So-called referendum deceptive and dangerous

Song Sio-Chong | 25 June 2014 | China Daily

The “Occupy Central” campaign supporters have asked the Hong Kong public to select from three proposals, each of which includes an element of civil nomination for the Chief Executive in the 2017 election. This is a deceptive tactic – undemocratically decided upon – by the civil disobedience movement. They also plan to lead a massive occupation of Central to paralyze the financial heart of the city. The organizers believe this will make the central government bend to local pressure.

They must be dreaming if they think the central government, which has made the “One Country Two Systems” policy such a success, will give in to an unlawful movement. The One Country, Two Systems policy and the arrangements for universal suffrage outlined in the Basic Law are legitimate and justified. So any movement opposing them has to be illegitimate and unjustified.

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Hong Kong will always be part of China

Eric Sommer | 25 June 2014 | China Daily

A large number of Hong Kong residents are taking part in an informal – mainly Internet-based – poll to “determine” whether they want to have a more direct say in nominating candidates for the post of Hong Kong’s “chief executive” in future elections. More than 700,000 Hong Kong residents had voted until the third day of the 10-day “referendum” organized by “Occupy Central” forces.

The central government agrees to universal suffrage in future Hong Kong elections, but has denounced the poll as “illegal” and “invalid”, and emphasized that “the high degree of autonomy of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region is not full autonomy, nor a decentralized power … the Hong Kong people who govern Hong Kong should above all be patriotic.”

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Beijing’s Catch-22

Mark C. Eades | 25 June 2014 | Financial Times

A 10-day unofficial pro-democracy referendum opened in Hong Kong on June 20, attracting higher-than-expected turnout and angering China’s central government in Beijing. Organized by pro-democracy group Occupy Central, the referendum offers voters a choice of three reform plans for the election of Hong Kong’s chief executive, all of which include public nomination of candidates, an idea rejected by Beijing. Despite massive cyberattacks blamed on mainland China, more than 700,000 online and in-person voters cast ballots in the first three days of voting.

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Are Hong Kong’s Democracy Activists Chasing an Illusory Goal?

Per Liljas | 25 June 2014 | TIME

Hong Kong’s Occupy Central movement is forcing a showdown with Beijing on democratic reform. There appears to be little hope of winning

On Sunday, Mary Cheung, a business executive, braved the steamy weather, and the labyrinthine passageways of Hong Kong University, to cast her vote in an unofficial plebiscite on the city’s democratic future organized by activist group Occupy Central With Love and Peace.

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Radical opposition is splitting Hong Kong

24 June 2014 | Global Times

Many people believed that the pan-democratic camp in Hong Kong upholds the rule of law and respects civilization, and at the very least performs much better than the protesters in Ukraine. Nonetheless, the “referendum” carried out by the radical opposition members that launched the Occupy Central movement, as well as their recent behavior and the future plans they have announced, reveal that they are no more qualified than those who initiated the color revolutions.

The most radical opposition groups of Hong Kong have already pushed themselves to the opposite of the rule of law. The so-called referendum lacks any constitutional basis and therefore engaging in a fierce political struggle with its results runs counter to the Basic Law and the existing legal system in Hong Kong.
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Herculean hacking attack takes aim at Hong Kong’s dreams of democracy

Nathan VanderKlippe | 24 June 2014 | The Globe and Mail

The full fury of the Internet attack started three hours before polls opened. As people in Hong Kong prepared to cast electronic ballots in an effort to show Chinese authorities their hunger for democracy, hackers opened fire with a potent effort to derail the vote.

Suddenly, a flood of data swarmed the servers designed to handle the voting in a poll held by Occupy Central with Love and Peace, a burgeoning protest movement that has sought the right for Hong Kong people to nominate and elect their own chief executive, the territory’s most powerful position

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So Far So Good…

Suzanne Pepper | 24 June 2014 | China Elections and Governance

… thanks to the last minute “White Paper” boost that summarily dismissed all of Hong Kong’s electoral reform proposals in deference to Beijing’s mandate (June 12 post).  Organizers of the Occupy Central civil disobedience campaign are breathing sighs of relief, at least for now.  Their campaign is about promoting local initiatives and Beijing’s White Paper intervention was designed to discourage all such ideas by telling Hong Kongers in no uncertain terms who has the authority to make those kinds of decisions and what they should be.  But after a trouble-plagued launch that reached global proportions, organizers could proclaim success at the end of the very first day of their online mock referendum.

