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|← Hong Kong Protests||Hong Kong Protests →|
The China’s special administrative region, Hong Kong has not seen huge-scale protests for many years. The governmental ruling on who will run for the next elections in Hong Kong angered, outraged the public, and forced them to protest. Activists campaigning for the democratic choice continue their peaceful protests in the Admiralty district of the region after violent actions against demonstrations that started more than two months ago. The protests of Hong Kong citizens were caused by a restriction of the central government to select the next leader or the main chief executive of the city.
According to the Guardian, Chinese authorities refuse to allow Hong Kong to hold the next free elections, and insist that only some candidates examined by the Beijing committee will have a right to compete. After the Chinese government had made its unequal ruling, the pro-democracy, advocacy group promised to organize demonstrations and launch civil disobedience activity in the region. Thousands of ordinary residents of Hong Kong, in particular, young people, strived to be heard by the authorities. Both young and older families disagreed with an unequal ruling and joined the protests. Occupy Central claims that there is no single group in the head of protests and individuals who refused to disperse even after the police started to attack them with tear gas. Since Hong Kong mass meetings are well organized, many people report a cooperative atmosphere. However, the police officers have applied batons and tear gas. Occupy Central says that their protests are non-violent, but the strong character of the campaign led by students has radically changed the dynamic of the event.
Before the emergence of public protests that continue to play a significant role, the local activists of Hong Kong believed that the movement was unlikely to change the Chinese policy. Despite the fact that the residets have the right to speak freely and organize protests, they, unfortunately, cannot elect their own government directly. The passion and size of the Hong Kong civil disobedience surprised observers, as well as the demands striking at the core of Beijing authorities. Full democracy will significantly change the way Hong Kong is governed today, and if China will not make concessions in the near future, it will be directly regarded as a dangerous precedent.
Chinese authorities oppose any movement or protests that might be perceived as a challenge to their power. Moreover, they do not want a democratic campaign to spread to the mainland. The central government condemned the actions of external forces that intervene in the affairs of Hong Kong and encourage separatist sentiments among the locals. There were many controversies whether the Chinese should involve in the dispersal of protesters. Without any doubt, it will be regarded as a last resort due to the negative effects in business and international affairs.
In addition, China warns the USA that the support of the pro-democracy Hong Kong movement will be deemed as assistance in the illegal activity and will never be tolerated. According to the Guardian, Chinese authorities, in particular the Foreign Secretary, Wang Yi have clearly stated that Hong Kong affairs are the internal affairs of China. All the nation-states have to respect the country’s sovereignty as the fundamental principle of managing international relations. There is also a serious threat of outflow of foreign investment from the mainland and Hong Kong. It is the only scenario in which Beijing can cave the outside pressure. Nowadays, the authorities are in a tough position. If the Chinese government decides to impose martial law and take a hardline position, there will be a significant growth of extremist ideologies and illegitimate activities.
In its cooperation with the People’s Republic of China, Wasshington always walks a delicate tightrope, striving to strengthen and refine economic and trade relations with the second largest economy, while also insisting on providing extensive human rights. Amid the tense confrontation on the Hong Kong streets, the U.S. Secretary of State, on behalf of the American community, calls for restraint by the local police officers. Kerry reported that the USA maintains the universal suffrage in Hong Kong, based on the laws and regulations. Beijing continues to grapple with the greatest challenge to its rule of the semiautonomous region. According to Kerry (The Guardian), an open society that is governed by laws and has maximum autonomy is vital for Hong Kong to reach prosperity. Secretary of State added that the USA has high hopes that the authorities of the troubled region will eventually exercise restraint and let people express their views in a peaceful way.
Washington urged the authorities to act tactfully towards the protesters on the streets of Hong Kong. However, the Chinese diplomat Wang Yi stated that America needs to take care of its business and let China do the same. According to the Guardian, Wang added that no country and society would allow residents to commit illegal actions, violating public order. The situation in the USA and Hong Kong is the same.
In order to enable elections in 2017, the Hong Kong authorities will have to develop and present a comprehensive plan of political reforms to the lawmaking Legislative Council. The pro-democracy lawmakers, holding enough seats for a veto, claimed that they would vote against any proposal on the basis of China’s decision. If the proposal is rejected, Hong Kong authorities will not be able to realize universal suffrage, and the elections will proceed with a committee consisting of 1,200 pro-Beijing individuals, who will select a leader. Before this event occurs, it is necessary to find a rational solution to the current situation on the streets of Hong Kong.