In Peking ist man besorgt über das mögliche Erstarken demokratischer Bewegungen in Hongkong, berichtet die LA Times: hina warned Hong Kong legislators Tuesday in no uncertain terms to forget the idea of holding a referendum on whether residents should be able to directly elect their leaders. Pro-democracy lawmakers were "playing with fire and would get burned eventually," said Li Gang, deputy director of China's de facto mission to Hong Kong, in the government-run China Daily, referring to the proposed nonbinding vote on whether to hold direct balloting by 2007. China's reaction is hardly a surprise, given that its allies in the Hong Kong government have already voiced their strong opposition to the idea — presumably after close consultation with Beijing — and that China has ruled out direct, popular elections until at least the end of the decade. However, Beijing's strong statement Tuesday may inadvertently help its pro-democracy adversaries, political analysts said, by giving them an issue to coalesce around at a time when they are somewhat adrift.


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