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‘Let 1.3 Billion Vote’

David Wertime | 24 June 2014 | Foreign Policy

Democracy, meet the smart phone. Starting June 20, hundreds of thousands of Hong Kongers have gone to virtual polls, infuriating Beijing. Occupy Central with Love and Peace (OCLP), a protest group that advocates election of the nominally autonomous Chinese city’s chief executive via universal suffrage, held a combined online and offline vote on Hong Kong’s future from June 20 to 29 that OCLP claimed has drawn over 738,000 electronic ballots so far, most via mobile app. The electronic ballot, which requires entry of a Hong Kong ID number, phone number, and a confirmation the voter is a permanent resident, allows the choice between three revisions to Hong Kong election rules, rather than the current system that cedes significant power to industry groups called “functional constituencies,” which the mainland government supports. Chinese state media promptly went on the offensive against the nonbinding vote, but online response from mainlanders shows just how much of a stitch Beijing is in.

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‘Occupy Central’ poll ignores reality

Ho Lok-sang | 24 June 2014 | China Daily

News that the number of people who voted in the poll organized by the “Occupy Central” group had quickly attained over half a million, may surprise some observers. But this is entirely understandable in view of the belief, stirred up by the mass and social media, that Hong Kong people’s basic rights are under threat and that they need to defend them by voting in the “Occupy Central” poll.

It is unfortunate that Hong Kong people have a lack of understanding of the law. If they understood the importance of the Basic Law, they would not choose to arbitrarily deviate from it as do those who espouse civil nomination. If they understood that the Basic Law is binding for the central government, they would not believe that rejecting civil nomination was aimed at depriving Hong Kong people of their right to nominate a candidate of choice for election as Chief Executive.

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China State Media Calls Hong Kong Vote ‘Mincing Ludicrousness’

Didi Kirsten Tatlow | 23 June 2014 | New York Times

“However many people take part in Hong Kong’s illegal public vote, there will never be as many as 1.3 billion,” the headline in the state-run newspaper Global Times declared on Monday.

That defiant line toward “Occupy Central with Peace and Love,” a movement that is holding an informal referendum on how the next leader of the semi-autonomous Chinese territory should be chosen, was comparing the number of votes cast, now surging past 700,000, to the size of China’s population. It suggested that no matter what Hong Kong people want, the Chinese mainland will always trump them. And it was contained in one of very few online posts about the democratic movement in Hong Kong that made it past heavy censorship in the rest of China.

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Next on China’s ‘My Way’ List: Hong Kong

Patrick Smith | 23 June 2014 | The Fiscal Times

Push is rapidly coming to shove between China and Hong Kong, which bills itself as the “World City.” If the world doesn’t sit up and take notice soon, the political future of the autonomous territory could be imperiled and things could end badly all around.

A degree of antagonism between the mainland and Hong Kong’s democracy advocates has been a feature of life in the territory since Britain handed its colony back to China in 1997 under a legally inscribed formula called “one country, two systems.” Hong Kong was designated a Special Administrative Region and guaranteed 50 years of autonomous self-government, including direct elections and universal suffrage.

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Hong Kong Demands Democracy

23 June 2014 | Wall Street Journal

China this week is in the midst of a historic democratic experiment—unofficially, that is, and outside the mainland. Since Friday nearly 750,000 Hong Kong residents have voted in a referendum signaling their anger at Beijing for continuing to deny democracy to the territory 17 years after assuming sovereignty from the British. Despite weeks of escalating intimidation from Beijing, turnout is far exceeding expectations and may presage public protests.

The vote, sponsored by a pro-democracy coalition known as Occupy Central with Love and Peace, runs online and at polling places through June 29. It allows Hong Kong’s 7.2 million people, including some 3.5 million registered voters, to weigh in on the crux of the democracy issue: Who should be able to run for chief executive in 2017?

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