Hong Kong’s democracy putdown from Beijing

5 Sep

Hong Kong pro-democracy activists suffered a big blow this week when the central government not only refused to grant open candidacies for the 2017 chief executive election, but tightened the nomination process to run, in effect restricting the electoral process rather than granting any freedoms. Now, to run for the chief executive post (HK’s top official), a candidate must obtain approval from half of an electoral committee, which is higher than previous elections, albeit this election will be the first one regular Hong Kongers can vote in.
This has caused leading figures including leaders of Occupy Central, a movement that threatens civil action such as occupying the Central business district, to ponder their next move, such as if they’ll be able to take the next step and really take action. Beijing was rather bold about its uncompromising decision, even making some wacky claims that limiting democracy is essential to protect the wealthy.

Hong Kong now faces some hard questions because Beijing has made its stance clear. Hong Kong has some stark issues, including on the economic end though this might seem very dire – a report that claims Hong Kong might become a “second-tier” city by 2022 as it becomes overtaken by multiple mainland cities in terms of GDP. As it is, there is much, much more to a city than just GDP and that same article lists them- “The city boasts superb infrastructure, a well-established legal system, and a cosmopolitan culture that no mainland city, including Beijing or Shanghai, has yet been able to replicate.

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