Monthly Archives: April 2015

Final proposal sticks to Beijing’s rigid framework — and our analyses in the Journal of Democracy

[updated on June 1, 2015]

[May 31] Beijing officials stand firm on 2017 poll and say strict framework for Hong Kong’s democratic reform will stay even if lawmakers reject plan

Hong Kong government sticks to rigid Beijing framework in 2017 election proposal

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Our more comprehensive and systematic analyses in one place: Journal of Democracy April 2015, Volume 26, Issue 2

Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement: Beijing’s Broken Promises

MICHAEL C. DAVIS

China has gone back on its well-documented vow (and solemn treaty obligation) to allow Hong Kong genuine universal suffrage. Abrogated commitments and fake democracy are not the path to a thriving Hong Kong that feels at home within the People’s Republic of China. (HK JoD Davis Beijing’s Broken Promises)

Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement: The Protests and Beyond

VICTORIA TIN-BOR HUI

The demonstrations of late 2014 captured the world’s attention with their scale, passion, and resourcefulness, but in the end were unable to move dug-in local and national authorities. Yet time is still on the side of the demonstrators. (HK JoD Hui The Protest and Beyond)

Why HK should not “pocket” the fake “one person, one vote” proposal

Prodemocracy members of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council are vowing to veto the August 31 decision (which requires a two-thirds majority), and they have just enough votes to do so. The authorities want to convince Hong Kong people that they should “pocket” a less than ideal form of suffrage as a “gradual and orderly step” on the way to genuine universal suffrage in the future. The flaw in the government’s line is that some steps create insurmountable hurdles rather than take people closer to the finish line. Once created, any undemocratic arrangement will become increasingly entrenched. If the Election Committee is not reformed now, it will become increasingly resistant to change later. The narrowly based “functional constituencies” that still control half the Legislative Council’s seventy seats furnish a hard and object lesson. They have proven resistant to all attempts to phase them out, and legislators who hold these seats are unlikely to back any reform that would force them to face direct elections.

In Chinese 從政府主導理論 看雨傘運動 

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Andrew Nathan’s analysis also in the J. of Democracy: “China’s Challenge,” January 2015, pp. 156-170

[Beijing has been] Seeking to roll back existing democratic institutions or to stifle sprouts of democratic change in territories where it enjoys special influence. These are Hong Kong and Macau—two Special Administrative Regions that came under PRC control in 1997 and 1999, respectively, when they were returned to Chinese sovereignty by their former colonial rulers—and Taiwan, a territory over which China claims sovereignty and over which it has growing economic influence. In none of these places has China denounced democracy in principle, but in all three it has undermined it in practice.

See also updates on other posts, esp. why the freedom without democracy model is broken; polarization after occupy; the fallacy that nonviolence has not worked; and targeted boycott. Existing posts are regularly updated to reflect the latest developments.

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