Who Loves China?

Tens of thousands of people have been “occupying” the tear-gas-filled streets of Hong Kong’s Central district to fight for their democratic rights, and many more may soon join them. With the Chinese authorities likely to opt for further repression, the demonstrators will almost certainly lose – at least for now.

NEW YORK – Tens of thousands of people have been “occupying” the tear-gas-filled streets of Hong Kong’s Central district to fight for their democratic rights. Many more may soon join them. Though some businessmen and bankers are annoyed by the disruption, the demonstrators are right to protest.

China’s government has promised Hong Kong’s citizens that they can freely elect their Chief Executive in 2017. But, given that candidates are to be carefully vetted by an unelected committee of pro-Chinese appointees, citizens would have no meaningful choice at all. Only people who “love China” – that is, love the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) – need apply.

One can almost understand why China’s leaders should be baffled by this show of defiance in Hong Kong. After all, the British simply appointed governors when Hong Kong was still a crown colony, and nobody protested then.

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