Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests have unnerved the ruling Chinese Communist Party as it prepares to hold its an annual political retreat and as President Xi Jinping pushing high-tech security measures, in line with “modernizing governance” as the “fifth modernization” after industry, agriculture, defense, and science and technology, RFA reports:
Independent journalist Gao Yu said the choice of words was deeply ironic, given that dissident Wei Jingsheng served a lengthy jail term for proposing democracy as the “fifth modernization” in 1979. She said the aim of Xi’s high-tech governance and institutional reform policy is purely to ensure that the Communist Party maintains its grip on power, and that this has been made explicit by top party ideologue Wang Huning.
“Huning has said that the purpose of government reforms is to protect the central party leadership with Xi at the core,” Gao said. “Not only is the Chinese Communist Party not promoting democracy; it is making a major turn in the opposite direction.”
Hong Kong’s people have shown their backbone, the Wilson Center’s Michael C. Davis told NPR’s Ari Shapiro. I taught in Hong Kong for over 30 years. .. I was a member of the Article 23 Concern Group. We led protests more than a decade ago over national security laws, and there we had a half-million protesters, but this protest now has exceeded that. Up until now, that was the largest protest after the handover in Hong Kong, said Davis, a former NED Reagan Fascell fellow:
So what’s really interesting to me, though, is that Hong Kong people have shown their backbone – that if the government of Hong Kong is not willing to defend Hong Kong’s autonomy, it seems the people of Hong Kong are. And now what will Beijing do? Will it crack down on Hong Kong, or will it recognize the error of its ways? Well, stay tuned. But so far, it’s shown no inclination to listen to the concerns that Hong Kong people have raised.
China’s state media aired images from the aftermath of Hong Kong’s latest antigovernment protests, a change in tack that appears aimed at fanning public anger against the demonstrations, as Beijing signaled support for a stronger crackdown by authorities in the city, The Wall Street Journal reports (HT:FDD).
The Communist authorities accused U.S. officials of being behind the protests and advised them to remove their “black hands” from the territory, Reuters adds.