After subduing the opposition in Hong Kong, the Chinese government is now burying what remains of democratic rule in the semi-autonomous territory in which a revolt that lasted almost a year has erupted.
By presenting his annual work plan to the National People’s Congress in Beijing, Premier Li Keqiang established guidelines that were already expected and which should ensure full control of the mainland dictatorship over the region.
According to local state media Xia Baolong, the main Chinese official in Hong Kong, “only the patriots will rule the city.”
The concept was invented in 1984 by then-leader Deng Xiaoping, and repeated in 2020 by the current powerful occupant of the chair, Xi Jinping.
How is it going to happen? Details were not disclosed, but according to Honchese analysts, the central government will have full veto power over candidates who are under what they consider to be “foreign influence” – that is, all the opposition, according to Beijing.
In addition, the composition of the Legislative Council will be changed: from 70 deputies (35 elected by direct suffrage), there will be 90, appointed and sanctioned by Beijing.
The Hong Kong city electoral committee, which indirectly chooses the chief executive of the territory, will be reduced from 1,200 to 1,500 members, also in accordance with the views of the central government.
“This is the end of Hong Kong as we know it, something that started last year, and the process will be finalized now,” said activist John Lee, who asked to use a false name because that he has his communications under surveillance since the repression. descended forcefully in the region in 2020.
Local councils should also be affected, the only point in the Honduran system where party freedom was complete. It was there that the movement that led Beijing to intervene in the city-state began, a former British colony returned to the Chinese in 1997 and which, by law, is expected to live under a hybrid regime until 2047.
The “one country, two systems” arrangement serves Beijing very economically, which uses Hong Kong’s deregulated capitalism as a warehouse for international transactions. But greater political autonomy, now crushed, has always been a knot to untie.
In 2019, the attempt to implement a law for easier extradition to the magistracy of the communist dictatorship sparked a popular uprising, with violence in the streets for months.
It won dramatic tones for Beijing with the opposition’s landslide victory in local council elections, equivalent to that of city councilors, in November. Moreover, by feeding the official discourse of external interference, the United States and the United Kingdom have provided direct support to the opponents.
The wave has cooled down a bit and the pandemic has arrived, with its disruptive effect on the whole of society. So, at the annual congressional plenary meeting in Beijing 2020, a new national security law for Hong Kong was introduced.
In practice, he put an end to the harsh dissent: arrests, even abroad, and the establishment of a Chinese repressive force on the territory – something that was not provided for in the basic law, the mini-law. constitution agreed with the British before their departure.
Lee was arrested during one of the protests against the new law in June last year. “In practice, we have abandoned the streets, even with the pandemic under control in the city. The fear is huge, see what happened yesterday [quinta, 4]”he stated.
He was referring to the continued arrest of 47 pro-democracy activists by the local court. Four were released Friday (5), on bail.
According to the South China Morning Post, the Legislative Council elections slated for September, postponed with apologies for the pandemic last year, are set to gain a new date again for arrangements to be made by Beijing.
The legislature has been under the intervention of the dictatorship since November, when MEPs who had defended “ideas of independence” were vetoed in the Council – in fact, most opponents only want to maintain autonomy provided for by the Basic Law, especially because 40% of the electorate in local elections votes for pro-Beijing parties.
In another, more predictable signal, the work plan presented by Li also reaffirms that Beijing will not tolerate the idea that Taiwan can declare itself independent.
This is a recurring threat, as the government views the capitalist and democratic island as a rebellious province awaiting reabsorption by the dictatorship. Taipei is relying on its alliance with the United States, which gives it access to armaments, to deter China from an invasion.
Both this issue and that of Hong Kong remain at the top of the friction menu with Washington, as part of the Cold War 2.0 launched in 2017 by former President Donald Trump, now in the hands of Joe Biden.
The meeting in Beijing continues until the 11th, as part of the so-called two sessions, referring to the annual meetings of the congressional plenary and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the government’s advisory body.