June 27, 2014

THERE IS NO CHINA:

Beijing's Catch-22 (Mark C. Eades, June 25, 2014, US News)

Despite the confident mask Beijing wears in its public statements on the democracy movement in Hong Kong, its behavior betrays the heart of a scared bully. Cyberattacks and censorship are evidence, not of strength, but of fear and weakness. Beijing is deathly afraid, not only of democracy taking root in Hong Kong, but also -- and perhaps even more so -- of democratic ideas spreading from Hong Kong into mainland China. Hong Kong's democracy movement is a threat to Chinese Communist Party power, not only in Hong Kong, but also in mainland China. Beijing's greatest fear is that a democratic "Hong Kong Spring" could spill over onto the mainland and become a "Chinese Spring."

Beijing, however, also has Taiwan to worry about. Beijing badly wants Taiwan to accept reunification with China under the "one country, two systems" arrangement that Hong Kong supposedly enjoys. This includes the guarantee of democracy, freedom of expression and a free press. If "one country, two systems" fails to deliver the democracy that Hong Kong wants because of Beijing's intransigence, then Taiwan will be wary of entering into any such arrangement with China. And Taiwan will be watching events in Hong Kong very closely.

Simply put, Beijing is caught in a Catch-22 situation that it cannot win, and that observers in the West should take great pleasure in watching it flounder about with. Hong Kong is a no-win proposition for the dictators in Beijing -- allow democracy to take root in Hong Kong and risk losing control of mainland China, or crack down on democracy in Hong Kong and risk losing Taiwan. Chairman Mao's communist cadre schools didn't prepare Beijing's geriatric leaders for situations such as this. Mouthing slogans from the chairman's "Little Red Book" won't won't fix this problem.
Posted by at June 27, 2014 7:45 PM
  
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