One Country, Two Systems Unchanged After Hong Kong Elections
One country, two systems defines how Hong Kong and Macau are governed since becoming Chinese regions in 1997 and 1999 respectively.
After reunification with China, both cities were granted a high degree of autonomy for 50 years as special administrative regions (SARs).
They’re responsible for their domestic affairs alone, including executive, legislative, and judicial independence from the mainland while being Chinese territory.
Hong Kong Basic Law stipulates that Beijing is responsible for foreign affairs and defense. The city’s future belongs to China, transitioning until 2047 when its autonomy ends.
Last week, China’s official People’s daily broadsheet said the following:
“Hong Kong belongs to China and its affairs are China’s internal affairs. China does not allow any foreign interference in Hong Kong affairs. This is the unshakable position of the country,” adding:
“While addressing the 11th BRICS Summit in (Brazil), Chinese President Xi Jinping said the Chinese government has unswerving determination to oppose any external force in interfering in Hong Kong’s affairs.”
On Sunday, district council elections were held in the city. China’s Global Times reported that pro-democrats “scored a landslide victory, winning (347 of) the 452 seats open to elections,” taking 17 of 18 districts, adding:
Hong Kong’s district council differs from its legislative one. The DC serves “the community, express(es) public appeal regarding livelihood, such as transportation, environment, and living conditions.”
The South China Morning Post (SCMP) said months of “anti-establishment reverberations” led to a high 71% turnout v. 47% in 2015 and much different results.
“(D)isaffection among voters was clear across the board, as pan-democrats rode the wave to win big…Before Sunday, all councils (were) pro-establishment since the 2015 elections.”
The largest pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) won only 21 seats — down from its pre-election 119.
The pro-democracy bloc will have significant representation on the election committee that’s charged with selecting Hong Kong’s chief executive.
Over the weekend, relative calm replaced months of US-orchestrated violence, vandalism and chaos. It remains to be seen if it holds given the rage by bipartisan hardliners in Washington to destabilize China.
Clearly, the vast majority of city residents opposed what’s gone on. They want calm and normality restored.
On Monday, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said (external or internal) attempts to destabilize and undermine Hong Kong are doomed to fail, stressing that the city is a special administrative region of China.
Last week, he called the US “the biggest source of instability in the world,” adding: “US politicians are smearing China globally without providing evidence.”
“The United States is broadly engaged in unilateralism and protectionism and is damaging multilateralism and the multilateral trading system.”
“There is no way out for the zero-sum games of the United States. Only win-win cooperation between China and the United States is the right path.”
Clearly it’s not how the US operates, seeking dominance over other nations, rejecting mutual cooperation in pursuit of its hegemonic aims.
Reporting on Sunday’s election results, Xinhua said the following:
“The district council election (was) the first poll held in the HKSAR (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) after the now-withdrawn ordinance amendments concerning fugitives’ transfers sparked unrest in” the city.
“In the past more than five months, rioters, in concert with external (US) forces, have continuously committed and escalated violence, resulting in social and political confrontation, rift in social sentiment and setbacks in economy and people’s livelihood.”
“Months of social unrest has seriously disrupted the electoral process. On the election day, some rioters harassed patriotic candidates.”
“The most pressing task for Hong Kong at present is still to bring the violence and chaos to an end and restore order.”
Xinhua failed to report the election results. Nor did the People’s Daily, saying little more than turnout was high, ballot counting completed, and 100 councilors’ offices were vandalized.
China Daily reported that if the opposition claims victory, “they should realize what kinds of shameless measures were taken to help them achieve” it — true enough. City residents were held hostage for months to CIA-orchestrated violence, vandalism and chaos.
Relative calm restored, if sustained, may be just a pause before new US interference in China’s internal affairs occurs again.
It’s what the scourge of US imperialism is all about. Its dark forces won’t quit until brought down by their hubris, arrogance, and unwillingness to change.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”