Hong Kong's Democracy Dilemma

Hong Kong's Democracy Dilemma

HONG KONG — On Sunday the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress issued restrictive guidelines for the election of Hong Kong’s next chief executive in 2017. Shorn of its technical details, the proposal in effect gives Beijing the means to control who could run for the top office in Hong Kong: Voters would get to cast a ballot, but only for one of just a handful of candidates pre-selected by the Chinese government.


“By endorsing this framework,” Cheung Man-kwong, a veteran politician of Hong Kong’s Democratic Party, told the media, “China has in truth and in substance reneged on her promise to give Hong Kong universal suffrage.”


Three decades ago, when Beijing and the British government, which was in charge of Hong Kong then, were negotiating the terms of the territory’s handover back to China, Mr. Cheung was among those who supported “reunification” on the understanding that Hong Kong would eventually acquire a fully democratic system.

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