Via the Scotsman.com, The Globe and Mail and Reuters comes news of a second year of mass – peaceful – demonstrations in Hong Kong on the seventh anniversary of the former British colony’s handover to Chinese sovereignty. (There were also protest marches on New Years Day this year.)
Marchers – estimates range from 200,00 (by police)to 400,000 – filled all four lanes of a major downtown thoroughfare, peacefully chanting slogans, holding up signs and waving inflatable Mr. Tung dolls as they made their way to the fenced-off Hong Kong government headquarters.
Beijing ruled in April that ordinary citizens cannot elect Tung’s successor in 2007 or all lawmakers in 2008. China Had promised before the handover that it would allow Hong Kong to retain considerable autonomy for 50 years, but many contend that this autonomy is being undermined.
Chinese officials also heaped abuse on activists and a number of Hong Kong people reported receiving threatening calls from China, telling them not to vote for pro-democracy candidates in September. Indeed, Beijing declared that Hong Kong, a territory of 6.8 million, would never get the democracy its middle-class professionals wanted because they were not Chinese enough, if not outright traitors.
Leaders in Beijing also worry demands for more democracy could spill over to the mainland and undermine their
cushy jobs one-party rule. Chinese state media have made no mention of the march and, In addtion, China drastically reduced the number of mainlanders allowed to visit Hong Kong this week.
Big White Guy drew my attention to a article in the Asia Times : Beijing kills Hong Kong’s ‘buzz’ which speculates about the “method in the madness” even as the CPC destroys the core values of Hong Kong : the rule of law, a free press, freedom of expression, and I would add, adventure, opportunism, or a lack of much attention to social distinctions.
This tactic might prove to be the icing on the cake to the divide and rule tactics of a Communist Party of China (CPC) offering dialogue to those willing to accept its terms of debate and hurling threats, abuse and outright violence at those who stubbornly insist that democracy means choosing a government by universal suffrage.
In hunting around (and around), I found to new – too me – sources of Hong Kong news: