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  • Nov 1, 2014
  • Updated: 5:36pm
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

Beijing warns pan-democrats of 'misjudgment' in using mass protests

Global Times editorial dares pan-democrats to use 'economic suicide' gamble in confronting Beijing

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 30 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 30 March, 2013, 9:03am
 

Poll

  • Yes: 26%
  • No: 74%
30 Mar 2013
  • Yes
  • No
Total number of votes recorded: 620

Beijing has warned Hong Kong's pan-democrats that using mass protests to confront the central government would be a "misjudgment".

The strongly worded remarks came as the United Nations Human Rights Committee's latest report on Hong Kong expressed concern about "the lack of a clear plan to institute universal suffrage and to ensure the right of all persons to vote and to stand for election without unreasonable limitations".

The Global Times newspaper, affiliated with Communist Party mouthpiece the People's Daily, dared the pan-democrats to try pushing Hong Kong to "economic suicide" - apparently referring to the Occupy Central campaign.

Beijing pledged in 2007 that the city's chief executive would be democratically elected as early as 2017, and the campaign plans, as a last resort, to block traffic in the city's central business district next year to press for true universal suffrage.

The Global Times wrote: "The pan-democracy camp … should not be under the illusion that they can control Hong Kong's political development. Confronting the central government is not an option if Hong Kong is to survive. China has adequate power to stop Hong Kong [from] ... becoming a threat."

Confronting the central government is not an option if Hong Kong is to survive. China has adequate power to stop Hong Kong [from] ... becoming a threat
Global Times

The editorial added: "Those who want to threaten the central government by trying to mess up Hong Kong should recognise that the losses brought about to Hong Kong by their act would be much bigger than those the rest of China would suffer.

"If they believe [Hongkongers will support them] in using 'economic suicide' as a political gamble, let them try and see."

Veteran China watcher Johnny Lau Yui-siu said the editorial showed Beijing was determined to have full control over the election. "Beijing will not back down even though this could give rise to instability and economic losses in Hong Kong," said Lau, citing his recent contacts with his Beijing sources. "The Global Times comes under the People's Daily. I would be surprised if it is not reflecting Beijing's official views on the issue," he added.

Hong Kong lawmaker Ip Kwok-him, who is also a National People's Congress (NPC) deputy, said: "We have to follow the Basic Law when planning universal suffrage. But [the pan-democrats] do not want to follow the Basic Law. That is why Beijing expresses concern."

Qiao Xiaoyang, chairman of the NPC's Law Committee, told Beijing-loyalist lawmakers in Shenzhen on Sunday that under the "one country, two systems" formula, a chief executive had to "love China and love Hong Kong", and that Beijing had the final say on who is appointed.

The Alliance for True Democracy - which includes the 27 pan-democratic lawmakers - yesterday challenged Qiao to come to Hong Kong for an open debate on "true universal suffrage".

Legislator and executive councillor Starry Lee Wai-king, of the Beijing-loyalist Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said it was reasonable for Beijing to expect Hong Kong's future leader to be patriotic. She expressed worries Hong Kong could end up without universal suffrage if Beijing and the pan-democrats refused to compromise.

 

