Home PoliticsPolitical Protests Barely a democrat in sight as Hong Kong ushers in new political era on Sunday

Barely a democrat in sight as Hong Kong ushers in new political era on Sunday

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Hong Kong, for now, is a tale of two cities. In one part of town, demolition work has moved into high gear as the police and the courts proceed to dismantle the old order with its democracy movement counter-current. The old order can now be defined as the first two decades of post-colonial rule, when the handover agreements between London and Beijing still mattered . The dividing line between old and new is clearly drawn in the form of Beijing’s National Security Law, promulgated for Hong Kong on June 30, 2020.

Out with the old

The target is Hong Kong’s democracy movement that began to grow in the mid-1980s as soon as Beijing announced its plans to resume sovereignty over Hong Kong come 1997. By 2019, that movement — to establish the principles of Western-style democracy with all the usual rights and freedoms — had reached a point where it could challenge the political design Beijing had been trying to establish here since 1997.

An exhibition on the Basic Law. Photo: GovHK.

The design was called “one-country, two-systems” and was written into Hong Kong’s Basic Law constitution. Promulgated in 1990, the law was drafted by Beijing for Hong Kong’s post-1997 use. And therein lay the heart of contradiction. 

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