China’s New Boss in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Chief Executive Officer John Lee speaks during a press conference at the Central Government Complex in Hong Kong, May 9.


Anthony Kwan / Getty Images

One measure of authoritarian “democracy” is when the winner gets almost all of the votes cast. That is the story of John Lee’s victory this weekend as the new chief executive of Hong Kong.

Mr. Lee “was finally elected with 99% of the votes,” China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office a statement after the election. “This completely shows that Hong Kong recognizes him very well.”

Self-awareness is not a trademark of Chinese propaganda. Even Russia and Belarus are more modest in their win rates when they conduct rigged elections.

Hong Kong’s Basic Law stipulates that “the ultimate aim is to select the Chief Executive Officer by universal suffrage,” but the chief executive officer has long been chosen by an Electoral Commission rather than by an election commission. direct election. The Communist Party of China removed pro-democracy candidates from office and Mr. Lee was the only candidate in this election.

Beijing’s candidates have long dominated the Election Commission. But until recently, the pro-democracy camp could at least expect enough seats to act as a mediator between pro-Beijing candidates and demand concessions or barring bad candidates. worst become the CEO. That changed after 2019, when Hong Kongers voted in a vote for pro-democracy district councilors.

Those district councilors are expected to control 117 votes on the 1,200-member Election Commission, while other pro-democracy candidates control more. But China responded to the Hong Kong vote by changing the size and composition of the committee. The new rules exclude district councilors, creating more pro-Beijing seats and effectively eliminating any chance that Hong Kongers could have a say in their governance.

Mr. Lee went to try the blessing of Chinese President Xi Jinping was Hong Kong’s top security chief under former chief executive Carrie Lam. He oversaw the arrest of dozens of opposition leaders and the destruction of Hong Kong’s free press. He prepared for Beijing’s approval by denouncing these columns in December after we criticized the crackdown.

In a publicly released letter, Mr declare The scope of our coverage is “severely biased misrepresentation that seriously misleads readers about the situation in Hong Kong.” The truth is precise and clear enough for the people he has imprisoned, so he can enjoy life as Beijing’s agent in what was once free territory.

Vladimir Putin blames his war in Ukraine on a planned attack on Russia by US-backed neo-Nazis, although there is evidence that Putin is ‘currently mirroring communism’. Fascism and the tyranny of 77 years ago.’ Image: Shutterstock / Reuters / Zuma Press Composite: Mark Kelly

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