China Backs Itself Into a Corner With Autocratic Approach to Hong Kong

Originally posted on TIME:

The mammoth protests that have gripped Hong Kong for the past several days have implications far beyond this Special Administrative Region of more than 7 million people. In rejecting Beijing’s plan to allow only sham elections for the next chief executive of Hong Kong, in mobilizing tens of thousands of people into the streets for several days running, and in fashioning a peaceful symbol of resistance and restraint (the umbrella) in the face of an inflammatory overreaction by the police, the youth-led demonstrators have posed the most serious challenge to the authority of the Chinese Communist Party since the massacre in Tiananmen Square 25 years ago.

China’s Communist rulers have only themselves to blame for the political crisis in Hong Kong. Since it reverted from British colonial rule to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, Hong Kong has enjoyed significant autonomy and civil freedom under the principle of “one country, two systems.”…

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