Die Hongkong-Wahl heute auch Thema in der LA Times: When Hong Kong reverted to Chinese rule in 1997 after a century and a half as part of the British empire, Beijing outlined a tolerant vision wherein the territory would continue to enjoy Western-style political freedoms even under the Chinese flag. Critics fret that this construct is eroding. They say the slogan developed by the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping to describe Hong Kong's relations with China — one country, two systems — may need an addendum after the lead-up to this election: carrots, sticks and dirty tricks. During the last few months, China has trotted out a host of incentives designed to lull residents into feeling warm and fuzzy toward the mainland, and by extension toward its designated hitters in the Tung government. These include a cameo appearance by celebrities such as China's first astronaut and gold medalists from the recent Olympic Games. Chinese officials, hoping that Hong Kong residents will vote with their pocketbooks in mind, have unveiled measures such as allowing a sharp increase in mainland tourists to Hong Kong, expanding economic links between the territory and southern Chinese provinces, and proposing a new bridge to the mainland province of Guangdong and stepped-up air links with China. They've used sticks, arguing that opposition candidates will undermine Hong Kong's prosperity, that only pro-Beijing representatives have the connections on the mainland to bring home the economic cookies, and that anyone who fails to support the DAB is unpatriotic, a theme reminiscent of the turbulent 1966-76 Cultural Revolution. Finally, the campaign has been characterized by what some see as dirty tricks, including: the arrest of pro-democracy candidate Ho Wai-to in Guangdong weeks before the election on charges of soliciting a prostitute; his rapid-fire sentencing without trial to six months in a labor camp, which prevents him from running; a leaked scandal that pro-democratic candidates were skimming on their rent; alleged intimidation of pro-democracy radio talk show hosts; and reports that Hong Kong businesspeople were being pressured to vote DAB by their Chinese partners. "China's trying to influence Hong Kong people with all these celebrities and dirty tricks," said John Hui, 83, a retired accountant. "Beijing is afraid of democracy. Getting democracy from the Communists is like trying to skin a tiger…. But I think Hong Kong people are too smart for that."


Kommentar veröffentlichen

<< Home