Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Beijing can't afford a slip in HK

By Zhou Bajun (China Daily) Updated: 2014-09-01 08:05

Since the incumbent Hong Kong CE and his ruling team are entangled in administrative difficulties at this critical juncture, the central government has to lend greater support to them in confronting the opposition. As part of the central government's efforts, NPC Standing Committee Chairman Zhang Dejiang, during his visit to Shenzhen in July, asked the "Love the Nation, Love Hong Kong" camp to more strongly back the CE to defend the fundamentals of the SAR's constitutional development. The central government is committed to taking the SAR's constitutional development in the right direction, and leading the SAR government and people toward universal suffrage on the lines of the Basic Law and NPC Standing Committee's decisions.

The political situation in Hong Kong now is more complicated than ever before. The opposition camp, also called "pan-democrats", is a loose alliance, some of whose member groups occupy extreme political positions with others, to different extents, circling around one pole. The Democratic Party used to be a group of "moderate democrats" until the first half of 2010 when Hong Kong was struggling to modify the two methods for the 2012 CE election. Some HongKong residents expect it to become "moderate democrat" again for the 2017 CE election.

But times have changed. Four years ago the Democratic Party accepted the central government's suggested method of electing five new members from HongKong's district constituencies according to the Basic Law and the NPC Standing Committee's decisions. Now, the entire opposition camp is seeking "genuine universal suffrage". The difference between the Democratic Party and its confederates is one of political tactics rather than political standpoint. There is no room for "moderate democrats" in HongKong now, because the opposition camp is making every effort to turn the SAR into an independent political entity.

Since Hong Kong's fundamental political contradiction is irreconcilable and the 2017 CE election is critical for the SAR's political future, Beijing has to take measures to rule out any possibility of the opposition grabbing power.

The opposition camp responded to the NPC Standing Committee's decision by announcing a series of acts, including quickly occupying Central to paralyze Hong Kong as an international financial and logistics hub, vowing to continue its non-cooperation movement. No matter what the opposition does the central government won't budge from its stance, because it cannot allow the reigns of power in Hong Kong to shift to the opposition.

The author is a veteran current affairs commentator.

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