November 25, 2019

Hong Kong democratic reformers win historic victory

Democracy scored a victory in Hong Kong over the weekend.  Via CNBC:
Hong Kong’s democrats scored a landslide majority in district council elections, which saw a record turnout after six months of anti-government protests, increasing pressure on the Chinese-ruled city’s leader on Monday to listen to calls for democracy.

Sunday’s elections marked a rare weekend lull in the sometimes violent unrest, with democratic candidates securing nearly 90% of the 452 district council seats, broadcaster RTHK reported, despite a strongly resourced and mobilized pro-establishment opposition.
So now what?  China is not going to pleased with this. The communist party did not want a result like this: high turnout and a thrashing of their preferred candidates.  This is as much a threat to democracy in Hong Kong as it is an opportunity.  It's too early to tell what China will do but my suspicion is that they will attempt under-the-radar ways to sabotage the fledgling democratic reform government, at least initially.  If that fails to accomplish their goals of re-totalitarianizing (I made up that word) the city, perhaps harsher methods might follow.

It's important for the city to get it right, and it's important at this point for president Trump to vocalize support for the winners.  Yes there are trade implications for doing so but it really is important because China has become used to steamrolling their way to getting their way.

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