The People Have Spoken

The tally is nearly completely in for Hong Kong’s Sunday vote for local offices.

Local broadcaster RTHK reported that pro-democracy parties took 390 out of 452 seats in the district council, or nearly 90%.
The polls closed with 71.2% of eligible voters casting a ballot, the election commission said, easily surpassing the figure of 47% in the last such vote in 2015.

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam suggests

The government will certainly listen humbly to citizens’ opinions and reflect on them seriously[.]

Yeah. She’ll think about it.  But will it act accordingly? Keep in mind, as you cogitate on that question, that the Lam government is nothing but a Beijing satrap.

Gordon Chang, who often writes for The Wall Street Journal and contributes to Fox News, is optimistic:

This is political annihilation for Beijing and it’s going to have consequences that are going to reverberate not just in Hong Kong itself, but perhaps in China as well….

He has a warning, though:

Carrie Lam, the Hong Kong chief executive, she reports directly to Xi Jinping. She no longer has any freedom of action. If he tells her not to give ground, which is what he’s been doing for the last several months, then you’re going to see Hong Kong erupt because, you know, people have expressed their will.
If the political establishment doesn’t make concessions, then we don’t know where this will go, but we know that will become probably much more violent and the protests will become even larger[.]

Are Xi and his Communist Party of China government listening?  Yes, most carefully.  But they’ll likely draw the wrong lessons.  I think we do know where this will go, and it won’t be pleasant, although it will be brief. Tanks rolling against a fundamentally unarmed civilian population will see to that, as was demonstrated in Tiananmen Square a little bit ago.

The US and our putative allies need to become more overt in supporting the good people of Hong Kong.  The PRC has already welched on its handover commitment and its pretense of a one country, two systems policy.

The Republic of China is watching the degree of our resolve, too.

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