World media attention has been concentrated on Hong Kong following evidence of CIA involvement in said “democracy” protests as well as the violent hand of the Chinese government in appearing to prepare for a contemporary Tiananmen Square massacre. Now according to recent election, results, major Hong Kong’s voters have turned out in record numbers to deliver what appears to be a landslide for “pro-democracy” campaigners in local elections, handing them control of every one of the region’s 18 councils for the first time.
Both in absolute numbers and in turnout rates it was easily the biggest exercise in democratic participation that Hong Kong has seen, with many voters waiting more than an hour to cast their ballots.
When polls closed at 10.30pm on Sunday, nearly 3 million people had voted, representing more than 71% of the electorate and nearly half of Hong Kong’s population. Many had never voted before.
Pro-democracy politicians took control of all of the city’s 18 district councils, an unexpected clean sweep that analysts say was a unanimous vote of no confidence in the government (source)
The debacle over Hong Kong, a former British colonial outpost, seems to be tied to geopolitical attempts at eventually subverting and overthrowing China. The enclave, which is supposed to preserve her current system of laws for at least fifty years until being fully integrated into China, was not “given back” as a gesture of friendship, for neither the British nor Americans do things for that reason (as the same can be said of other nations too), but out of pragmatism and what appears to be the assumption that given the cyclical nature of Chinese society and its inclinations to revolution, that within 50 years China could be overthrown and the US, UK, and French could go in and re-colonize the nation similar to what happened in the past.
In this sense, keeping Hong Kong as a “pro-democracy” location is not only about enforcing local laws, but about eventually toppling the Chinese government, which the Chinese likely are also aware of and is a reason why they have been determined to stop any (foreign backed) political movements.
It is also a sea change in Hong Kong politics, where pro-Beijing and government politicians have enjoyed a wealth of resources and support from the elite sectors.
“I would not use the word happy, but we have made progress towards a situation where we can fight back against the government,” said Clarisse Yeung, an artist-turned-politician who led campaigning in the Wan Chai district, and announced the shift of power with tears in her eyes.
“It’s important because we all know that we have been sacrificing too much in the past few months,” she said. “Hong Kong people are no longer naive. We have to prepare ourselves, we have to have faith in ourselves to bring change.”
A string of prominent pro-Beijing candidates were also evicted from what had been safe seats, among them Junius Ho, who has been widely reviled for shaking hands with a gang of thugs who attacked protesters and commuters in July.
Of course the Chinese government is not happy about this, and given the “ham-handed” approach that China traditionally takes throughout her history towards political dissidents, this could have interesting consequences in China and the enclave. Surely the US will claim “human rights” if China tries to do anything, and if things became serious enough, as I have noted before, she would not be hesitant to cut off food supplies to China. However, it is unlikely the US would say “we are stopping food shipments”, but it would possibly take the form of an “unforeseen” crop devastation by disease or weather, or perhaps some terrible other accident that happened to be driven by man-made factors in order to justify major food price increases in China that could topple the government.
Regardless of what happens, any threats or angry statements from China will be treated like the ramblings of a spoiled fat kid in a candy shop who isn’t getting candy because his parents refuse to buy it, just as how China ia fiscally at the mercy of the US due to her status as the world reserve currency and her ability to continue to prosper is conditional upon the will of the US to repay her debts to China and not choosing to default, leaving China to hold a bag of promises to pay but with no way to collect, for a promise is as only as good as the will or ability to enforce it.
Many pro-Beijing candidates were running on promises to “stop the violence” of the protests in which at least two people have died and hundreds have been injured, some critically.
Authorities have tried to paint the demonstrators as unreasonable extremists, and brush off calls for an independent inquiry into escalating police brutality.
But even in establishment strongholds, support for pro-democracy candidates grew. Adrian Lau ran in a seat that had never been contested by a pro-democracy candidate before, near a village where in July thugs thought to have links to the establishment attacked protesters and commuters.
“Many people have completely lost trust in the police after the incident,” he said. “Some told us they’d vote for us and thank us for giving them an alternative but daren’t say that out loud.”
Stephen, a retired businessman in his 60s voting in the affluent Mid-Levels neighbourhood, said: “This will send the message to the government that they should be more humble. It’s your job to serve people, and not beat people up if they don’t listen to you.”
Many Chinese people don’t believe largely the Chinese government’s propaganda because unlike the Americans, the lies are obvious, blatant, and they make no effort to hide them. At least while Russians (and Slavic people in general) are horrible liars, they are excellent bluffers, so what they cannot hide by outright deception they can hide by obscurity and confusion. China can do neither, for her attempts to lie are easily seen through, and her attempts to bluff come across as the ramblings of a tiny, creepy man with sadistic desires and a lust for power he can barely control himself over when he thinks about it.
It will be interesting to see what the future of Hong Kong brings to Chinese politics and US-China relations.