Hong Kong: The Downfall of the CCP?
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Taiwan’s presidential elections in January drew broad attention on microblogging sites in mainland China for the openness with which citizens were able to discuss the pros and cons of their possible leaders. The Hong Kong elections appear to be drawing even more attention, with unfavorable comparisons to how the mainland still operates, including severe restrictions on who can participate.There were quite a few people who, when Hong Kong was returned to China in '97, hoped it would be a vehicle through which democracy could be spread to the rest of China. Initially it looked like those hopes would not be realized as Beijing managed to hold the reins fairly tightly over the province, but the people of Hong Kong seem to have successfully beat back Beijing's efforts to snuff out open discourse and free elections.
Now, according to the Times, some Chinese are looking perhaps longingly at the current contest for chief executive in Hong Kong. With each election that goes by in Taiwan and Hong Kong where there isn't some sort of bloodletting over who gets to be in charge, the efforts of the CCP to retain control over the government of China without having to resort to elections gets that much more difficult. Eventually the Chinese people are going to ask why they can't have elections too; after all, the people of Taiwan and Hong Kong are Chinese as well, they'll point out, with whom they share a language, culture, and history.
In 25 years China is either going to be on its way to full democracy or it's going to be a powder keg waiting to explode.