, China certainly does not need social unrest.