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VECT

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Are we talking about CCP believing in principle the right of people to individual freedoms?

Or is it actually, as you wrote, "[individual] rights to merely be allowed by a bully with a gun"?

 

What I meant that they agreed to the basic law was done with the intent of not violating the agreement in a substantial way. And, they have substantially stuck with the agreement.  

 

Of course, people have a right to freedom and if HK citizens really wish total freedom and the upholding of all rights, they deserve to get it, regardless of any agreement between Britain and China. China wouldn't allow that. China will allow HK the freedoms they have agreed to allow them.

 

Even on the issue of voting, the Chinese never agreed to a system like the U.S. They did not agree to any voting to start with. And, they agreed that "The ultimate aim is the selection of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage upon nomination by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures. " [Article 45].

 

Note that even the "ultimate aim" includes a nominating committee, and allowing voters to votes from among the nominated choices.

 

 

 

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What I meant that they agreed to the basic law was done with the intent of not violating the agreement in a substantial way. And, they have substantially stuck with the agreement.  

 

The grammar you used here is a bit confusing. But I assume what you are trying to say is that CCP agreed to not violate HK's Basic Law in any substantial way, and they have kept their word so far.

 

I agree with that.

 

But WHY have they not done so? Is it out of respect for the principle of individual rights? Or is it because CCP see themselves as having all the right to do away with individual freedoms, but choose not to do so with HK at the moment for practical reasons.

 

Also, for the democratic protest of late:

Concerning Article 45, while candidate needing the nomination by a committee of special interests, is already controversial, the ADDED condition by CCP (not part of Basic Law) lately, that a candidate will also have to be approved by the CCP, is the straw that broke the camel's back and caused this latest protest.

 

(4) in the translation of the white paper below:

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-08/31/c_133609238_3.htm

 

"The Chief Executive-elect, after being selected through universal suffrage, will have to be appointed by the Central People's Government."

 

This is a law passed directly from CCP to affect HK. The significance of this fact alone is worth noting.

 

While this is not a violation of Basic Law technically (since it's an addition rather than a change to existing text), the politic significance of this added condition is pretty apparent.

 

Also, if CCP can add their own conditions to HK Basic Law regarding the election of the CE, that means they can also add their own conditions to any of the Articles in Basic Law that stipulates individual rights if they wish to.

 

Article 27:

"Hong Kong residents shall have freedom of speech, of the press and of publication; freedom of association, of assembly, of procession and of demonstration; and the right and freedom to form and join trade unions, and to strike"

 

Possible CCP addition:

"All speech, publications, associations, assembly, procession, demonstration, trade unions, must be in the interest of the public good and the state."

 

Like I said, there's no need for tanks.

Edited by VECT

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Hmmm, actually I just double checked the entirety of Article 45.

 

The condition that the CE must be approved by the Central People's Government is actually also in that article, but not part of the "ultimate aim" of the transition.

 

I guess rather than to say it's an entire new condition, CCP is adding back one of the old conditions when transitioning to universal suffrage to keep themselves more positioned in power.

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What I would really like to understand is whether the protesters want one or two concrete, specific freedoms that are being denied today. For example: do they want the right to certain books that are being banned? Or to news that is being banned? to sexual practices? to economic relationships? is there one or two such concrete freedoms they hope to grant themselves if they have real democracy? 

 

I understand that more argument about wanting to be free, instead of the mainland government allowing them to be free. Nevertheless, I wonder if they have any thoughts on what they would do with such freedom. A true believer in Democracy would say that it does not matter: even if they are going to reduce their own freedoms, such a person would say, it is for them to make the mistakes, and deal with the consequences. Of course, I disagree with that. So, while I'm sympathetic to the principle of self-governance, I'm wary when I don't see anything concrete behind it.

Edited by softwareNerd

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I think asking CCP to withdraw their CE condition (and incidentally granting a purer democracy) in this case is a defensive tactic.

 

People in HK are wary with Beijing when it comes to freedoms (look at the rest of China). If CCP can pass laws directly from Beijing to affect HK without resistance, today it's a condition on the CE election, tomorrow it can be a condition on the freedom of speech...etc.

 

If the protest this time pans out and Beijing backs off with their new condition on CE election, that sets a precedent and deters future attempts by CCP to pass laws to affect HK directly from Mainalnd. Also, given the persuasion towards individual freedoms with HK locals, it's less likely any candidate they elected through universal suffrage will stand idly by if Beijing tries to pass laws to limit HK freedoms in the future (or worse, a puppet CE that pass laws to erode HK freedoms from inside out).

 

Of course, like you said, and I agree, that there is very little chance CCP will coming off looking weak and compromise with the protesters.

 

Still, one can hope.

Edited by VECT

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Article:

If it’s entirely a numbers game—numeric representation—then obviously you’d be talking to half the people in Hong Kong [that] earn less than US$1,800 a month. You would end up with that kind of politics and policies.” - Leung (HK Chief exec)

 

It's interesting to see China's so-called communist party (through the voice of their Hongkong man) being less supportive of an altruistic foundation to politics than a typical western party would be. He's making his argument to the upper-middle classes and upper-classes; in a way, he is warning them about the potential consequences of democracy. The so-called Chinese Communist Party warning people of the evils of letting the proletariat have its way.

