The pressure’s on Hong Kong patriots in the new political landscape
- Beijing is cracking the whip to ensure the Election Committee produces the necessary political support for the chief executive it selects
- With the opposition neutered, patriots will have no excuse if they can’t resolve the city’s social problems. Failure could spell the end of Hong Kong people running Hong Kong
Even before the elections take place next month, we already have a pretty clear picture of what the set of the new political stage looks like.
The last time the city had a seat at the table for political reform discussions, the Election Committee was expected to be reduced to a nomination body for the chief executive.
And so, with great power comes extraordinary responsibility. Beijing has tasked the committee with the job of holding things together in Hong Kong.
Beijing no longer has the patience for political posturing. Instead, it is cracking the whip to ensure the Election Committee produces the necessary political support for the chief executive it selects. In this way, it is hoped, the government produced by this arrangement will resolve issues that have proved to be beyond previous leaders.
Hong Kong patriots will surely be expected to go all out too, once all the roles have been picked. They should also expect Beijing to look at overhauling our education system, and I am not talking about national education.
So, with the national security law in place and political obstacles removed, Hong Kong patriots will no longer be able to say that Hong Kong people have not been able to govern themselves because of the opposition.
If long-standing, deep-rooted social problems persist after this, that could spell the end of Hong Kong people running Hong Kong.
And if Hong Kong patriots cannot govern, then it is the people of Hong Kong who have failed “one country, two systems”. Those patriots who have signed up to be on the Election Committee do not have much political leeway to fail.
Alice Wu is a political consultant and a former associate director of the Asia Pacific Media Network at UCLA