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  • Aug 1, 2014
  • Updated: 1:54am
NewsHong Kong

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


  • 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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This article is now closed to comments

We Hong Kong people will not be intimidated by China's threats. Hong Kong is not Tiananmen, our city is an international city, I dare them to try the Tiananmen tactic on HK! Let the world once again see the true face of China, I'm sure if China is game enough then the UN will be forced to issue an economic sanction. When China resorts to using explicit threats then we should know it's just mere bravado with nothing to back it up.
the sun also rises
Without any universal suffrage in 2017 will be a shame or worry of the authorities in Beijing instead in Hong Kong.We have been promised that.If it fails to realize, our faith of the rulers will fade out. If the candidates for the top post turn out to be just 2 to 3 pro-establishment elements, all pan-democracy voters may boycott the election by absence,blank votes or ineffective votes.
China's actions regarding HK will be closely watched by Taiwan. Taiwan has a military (unlike HK) and the backing of the US. There are risks to China in suppressing HK's democracy; I just hope the leaders in Beijing can grasp this.
the sun also rises
if Hong Kong is to survive, there should be no confrontations against the Central authorities.Who is/are confrontational towards the Beijing ruling regime ? I wonder.In the territory,maybe just a bunch of extreme anti-communists who would like to see the collapse of the Chinese Communsit Party and its government in the coming years or decades.Yet most Hongkongers (including this outspoken Old Hong Kong) will never revolt against the ruler across the border.We would rather fight for our own interests such as the promised universal suffrage to us in 2017 for our chief executive to be directly-elected through 'one man, one vote' and no candidates competing for the top post will be screened out for their political background. Once anyone gains sufficient nomniation,he /she should be allowed to join the race instead of being got rid of by the screening mechanism---not patriotic enough which is too political and a breach of the Basic Law which never mentions that ! Right ?
Interesting how many of the arguments revolve around money. I guess the commies haven't yet learned that some things, like self determination, are more important than money and that people are prepared to fight for them.
The commies would also do well to understand that HK people, who love China, can see through the ludicrous political pretence that China and the communist party are the same thing. We know that nothing could be further from the truth. We are loyal to China, but not to the revolting, corrupt and repressive communist party.
the sun also rises
Dear feloow Hong Kong residents who have the rights to vote for our chief executive in 2017 through a promised universal suffrage should bear in mind: don't be trapped by what Qiao Xiao-yang said in Shenzhen or Wang Guangya said in Beijing. If we don't air our views in the upcoming political reforms consultation to be launched in 2014.we will be like being trapped in a sad city ----without any hope at all ! We should bravely and actively make our voices concerning the universal suffrage be known.Otherwise in 2017, we will certainly have to vote among 2 to 3 fixed candidates (most probably those conservative elements favoured by Beijing) and we may be forced to boycott it by either absent from the voting or cast vacant ballots or ineffective ballots.Just wait and see.
the sun also rises
'Occupy Central' movement is just the last resort of our pan-democrats who pursue a geniune universal suffrage in this international city---the most democratic and free metropolitan city in Mainland China.Of course,we are proud of our 'rule of law' instead of 'ruled by law' which is practised on Mainland.How can a non-violent civil-disobedience movement leads to the economic suicide of Hong Kong ? I wonder,.Someone is deliberately trying to scare us from taking part in it---on the excuse/pretext of it might ruin our economy ? I remember after the June 4th Massacre in Beijing,there were two million-people marches where the starting point was Central (which was terribly crowded with people) but there was no chaos at all ! Not to say economic suicide for Hong Kong !
Today's news on SCMP, "While our collective wealth is improving, the ever-widening wealth gap has become a source of social tensions. Hong Kong people are a miserable lot. According to the misery index constructed by Shue Yan University's Economic and Wellbeing Project, seven in 10 Hongkongers say they are living in misery." - This is a real problem. Who can fix it? Perhaps HK needs more than one CEO, a committee of CEOs, along the objectives of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation?
the sun also rises
Suppressing a democratic political system in this international modern city and one of the financial centres in the world where the literacy rate is the highest in the whole of China, I just cannot imagine the outcome---riots ? Nonsense ! violence ? Not exactly ! But deep frustration and a sense of betrayal and being cheated will prevail among our educated middle class and the general public who yearn for a leader (directly-elected by all qualified voters) who can be accountable and responsible to us who elect him/her in the universal suffrage.Only when the chief executive is elected by most qualifed voters, can he/she represents our interests and has our well-beings in mind.Just look at the retired Sir Tsang Yum-kuen (elected by the tycoons and their agents in a small-circle election) , his policies related to land supply and the building of public housing estates and Home Ownership Scheme were biased to his voters---the tycoons and their agents plus the commercial sector--sacrificing the general public and the middle class in town ! Right ? So, a geniune universal suffrage in Hong Kong is a must and we will strive for it at all price---the 'Occupy Central' movement is just the last resort only ! A geniune universal suffrage affects ourselves and our next generations and next ... Right ? Don't hesitate, act now and be brave to voice your concern on this issue,all dear readers of this Comment column !
the sun also rises
I wonder if local leftist 'newspaper'/ mouthpiece so-called Wen Wui Pao (which sales are so low that many of its copies have been sent to the Philippines to be distributed freely there and my relative told me that its contents are like propaganda materials---unbelievable---so he asked me to give him certain Hong Kong newspaper websites to have a better and real understanding of Hong Kong) can have its pro-Beijing views in its editorial. Then why can't our respectable SCMP's editorial have its stance and views concerning the heated topic: a geniune universal suffrage for Hong Kong in 2017 ? Right ?
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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 :)
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.
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.
"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.
A Hong Konger
SpeakFreely: "Mainlanders no longer see Hk as a road model for a long time.", perhaps not, but who cares? That's not the point.
Objectively speaking, if anyone sees HK go from a prosperous, free, generally democratic, self-governing territory with improving human and civic rights, to a place with massive social issues, constant political crises, diminishing freedoms and economic opportunities, growing inequality, increasing anti-gov protests, declining democratic processes, subject to economic blackmail by a ruling political elite thousands of kilometres away where people have happy memories of being colonised, then the government who is responsible for that would loose legitimacy by any objective measure (esp. in China) and "increase the likelihood of it being overthrown by violent means."
Whether you love or loathe Beijing, it's plain to see they're doing a bad job colonising HK. We'd be better of without them.
the sun also rises
after the departure of Lau Kong-wah from the DAB now led by Tam Yiu-chung, now the cannonman of that Party (without shame) is definitely this former teacher of local leftist school:Hong Wah Middle School,Ip Kwok-him whose voice is not clear enough to express himself while his arugments on any political topics have never been convincing enough.Yet this guy is both a vice-chairman of the DAB and also a delegate to the National People's Congress where he has never uttered any constructive views concerning his compatriots or the problems of his mother country besides being a cheering party member only ! What a guy indeed !
It is easy to coment on others but how about backing it up?
my question to Ip Kwok Him is what do the so called pan democrats want that contravenes the basic law?
And a question for Starry Lee, what is your definition of patriotic?do you mean patrioti to Hong Kong and to the nation as a whole? Or do you mean patriotic to the communist party?


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