Edited by softwareNerd

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Article:

If it’s entirely a numbers game—numeric representation—then obviously you’d be talking to half the people in Hong Kong [that] earn less than US$1,800 a month. You would end up with that kind of politics and policies.” - Leung (HK Chief exec)

 

It's interesting to see China's so-called communist party (through the voice of their Hongkong man) being less supportive of an altruistic foundation to politics than a typical western party would be. He's making his argument to the upper-middle classes and upper-classes; in a way, he is warning them about the potential consequences of democracy. The so-called Chinese Communist Party warning people of the evils of letting the proletariat have its way.

I think these statements (and, in general, HK leaders' strong capitalist, pro-freedom stance) should be taken more as evidence that in fact the Chinese Communist Party isn't the one who decides who runs HK, rather than as indication that Chinese communists are pro-capitalist. Sure, some of the communists are open to relatively free trade because they see it as economically beneficial, but that's about as far as their interest in capitalism goes. They have shown no signs of embracing the actual principles of capitalism.

 

HK's executive isn't a Chinese puppet regime. I think this is just more evidence that HK's executive is appointed by interests in Hong Kong (and not particularly narrow interests either, pretty much everyone is represented to some extent - just not weighted equally). And the HK "establishment" in turn has a compromise with Beijing (a long standing agreement, that was built on relationships formed before the handover): Beijing allows them to keep the capitalist system and promotes economic partnership with HK, and in return receives a guarantee that HK remains a part of China, and a strategic economic partner to China.

 

Democracy would jeopardize this agreement. It would threaten both capitalism and ties with China directly, and then, in response to its interests being threatened, China would in turn also threaten HK freedom. I don't know how strong a threat it would be (if it would be enough to tip the balance and nullify the current HK-China relationship, but it would be a risk that, frankly, doesn't seem worth taking. Not even for the people who see special value in democracy.

Edited by Nicky

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I think these statements (and, in general, HK leaders' strong capitalist, pro-freedom stance) should be taken more as evidence that in fact the Chinese Communist Party isn't the one who decides who runs HK, rather than as indication that Chinese communists are pro-capitalist. 

They appear to be classic fascists. 

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Beijing allows them to keep the capitalist system and promotes economic partnership with HK, and in return receives a guarantee that HK remains a part of China, and a strategic economic partner to China.

 

In return receives a guarantee that HK remains a part of China? Otherwise is HK going to declare independence as it's own nation? Annexes itself to another state?

 

It's a city ON Mainland China that have historically been Chinese, is currently a part of China, it's citizens identifies ethnically as Chinese, and have no military.

 

This is not Taiwan we are talking about, this is Hong Kong. Been part of China have never been some negotiable chip for HK. They have no choice in the matter.

 

Beijing left their freedom untouched because HK is such an economic-jewel that whatever amount of political power they might gain from eroding HK's freedom pales in comparison to the economic gain of leaving HK as is.

 

You can argue this democratic protest is meaninglessly rocking the boat and will bring down the wrath of Beijing and end in actions that actually will erode their current freedoms sooner. (Possible)

 

You can argue that CCP will leave HK free out of respect purely for tradition (1c2s) (Possible, but unlikely)

 

But you cannot possibly argue that HK somehow have the power to negotiate for their freedom with Beijing.

 

The freedom HK enjoys today is purely by the leave of Beijing. Success is never in question as CCP have the ability to pass laws to erode freedom in HK and enforce it. The only question left is intention, and if intended, the manner of execution that will ensure the least cost.

 

If it's actually the case that China will leave HK free so long as they "don't rock the boat", then this protest is as you would argue, counter-productive.

But if Beijing is looking to erode HK's freedom in the long run, then this protest shows that people in HK will not just take with their heads bowed whatever laws Beijing cares to pass onto them.

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But you cannot possibly argue that HK somehow have the power to negotiate for their freedom with Beijing.

It's not so much that I cannot argue, it's that I don't want to. But of course HK has leverage to negotiate with Beijing. They've been successfully using that leverage. That's why they're free, while everyone else in China isn't.

 

That's not an argument, it's a statement of fact.

Edited by Nicky

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Maybe that phrase of mine isn't as exact as I would have liked it to be.

 

HK have the leverage to reason with CCP that any laws passed from Beijing to limit freedom in HK would be detrimental to their economy (not of least of which is scarring away foreign investment).

 

But staying part of China? That's not a chip they have to negotiate with, never have been. THAT is a statement of fact.

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Huh, actually just found this Article in the Basic Law:

 

Article 5: "The socialist system and policies shall not be practised in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and the previous capitalist system and way of life shall remain unchanged for 50 years."

 

Well, at least that's going to make it difficult for CCP to pass any laws that limit individual freedom onto Hong Kong the same way they are passing new conditions on this CE election.

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