Hong Kong Democracy Protests, Taiwan Election Unsettle Beijing

The Beijing government has the image abroad of being a powerful and secure regime, and relative to previous Chinese governments of the last few centuries, it is. However, the ChiComs who misgovern the Middle Kingdom are, like most Marxist-Leninists, paranoid about anti-regime activities. Combined with the historical chaos of Chinese history, this view makes stability the prime objective of the Beijing government. Consequently, it cannot be happy about yesterday’s protests in Hong Kong supporting democracy, or the week-end’s local elections in which the pro-mainland Kuomintang lost badly.

Regarding the Hong Kong protests, the BBC reports, “The unrest flared late on Sunday, after student protest leaders called on supporters to converge on the offices of Mr Leung on Lung Wo Road. The road is a short distance away from Connaught Road in Admiralty, the major road protesters have been occupying for two months. Protesters, many wearing hard hats and carrying umbrellas – the symbol of their movement – moved into Lung Wo Road on Sunday, throwing bottles, helmets and umbrellas towards police.Police ordered them to retreat, then charged at protesters, eventually forcing them out of the area. Police said that 40 people were arrested and a number of officers were injured.”

Beijing’s front man in Hong Kong, Chief Executive CY Leung stated after the police riot, “From this day on, the police will take resolute action when carrying out their duties. I call on the students who are thinking of returning to the occupation area tonight not to do so. Don’t mistake the police tolerance as weakness.” He must have been taking lessons in upsetting people from the authorities in and around Ferguson, Missouri.

What is it that the protesters want? They would like the candidates to replace Mr. Leung in 2017 to be freely elected. Beijing wants to vet the list of acceptable candidates.

Five hundred miles to the east, the people of Taiwan voted in local elections and turned out the Kuomintang [KMT]. Despite being the political descendants of the anti-Maoists who lost the Chinese Civil War in 1949, the KMT is pro-Beijing. Both the KMT and the ChiComs accept the idea that there is One China; they simply disagree on who runs it. The Beijing regime claims Taiwan is merely a renegade province while the KMT believes it is the legitimate government of all of China.

The BBC stated, “More than 18 million eligible voters were registered to vote in Saturday’s election, choosing from among 20,000 candidates who were running for more than 11,000 positions.” The result was so bad for the KMT that the national government resigned. The reasons stem from the KMT’s trade arrangements with the People’s Republic. While the ties have brought financial benefits, the average person doesn’t seem to feel them. Moreover, the close ties create a dependency that some oppose. They want to declare Taiwan independent of China, that is, to acknowledge reality.

All of this unsettles Beijing, which would like very much for democracy to go away, and for the people of Hong Kong and Taiwan to sit down, shut up, and produce goods. They won’t, and if there is one thing communists cannot stand, it is popular defiance. After all, how can one be a vanguard party of the people when the people are opposing the party?