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23

This article is now closed to comments

Shadow
Qiao Xiaoyang, chairman of the NPC's Law Committee, told Beijing-loyalist lawmakers in Shenzhen on Sunday that under the "one country, two systems" formula, a chief executive had to "love China and love Hong Kong", and that Beijing had the final say on who is appointed.>>>>>>>>>My Great CHINA
A Hong Konger
It is bizarre that editorial suggests Pan-democrats are somehow able to 'mess up Hong Kong' any more that China and the CCP already have. Indeed it is the action of the central and local government that have reduced the Pan-democrats to a power that can only block legislation and has forced them to taking direct action on the streets on our behalf.
At the handover I had hoped the status quo would maintain for a while, but China (both the nation and the party) have been unrelenting, forcing us into a terminal decline. Now our options are kowtow and continued to be overwhelmed by China (politically, economically and socially) or take a stand and risk 'economic suicide', I'd rather loose on my feet than on my belly. Even the words of the DAB's apologist-in-chief Ip Kwok-him are so broken and uninspired he now sounds insincere.
I, for one, am no longer afraid. From now on I will go to every pro-democratic demonstration I can, even if I have to miss work I will do so, and urge my fellow Hong Kongers to do the same. We have lost already and are now compelled to action, we owe it to future generations. Even if this costs us we must stand, for you can expect no concessions from those who do no respect us, and clearly China does not. Do not believe them; we have nothing to loose any more, but China does, it's very legitimacy is at stake if HK stands up. If 2-3m impoverished Tibetans frighten Beijing, think what we can do if we make our voice heard.
SpeakFreely
Well Professors n PanD, I pay $1 a day to read online SCMP vs not even bother to read free online Apple Daily, you know why? If you PanD truly think you are supported by majority of HKongers say 60% of the 3m voters, 1.8m, go ahead to setup an online news charging $1 a day you will get $657m in one year! That money will easily help you to win 90% of next Legco election and you can block the government like the Republican in US. Once you get 90% of the vote, China will listen. come on...don't do the dry talking.
SpeakFreely
But honestly you won't get that money as you never got that much support. Challenge to the so called democratic Hkongers, put your money in your mouth! Btw, PanD you should be honest when selling to your voters realistically about the economic reliance of Hk on China and let them pick between rice and democracy. Don't oversell.
SpeakFreely
"Veteran China watcher Johnny Lau Yui-siu said the editorial showed Beijing was determined to have full control over the election. "Beijing will not back down even though this could give rise to instability and economic losses in Hong Kong," said Lau" we'll said Lau, but let me add few points.
Yuan is floating soon by 2015 to 2017 and Hk middlemen position will be weaken. Even IPOs can easily be switched to SH by then. Plus Hk economy was engineered (by mainland) to relying heavily on China since 1997 making HK has little bargaining power. Even our academics, our universities, their expansion plans are all geared towards China. Our corporations mostly doing biz with China.
What will be the losses for China, minimum. They can easily switch everything back to SH and SZ after shutting down HK. Foreign corporation all just want to make money if anything happen wrongly in HK they would just route everything ba k to China quickly. HK is relying on service a lot form back office operations, tourist etc but most of these are serving China. They can cut it out in no time and for them it will only a small dent on their economy not as what would happen 20 years ago.
Someone may argue about the Taiwan factor. Sorry this is very outdated. First, Taiwanese won't be affected by thinking if Hkongers. They have no time urgency as they have their force and backup form US. They are not a colony. After all, China strategic position has changed significantly in the past yrs.
johnrai7
Will be a tough time for awhile but same time its good in long term wise, HK standing on its own feet is what we need to survive for generations. HK has the professionalism and knowledge. We can be like Singapore. Surely Americas and Western countries do prefer our edgy services and don't worry there will be connection with China as per the WTO regs.
It will be respected for integrity, so HK...no worry be happy :)
lucifer
Maybe that would not be so bad - if shutting down Hong Kong meanting cutting us lose and letting us choose our own fate.
The bottom line is Beijing needs Hong Kong to carry out its plans. Anybody who does not recognize that is blind. China has already used Hong Kong to the fullest extent possible to benefit its own economy. However, I truley believe that China will destroy Hong Kong if it can, just to ensure that the Party remains in control
A Hong Konger
SpeakFreely: Your words are a bit incoherent and not entirely right on several points (esp. "Hk economy was engineered (by mainland)"), but you are generally correct. Hong Kong's economic power has drastically weakened since 97, whereas China's economic power has grown. Therefore China is a threat to us, more now than ever. This leads us to two options, obediently kowtow to China like dogs and beg for economic concessions that will benefit only the rich and mainlanders while China slowly eats us, or stand up to China and demand the respect accorded any people while diversifying our economy to suit our interest.
ianson
The editorial speaks of China's "power" to suppress Hong Kong's democratic development. Surely that is a reference to the PLA garrison. The threat is that the Communist Party leadership may be prepared to do a 6/4 in Central, deploying the PLA against Hong Kong people who seek to hold Beijing to its promise of democracy here. They would do it on the pretext that the security of Hong Kong was under attack and that they were "defending" Hong Kong. The Global Times is wrong about Hong Kong democrats' judgement: democrats are realistic and understand that much is at stake in this confrontation. The misjudgement is Beijing's: robbing Hong Kong of democracy will further erode the Party's image on the mainland and serve not only to hasten its demise but increase the likelihood of it being overthrown by violent means.
SpeakFreely
"The misjudgement is Beijing's: robbing Hong Kong of democracy will further erode the Party's image on the mainland and serve not only to hasten its demise but increase the likelihood of it being overthrown by violent means." You are over rating HK! Mainlanders no longer see Hk as a road model for a long time.

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