A Fight for Democracy: End to Chinese Communism
by Maxwell Bruns, Managing Editor
Hong Kong, a Chinese “special administrative region” with relative independence as a separate entity from the Chinese state, is fighting for democratic independence with regards to the 2017 democratic elections. People, especially students, are flooding the streets, and are threatening to soon flood the insides of actual government buildings, with a peaceful protest against the Hong Kong government. Dubbed the “umbrella protest” because of protestors’ efforts to block tear gas and other police brutality methods with umbrellas (according to CNN), it has been going on for weeks and has left 83 people injured. But what is the context surrounding this prolific fight for democracy?
The current Chinese political turmoil has many modern day implications, but in order to understand the context of the enormity of a Chinese democratic revolution, one must go back almost 100 years, to 1921. Under eminent influence from Soviet Russia, following the Bolshevik Revolution and the beginning of a communist Russian state, communism spread to the state of China and the Chinese government became controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. Unfortunately, Chinese communism is but a ghost of the actual implications of a socialist government, and the state of Chinese affairs since this takeover has been closer to that of a dictatorial-led regime, with repression of the average Chinese citizen being the norm.
Hong Kong, a mostly independent territory in the Chinese domain, was led on a slightly different path throughout history than the rest of the country. Quite accidentally, around the middle of the 17th century (1839, to be exact) Great Britain seized Hong Kong during the Opium Wars, heated conflicts between the British and Chinese over styles of government and over trade regulations. In 1997, the British released Hong Kong back to China (after hundreds of hours of diplomatic relations) as a “special administrative region.” Unfortunately for Hong Kong, this did not mean independence, but rather, the tradeoff from a British Regime to a Chinese Regime.
Now, Hong Kong citizens have a huge problem, because they believe, according to the lettering of decades of legal promises and even some laws mandated by the Beijing government, that the Chinese government owes complete and totally independent democracy to the people of Hong Kong. Whether or not this is true is to be determined. But what is clear right now is that the current Chief Executive of the Hong Kong government system, Mr. CY Leung, has been imposing restrictions on the parameters of the 2017 Hong Kong democratic election for the new Chief Executive and Mr. Leung has been working jointly with the government of Beijing to enact these restrictions. Thus, the upheaval; citizens are outraged, and their occupy movement has taken full attention on the international stage.
Unsurprisingly, the government of China and the Chinese Communist Party supports Mr. Leung’s efforts. The People’s Daily, a Chinese Communist Party affiliated newspaper, reports that Leung says, “But it is definitely better to have universal suffrage than not. It is definitely better to have the CE elected by five million eligible voters than by 1,200 people." This, of course, covers the real issue, concerning Mr. Leung putting restrictions on who the people are allowed to vote for. After all, it isn't democratic if the people can only vote for those that the government already supports.
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