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EDITORIAL - The Hong Kong experiment

(The Freeman) - October 2, 2014 - 12:00am

There is what they call the "Umbrella Revolution" now sweeping throughout Hong Kong organized by democracy activists who are calling for greater freedom from the communist government.

Since Saturday, tens of thousands have taken to the streets in the Asian financial center to denounce Beijing's refusal to grant them freedom to choose their next leaders in the election in 2017.

In the next election, Hong Kong inhabitants, for the first time, are free to elect their leaders as promised by the government. But there's a problem. All the candidates are still appointed by the communist regime.

The move, however, does not sit well with Hong Kong residents, who accuse the central government of breaking its promise to grant them full autonomy in choosing their next chief executive.

With the ongoing crisis, the city - a favorite destination of multinational corporations - has descended into chaos when the police, showing inexperience in handling street protests, fired teargas at the protesters.

Authorities in Beijing seemed to have been overwhelmed by the large crowd, a political gathering never seen since the deadly dispersal of a student protest on Tiananmen Square 25 years ago.

But there's no indication that they are willing to budge and succumb to the demand of the protesters. For them, there is still no need for the Hong Kong people to enjoy the freedom to choose their next leaders since the city is still very much part of China.

Hong Kong, which was under British rule for 156 years, operates under the principle of "one country, two systems." And since it is a special Chinese administrative region, its inhabitants enjoy some degree of democratic freedom not seen on the mainland.

The ongoing crisis is clearly a test to determine whether the "one country, two systems" experiment would continue to work in Hong Kong, where residents enjoy a high degree of freedom under a leadership appointed by Beijing.

The communist authorities in the world's second largest economy may boast about Hong Kong doing pretty well under the present setup. But they badly failed in the area of political reform.

BEIJING COMMUNIST FREEDOM HONG HONG KONG KONG NEXT SINCE SATURDAY TIANANMEN SQUARE UMBRELLA REVOLUTION
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