View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Monday, July 07, 2003

The Next Axis

Tomorrow's Washington Post has a report about the defeat of Article 23, and the next steps for Hong Kong. The report suggests that pro-Peking politicians want to preserve their dominance by ditching Tung, while the democrats want to force the government to adopt elections. Peking is really between a rock and a hard place here. I can't believe there's a snowball's chance in Hell that they'll allow Hong Kong free elections, not with the failure of Article 23 which supposed to help act as a political firebreak between Hong Kong and the mainland.

At the same time, they really think that the economy was the main reason for the demonstrations, one of the classic misunderestimations of peoples' desire for political influence, aside from just speech. And by refusing a democratic process, the only outlet people will have is massive street demos, all too easily organized with a free press. Let's hope that Chris Patten's last noble act before becoming a shill for "Europe" still has a chance to bear fruit.

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