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Old 09-13-2004, 06:59 AM   #1
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Out of the 60 seats on offer, the people of Hong Kong voted 34 seats for Pro-China and 25 for Pro-Democracy.

This shows that despites complaints and protests, most people are happy with the Pro-China party.

And happy people don't go on the streets complaining or tell the world about human rights abuses.

I don't however like the fact that the rest of the council seats are decided by special interest groups, such as large corporations that ineviatblally favor people in power.

Nevertheless it shows that democracy is less popular than you think. I think chinese people prefer a sensible government that knows what it is doing.

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Old 09-13-2004, 07:25 AM   #2
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Shouldn't this be in current events?

China Jails Hong Kong Democrat Without Trial
By Patrick Goodenough
CNSNews.com Pacific Rim Bureau Chief
August 20, 2004

Pacific Rim Bureau (CNSNews.com) - The jailing without trial of a pro-democracy candidate in Hong Kong's forthcoming elections has prompted fresh suspicions that Chinese officials are attempting to undermine the drive for greater voting rights in the territory.

Chinese police claim Alex Ho Wai-to had been arrested with a prostitute in a hotel room during a routine anti-vice raid.

"Ho had sex with a woman in a hotel room and a money transaction was involved," the state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Dongguan city public security bureau spokesman Li Zelin as saying.

He denied claims that Ho was beaten into giving a confession.

The Hong Kong citizen, who was due to stand for the Democratic Party in next month's crucial elections for the territory's Legislative Council (LegCo), has instead been sent to a "re-education through labor" camp for six months. Patronizing prostitutes is a criminal offense in China.

Earlier, Democratic Party official Fred Li accused the police of entrapment. He said Ho told him he had been dragged from his hotel bed and beaten by police who planted condoms and women's underwear in the room and produced a woman whom they identified as a prostitute.

Hong Kong critics of the arrest also questioned the type and length of Ho's sentence, pointing out that people accused of using prostitutes are often fined. Ho's wife has petitioned the authorities on behalf of her husband, who reportedly has a liver ailment.

Amnesty International in Hong Kong condemned Ho's sentencing, calling the system which saw him sent to a prison camp without trial a violation of international human rights standards.

Beijing has been accused in the past of dealing with opponents through intimidation or falsified criminal charges.

Senior dissidents have been jailed on charges of using prostitutes, and in 2002 a Korean-American Christian missionary who was helping North Koreans trying to escape to free countries via China was arrested and accused of child-sex abuse.

Campaigners for North Korean refugees said at the time it was a common practice in China to use trumped-up charges to punish troublesome elements and send a message to others.

The Ho incident occurs at a political sensitive time for Hong Kong, whose pro-democracy camp has been locked in a standoff with the central government for more than a year.

Beijing last April angered many in the territory when it handed down a ruling - unprecedented since Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997 - saying voters would not be allowed to elect their next leader in 2007 or all members of the LegCo in 2008.

Democrats had interpreted Hong Kong's mini-constitution, the Basic Law, as opening the way for universal suffrage by the 2007-8 electoral cycle, but the central government's decree ruled that out.

When voters go to the polls on Sept. 12, they will only directly elect 30 of the 60 LegCo seats. The rest are chosen by mostly pro-Beijing professional and business groups, while the chief executive is selected by an electoral college loyal to China.

Because of this, democrats have been unable to translate popular support into meaningful representation in the legislature, which has been dominated by China's supporters since the handover.

Nonetheless, with frustration levels running high and a record number of pro-democracy politicians standing as candidates, analysts are predicting the camp will increase its current holding of 22 seats - although probably not achieve an outright majority, in part because of a complicated proportional representation system.

The extent of popular support for democratic reforms has been seen in opinion polls, and on July 1, some 500,000 people marched to demand greater voting rights.

Against that background, democrats are accusing China of trying to discredit the movement by applying pressure on figures like Ho.

Earlier this year, three popular Hong Kong radio hosts said they were quitting after claiming to have been threatened with violence unless they toned down their criticism of China.

The outspoken former host of a phone-in show - which has since been taken off the air - has now announced he is standing in the LegCo elections, giving another boost to the democracy camp.

The former British colony returned to communist Chinese rule seven years ago under a "one country, two systems" formula that promised Hong Kong would enjoy a high level of autonomy and keep its capitalist way of life for at least 50 years.

The Basic Law negotiated between Britain and China provides for unspecified changes, if needed, to the way the chief executive and LegCo members are chosen from 2007-8 onward.

That reference led many to hope that voters would from that time onward have the right to elect their leaders and lawmakers directly.

