ANALYSIS: Not the end, but the beginning. Where to now for Hong Kong?

Analysis By: Political Expert Dr Ian Cook

Reports suggested that Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, and the Chinese government were hoping that a “silent majority” would rise up and sweep pro-Beijing candidates to victory in the weekend’s district council elections.

Let’s hope they weren’t that stupid. Months of protestors has forced voters’ to acknowledge the fact of the slow erosion of the legal and political rights that made Hong Kong’s a different system from that of mainland China, which made the “one country, two systems” idea meaningful.

Hong Kongers didn’t support the protestors so much as they responded to the reality of their message: that the Chinese government wants to make it “one country, one system”.

And they will continue to respond to that message and there will be no peace in Hong Kong (well, unless Xi Jinping was to end his ongoing drive to make China the dominant global superpower, which won’t happen).

So the question now is about whether the Chinese government will be subtle in brining Hong Kongers to heel or not. There are economic and political costs.

And Trump can be hard to predict when it comes to his dealings with China. But the Chinese economy is huge and losing Hong Kong as a major centre for international trade wouldn’t upset mainland port cities vying for that position.

So maybe Hong Kong is dispensable and China can put an end to the irritating “one country, two systems” notion once and for all.

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