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The real democracy for Hong Kong is the one that suits it

By Zhi Guang (People's Daily)    09:01, September 27, 2019

It’s impossible to evaluate a political system without considering social and political conditions. Whether the “shoe” of democracy fits or not, only the wearer himself knows. This could offer some enlightenment for today’s Hong Kong.

Since the anti-extradition bill protests took place in Hong Kong, the opposition and radical forces raised “five demands”, and the ultimate one is the implementation of “dual universal suffrage”.

But in fact, what they want is not a stable democracy, but a radical democracy, not a democracy that benefits Hong Kong, but a democracy that is self-interested, and not a democracy for an administrative region under the People’s Republic of China, but a democracy for an independent political entity.

As a matter of fact, the opposition and radical forces prefer a universal suffrage system exceeding the limits of the Basic Law and the relevant decisions of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. The system could help them select a Chief Executive representing their position and, at the same time, not being accountable to the central government. All of this will pave the way for them to ultimately seize the top administrative power in Hong Kong.

This not only is incompatible with the true meaning of democracy, but also harms the national sovereignty and security, challenges the power of the central authorities and the authority of the Basic Law of the HKSAR, and uses Hong Kong to infiltrate and undermine the mainland.

They make loud voices for democracy, but what they had done hindered Hong Kong’s democracy.

Before returning to the motherland, Hong Kong had no democracy. Its governor was appointed by the British Queen, and also served as the president of the legislative council.

It is after Hong Kong's return to the motherland that its democratic system was truly established and developed.

The Basic Law stipulates that the Chief Executive and all the members of the Legislative Council shall be selected by universal suffrage. Since the establishment of the HKSAR, the central government has been supporting the region in steadily and rapidly developing democracy in accordance with the Basic Law and other relevant decisions made by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

However, the universal suffrage bill, which had won the support from most Hong Kong residents, was aborted due to the opposition of some Legislative Council members in 2015.

The opposition forces and “Hong Kong independence” activists made no mention of their disruptive role in Hong Kong’s democracy process, but misdirected the young people into believing that the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 sets out the implementation of “dual universal suffrage”, begging external forces to meddle in Hong Kong affairs through passing the so-called “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act”.

These practices have sabotaged Hong Kong’s democratic politics, showed no sense of responsibility, and proved that democracy was used as an excuse for certain people to destabilize Hong Kong and achieve their anti-China agenda.

Hong Kong’s democracy process must be in line with Hong Kong’s political status that is completely and clearly defined by the following three terms in the Basic Law. “Hong Kong has been part of the territory of China since ancient times.” “The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is an inalienable part of the People's Republic of China.” “The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be a local administrative region of the People's Republic of China, which shall enjoy a high degree of autonomy directly under the Central People's Government.”

Hong Kong's democratic politics is a democracy adopted by a local administrative region of China. Hong Kong's democratization must be based on the premise of ensuring the sovereignty of the central government over Hong Kong under the Basic Law. It must not only conform to the interests of Hong Kong but also the national sovereignty, security and development benefits.

Hong Kong's universal suffrage system must be in line with the Basic Law and relevant decisions of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress whenever a political reform is initiated. This is the dialectical unity of “one country” and “two systems” under the “one country, two systems” principle.

In the book Democracy in America, French scholar Alexis de Toqueville wrote: “I am very far from thinking that we ought to follow the example of the American democracy, and copy the means which it has employed to attain its ends.”

Democracy is not invariable or to be copied. Anyone with practical experience of political reforms would understand this. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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