China’s Biggest Political Challenge Since Tiananmen in 1989

Tens of thousands crowd Hong Kong’s financial center, challenging the Chinese government’s insistence on selecting a slate of candidates for the 2017 election. Gideon Rachman for the Financial Times describes the eerie parallels with the crushed pro-democracy Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement 25 years ago. China is wealthier with more global standing, and so too are the Hong Kong protesters who demand special status as promised after the 1997 handover by the British. “An intelligent response from the Communist party would allow Hong Kong to act as a testbed for democratic reform,” suggests Rachman, though that is unlikely. China’s leaders worry that compliance with protesters’ demands will trigger unrest throughout the country, and they try to block images and news of the protests reaching the mainland. Much depends on the protesters’ willingness to continue and public reaction in China where the movement can be viewed as inspiring or tiring, like tantrums of “spoiled brats with an unpatriotic nostalgia for colonial rule.” Beijing’s intervention in Hong Kong, much like Russia’s bullying intervention in Ukraine, will ruin relations with the West. – YaleGlobal

China’s Biggest Political Challenge Since Tiananmen in 1989

Hong Kong protesters confront China’s Communist Party; government response could hinge on public response throughout Mainland
Gideon Rachman
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
© Copyright The Financial Times Ltd 2014.

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