Chinese Communists Lied And Hong Kong Died
In late December, the Voice of America reported that Hong Kong's Dec. 19, 2021, election had "almost completely eliminated pro-democracy voices from the former British colony's Legislative Council" -- colloquially called the Legco.
VOA's evidence: pro-Beijing candidates and their local allies took 89 of the council's 90 seats.
I prefer the word "took," for in this faux election "won" is a propaganda deceit.
In March 2021, the process of choosing Legco members changed. Chinese Communist Party selection replaced election. Seventy seats were "reserved for candidates picked by influential members of industry groups and by a committee of Beijing loyalists." That's VOA's careful description.
Translation: the CCP installed cronies and operatives in the Legco. They are puppets and propagandists for the CCP dictatorship, not democratically elected representatives of Hong Kong's now dispossessed citizens. Beijing also required all candidates, even the 20 in so-called elected slots, to pledge loyalty to China and the CCP.
What killed Hong Kong's democracy? The blunt truth is the CCP dictatorship callously broke an international treaty.
Hong Kong's status was ostensibly protected by the Sino-British Declaration of 1984 that, on paper, assured autonomy through 2047. Hong Kong's post-handover constitution, The Basic Law (which had Beijing's imprimatur) promised "one country, two systems," adding "the socialist system and policies will not be practiced in Hong Kong."
Beijing communists, however, do not respect negotiated diplomatic compacts. The regime decided to absorb Hong Kong, so to hell with signed and solemn treaties that manage relations among peace-seeking nations.
History's bottom line: breaking the treaty means the CCP regime lied to the world. Since dictatorial control has largely shifted from collective decision-making to individual whim in the person of President Xi Jinping, that suggests Xi himself was complicit in the lie.
My guess is that Hong Kong's 2019 demands for liberal freedoms and evident distrust of Beijing had international narrative resonance. Xi and his propagandists contend that authoritarian governance works and portray China's dictatorship as a successful and stable ideological competitor to what they call the U.S.-led "liberal international order." Hong Kong's demonstrations challenged that Big Lie.