Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Monday, 26 April 2004

China denies Hong Kong right to choose next leader

China has announced that the territory will not be allowed elect its next leader because such a poll could stir social and economic instability. The decision has been criticised by both the UK and the US as an erosion of the autonomy theoretically granted to Hong Kong under the 1997 Joint Declaration between China and the UK and the Basic Law (Hong Kong's mini-constitution). Public opinion in Hong Kong is likewise not pleased, it seems.

None of this is surprising - I do not beleive China was ever going to adhere scrupulously to the spirit, or the terms, it agreed to and my own view when the agreement to return Hong Kong to China in 1997 was being discussed in the mid-1980s (when I lived in Hong Kong) was that there would be no immediate change in Hong Kong post-1997, but that there would be a gradual erosion of its automony so that by about ten years later the changes would become so significant that they could no longer be ignored. It gives me no pleasure at all to think what we are now seeing is my worst fears coming true.

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