Sunday, 31 May 2015

Fruitless Political Rhetoric

From left: Wang Guangya, Li Fei and Zhang Xiaoming in Shenzhen
Today was the last chance for the central government to persuade pan-democrats to accept the political reform proposal in a meeting in Shenzhen, but to no avail.

We all knew it was an exercise of going through the motions, with each senior Chinese leader giving veiled threats in their speeches.

Earlier Zhang Xiaoming, director of the central government's Hong Kong liaison office said pan-democrats would be punished in the next year's Legislative Council election.

Then Basic Law Committee chairman Li Fei insisted the government's proposal was "democratic, fair, open and just", and that the plan had received broad support, as it had taken into account the people's "reasonable views".

One wonders what "reasonable views" means...

Wang Guangya, director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, stressed Beijing  would "unswervingly and sincerely support" Hong Kong in electing the chief executive by popular ballot in 2017.

The pan-democrats address the media after the meeting
"Regardless of the resistance it faces, the central government would make its best effort," Wang said.

"The central government is willing to engage different sectors in Hong Kong, including the pan-democrats, and to force a consensus within the maximum limit based on the Basic Law and the relevant decisions of the National People's Congress Standing Committee."

Is the central government really engaging a variety of sectors in the city? And what does "force a consensus" mean?

All this rhetoric for a four-hour meeting that went no where. We don't blame the pan-democrats, they are only standing their ground, and reflecting the wishes of a good number of Hong Kong people.

The central government has no idea what democracy looks like and in keeping with its interests, wants to ensure only politically correct candidates run for chief executive.

But what has 17, almost 18 years of chief executives under Beijing's leadership given Hong Kong?

There is an even greater income gap between the rich and the poor, there is no long-term planning of the city in terms of pollution, transportation, construction, real estate, the economy, education, social issues... the list goes on and on.

That's because no one is looking out for OUR interests, Hong Kong people's interests.

We want a leader who speaks up for Hong Kong and fights for us.

And yet Beijing does not want to allow that to happen under "one country, two systems".

The city is fast becoming mainlandized much to local residents' horror. Things have changed so much in less than 20 years, one shudders to think what's going to happen in the next five.

Meanwhile the 79-day Occupy or Umbrella Movement brought us together temporarily, but now what? We are back to being disparate souls, focused on our jobs and wondering if we'll be able to afford a home -- ever.

But oh sorry -- those aren't the most pressing issues at the moment -- what's really important now is to decide if we're patriotic enough to accept the political reform package.

The mainlaindization of Hong Kong continues...

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