But in its ruling last April, the powerful standing committee of China's National People's Congress declared that only China could decide whether Hong Kong needed electoral reform.

Beijing would also have the final say in any process by the chief executive and LegCo to change the way elections take place, it said.

The U.S. government had backed the Hong Kong democrats' reading of the mini-constitution.

"It is our longstanding policy to support Hong Kong's move toward electoral reform and universal suffrage, as provided for in the Basic Law," State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said last month.

China's message for HK voters
From CNN Senior Asia Correspondent Mike Chinoy
Saturday, September 11, 2004 Posted: 0537 GMT (1337 HKT)

"They think we are propaganda for democracy. They want to shut us up. But they can't shut me up," says Cheng.

"I'm going to make my voice heard in the Legco."

Alex Ho is another member of the democracy camp. But he's in jail after being arrested three weeks ago in China and, with no trial, he was given six months on allegations of patronizing a prostitute.

His family says it was a set-up and when Chinese police released these photos just four days before the election, it fueled suspicion Beijing was simply trying to discredit the Democrats.

"The Beijing leaders have gone berserk about the possibility of our capturing more than half the seats," Martin Lee of the Hong Kong Democrats says.

Opinion polls show a large majority support the Democrats calls for Hong Kong's Chief Executive and legislature to be directly elected.

Only 30 of the territory's 60 lawmakers are elected, the rest are picked by business-dominated special interest groups.

The Chief Executive is chosen by a Beijing-approved Selection Committee.

China rules out any changes to the system and pro-China candidates insist democracy should not be Hong Kong's top priority.

"We also need stability and prosperity. And stability and prosperity is very very basic in Hong Kong," Ma Lik of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong says.

The way Hong Kong's political system is structured, the legislature has little real power, no matter who is elected.

But a strong showing by pro-democracy candidates will reinforce a trend that's become increasingly clear in recent months -- that the people of Hong Kong want to run their own affairs.

[ 09-13-2004, 06:29 AM: Message edited by: Dreamer128 ]
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Old 09-13-2004, 08:26 AM   #3
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Maybe China will not be afraid so much of giving democracy to the rest of its people? China should be applauded (no really) for trying hard to win the hearts and minds rather than its past sad history of oppression.
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Old 09-13-2004, 08:42 AM   #4
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Yes but Avetar it looks like the popular vote was 25 for democracy and 5 for communism. I think it would be safe to say the special interest groups all voted for the communist party. None of these business people want to be falsely accused of something so they vote the way of the power.
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Old 09-13-2004, 08:46 AM   #5
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Good post, Dreamer. China is a pinko enemy, mkay.
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Old 09-13-2004, 09:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Avatar:

Nevertheless it shows that democracy is less popular than you think.

Than who thinks?

Quote:
I think chinese people prefer a sensible government that knows what it is doing.

Um, yeah, I think pretty much everyone prefers that dude...
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Old 09-13-2004, 09:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nightwing:
Yes but Avetar it looks like the popular vote was 25 for democracy and 5 for communism. I think it would be safe to say the special interest groups all voted for the communist party. None of these business people want to be falsely accused of something so they vote the way of the power.


No no... the 60 votes are not included in the special interests.

So its 60 + special interests.


Dreamer128... you are so RIGHT! had we not arrested this ONE democrat, we would have LOST all our votes and GOSSSHHHH!!!!


And if we arrest any democratic person then he must be innocent. If we execute a communist corrupt official, ITS A COVER UP for umm... UFOs!

Yes nuclear weapon UFOs used to destroy free worlds like America in Red Alert, i mean on planet Earth!..


People we must defeat evil Communists! They shouldn't win elections!



You can always press "Load Quick Save"
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Old 09-13-2004, 10:05 AM   #8
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As I read what Dreamer128 posted, there were 60 seats up for discussion. 30 of those were elected, and 30 were appointed. So the statement that 25 of the votes were for democracy (and 5 for communism) appears to be quite correct... the other 30 "votes" were business appointments, and not popular elections.

And from a business perspective, status quo is an important thing: the ability to continue business in the same way I've been doing it. Couple that with the possibility of reprisals for doing things differently than the main power (China) might want, and as a businessperson, I'd be hard pressed to do anything but go along with what the main power wants. So those 30 "votes", IMHO, don't count much for determining what the people want.
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Old 09-13-2004, 10:38 AM   #9
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Why should this information be a supprise? I communist countries the vote always go the way the leaders want.
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Old 09-13-2004, 11:30 AM   #10
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Wow, has anyone else noticed that this same arguement keeps getting dragged up? Maybe we should have an Operation Chinese Freedom!! [img]tongue.gif[/img] (j/k)
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