PRC, Hong Kong, and Rights

The situation in Hong Kong, which the People’s Republic of China has created with its high-handed treatment of the Special Administrative Region, is getting tighter.

[Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying] Leung told voters it is better to agree to Beijing’s plans for nominating candidates and to hold an election, than to stick with the current system of having an Election Commission choose the chief executive.

“It is definitely better to have universal suffrage than not,” Leung said. “It is definitely better to have the chief executive elected by 5 million eligible voters than by 1,200 people. And it is definitely better to cast your vote at the polling station than to stay home and watch on television the 1,200 members of the Election Committee cast their votes.”

This is cynically misleading. The 1,200 to whom Leung referred are the nominating committee of the Communist Party of China. They’ve been the ones—and they continue to be the ones, now formally under the control of the Party’s Standing Committee—who will determine who the candidates will be that those “5 million eligible voters” can select from. Those 5 million are only being allowed to rubber stamp the selection made by those 1,200. This is no elective choice. Of course, Leung and his PRC masters know this.


[PRC President] Xi Jinping, who has taken a hard line against any perceived threat to the Communist Party’s hold on power, vowed in a National Day speech to “steadfastly safeguard” Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability.

This is just wind in the trees. Xi knows full well that Beijing cannot “steadfastly safeguard” Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability. Only the people of Hong Kong, acting for and by themselves, without outside interference, can do that.


China’s government…so far it has not overtly intervened, leaving Hong Kong authorities to handle the crisis.

This is a misunderstanding. The Hong Kong authorities are in the streets, not in the government buildings. The people are sovereign over their government in a free state. Of course, this is hard to realize from inside a despotic state.

The protesters, upset that Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has refused to meet them, have threatened to expand their demonstrations unless he resigns and the Chinese leadership agrees to broader electoral reforms.

It’s clear from the breadth of these protests, that the PRC has lost the consent of the Hong Kong-ese to govern them. PRC governance, thus, is illegitimate. This is corroborated by the protest news clampdown the PRC has done, especially in contrast to the freely flowing protest news within Hong Kong.

And finally, there’s this failure, this one from the West.

British Prime Minister David Cameron saying he planned to summon the Chinese ambassador to discuss the dispute, saying it is essential that Hong Kong’s people have a genuine right to choose their top leader.

This is an even greater misunderstanding, both by its existence and coming as it does from the leader of the birthplace of John Locke. No, Prime Minister, each one of Hong Kong’s people is created with an inalienable right to his own liberty and happiness. That means he has an inalienable right to choose his own government and the men who operate it. What is essential is that Hong Kong’s people have that right genuinely acknowledged and accepted.

2 thoughts on “PRC, Hong Kong, and Rights

  1. Pingback: Free Speech, PRC Style | A Plebe's Site

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