Sunday, 31 August 2014

Occupy Central Begins

Thousands of Occupy Central supporters gathered at Tamar this evening
This evening there are thousands of people gathered at Tamar in front of the Hong Kong government headquarters protesting the National People's Congress Standing Committee's decision on how Hong Kong will vote for its next chief executive in 2017.

Beijing revealed its true colours today -- and it is either terrified of the pro-democracy camp, or keen to show its iron fist with its decision on so-called election reforms.

As I blogged about it on Thursday, the framework is as expected -- there will be a 1,200 nominating committee -- that will be appointed by Beijing -- to choose two to three candidates, who must get at least 50 per cent of the vote. How that will work with three candidates was not spelled out, so basically it is a two-horse race.

The only thing different is that over 5 million people will be eligible to vote, but for a candidate Beijing has decided will "love the country and love Hong Kong", though China's definition of "love" is not spelled out.

"After having lied to Hong Kong people for so many years, it finally revealed itself today," said Alan Leong, a pro-democracy legislator. "Hong Kong people are right to feel betrayed. It's certain now that the central government will be effectively appointing Hong Kong's chief executive."

Which is why the Occupy Central camp has descended on Tamar to demonstrate its disappointment and anger at Beijing for not even considering what pan-democrats have to say. What was the point of the last-minute talks in Shenzhen last week then?

Silly me -- the central government doesn't make concessions to anyone. It is a dictatorship machine intent on ruling as it pleases.

Is it really afraid that if it gives Hong Kong people the right to nominate candidates that other Chinese cities will be clamouring for it too? Hong Kong is a special administrative region and everyone knows that.

What about showing Taiwan that the mainland is a responsible power that will live up to its promises made in the Joint Declaration in 1984? Obviously Beijing doesn't seem to care what Taiwan thinks anymore as President Ma Yingjeou is practically kowtowing to the mainland.

Where does this leave Hong Kong? There are fewer and fewer options now, which is why Occupy Central is ready to implement its plan of civil disobedience. Did they know it would come to this? Regardless it has done a good job of mobilizing people together, young and old to make their voices heard.

A nominating committee of 1,200 pro-Beijing people does not represent 7.2 million Hong Kong people. What is the point of voting? Then Beijing will say that Hong Kong doesn't care about democracy, one man, one vote, so why have universal suffrage?

This is a terrible fate Hong Kong has been handed. This year has been the most decisive yet in realizing it is fast-becoming another Chinese city.

In the process the mainland is killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

Is it short-sighted or more concerned about control?

We shall see in the coming weeks and months.

The school year may be starting tomorrow, but tensions in the city will continue to escalate.

2 comments:

  1. The anaconda of the Chinese Communist Party is now slowly moving in to kill off any hopes of a genuinely a fair and open democratic society in Hong Kong, less than 20 years after they promised to leave HK alone for 50 years.

    From the censoring of the media - the two English language newspapers, the SCMP and the HK Standard - have been made toothless and thus safe. The Post is safely owned by a strongly pro-China businessman with millions in vested in China, and its editor is a member of the CCP and former editor of the CCP mouthpiece, the China Daily.

    While the Standard is owned by Charles Ho, a member of China's standing committee and bagman for the disgraced former HK Chief Executive Donald Tsang; The HK police and the ICAC have slowly become political tools - raiding democratic-supporting media boss Jimmy Lai's home.

    The really sad, and truly tragic part of al this is that, just like Chris Patton - the last British governor in HK in 1997 - feared, our freedoms are being taken away with the full and active support and help of people right here in Hong Kong - the elite super-wealthy property developers and their fawning bankers. Each and every one of them, and their families, have extra passports in their back pockets if anything goes wrong.

    These people have no moral fibre, whatsoever. If the PLA gets called in next week, or next month, or next year by Beijing to crush a peaceful demonstration - to show how strong the Party is -- these same people will all jet off to a safe place - London, New York, Vancouver, Singapore within a single day. These people have sold the seven million ordinary hard -working Hong Kongers, young and old, local and expat, all down the river, for their love of extreme wealth only. They are beneath contempt.

    ReplyDelete
  2. HI Steve McShane -- Wow you said it! Members of the UK Parliament are going to try to investigate what is going on, but they have already been warned off by the Chinese not to meddle....

    ReplyDelete