How China’s very real national security fears shaped its reform plan for Hong Kong – South China Morning Post op-ed by David Zweig

Published on: 2014-09-24

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The South China Morning Post published an op-ed written by IEMS’ David Zweig on China’s worries regarding Western threats to its natural security as the main motivation to restrict Hong Kong’s political reform process.

A partial excerpt of David Zweig’s editorial can be found below:

“Some observers explain that the very restrictive nomination process for universal suffrage in 2017 directed by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee was driven by the Communist Party’s fear of losing power in Hong Kong and the demonstration effect on Chinese society.

However, an alternative explanation is Beijing’s worries about national security. In the eyes of many Chinese government and party officials, “civic” nomination and a low threshold (under 15 per cent) for the nominating committee that would allow a pan-democrat to run would open the door to Western “interference” on China’s sovereign territory.

Due to the problems in Xinjiang and Tibet and the fact that the Uygurs have brought their anger into Han China, spending on national security surpassed spending on national defence in 2011. As China also asserts its sovereign claims over disputed territories in neighbouring seas, it now finds a “re-engaged” US military supporting states that feel bullied by it.

Compared to on the mainland, foreign intelligence agencies freely collect information in Hong Kong and, according to WikiLeaks, diplomats regularly meet opponents of the central government.”

Read the full article here.

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