Newspaper article China Post

What's Next for Hong Kong's Democracy Demonstrations?

Newspaper article China Post

What's Next for Hong Kong's Democracy Demonstrations?

Article excerpt

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A clash took place last Friday between Hong Kong student protesters demanding reform of the way its administrator is elected and Beijing supporters at Mong Kok, one of the busiest shopping districts in the former British crown colony. At least 131 people were injured and hospitalized. The bloody showdown aborted a dialogue between the student leaders and Chief Executive CY Leung, who is under pressure from the student occupiers of the Central District to resign.

The confrontation signals the end of the democracy movement in Hong Kong.

Of course, student protesters have more than enough legitimate reasons to demand suffrage when electing their Chief Executive, because Deng Xiaoping, China's deceased supreme leader, promised a "one country, two systems" rule of Hong Kong after 1997, under which "Hong Kongers rule Hong Kong."

Beijing obeyed Deng and said on Aug. 31 that Hong Kongers would be able to vote for their next chief executive in 2017, but only candidates vetted by a mainland committee would be allowed to stand. Student activists started the democracy demonstrations to paralyze Hong Kong's Central District, where government organizations, foreign consulates, financial corporations and popular shopping areas are located.

Until Friday's clash, the occupation of the Central District was peaceful, like the hijacking of the Legislative Yuan by the Sunflower student activists from last March 18 through April 10. But Leung, with Beijing's support, wanted to end the siege sooner. The only option open to him was to drive the occupants away by force.

When Deng decided to expel student protesters from Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989, he resorted to force. Martial law was declared in Beijing and several hundred or possibly thousands of civilians were shot to death by soldiers.

The People's Republic of China does not want to repeat a Tiananmen Square incident in Hong Kong. That's why Beijing doesn't order the People's Liberation Army garrison in Hong Kong to crush the pro-democracy demonstrations, though Deng called in troops from the provinces to attack student demonstrators in Beijing 25 years ago. …

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