In Hong Kong, an Unofficial Election Draws Beijing’s Ire

Michael Forsythe, Chris Buckley, Alan Wong | 20 June 2014 | New York Times

HONG KONG — More than 350,000 residents of Hong Kong did something on Friday that no one in mainland China can do: They participated in a free vote over their political future. The Chinese government promptly responded by denouncing the entire exercise in bottom-up democracy as “illegal and invalid.”

The results are nonbinding because the poll is not official: It is a referendum held by a civic group on how the 7.2 million people in Hong Kong, a former British colony, will elect their head of government. The voting on Friday was through computers and mobile phones, with organizers saying they would have been pleased if 100,000 people had cast ballots over the entire 10-day voting period, which ends June 29.

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