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Hong Kong Chief: Can't Have Democracy Or The Poor Will Have A Say

Clearly, Leung Chung-Ying, Hong Kong's embattled leader, did not get the Jean-Claude Juncker memo that "when things are bad, you have to lie." As The NY Times reports, Leung - rather stunningly - said overnight that it was unacceptable to allow his successors to be chosen in open elections, in part because doing so would risk giving poorer residents a dominant voice in politics. Instead, rather unsurprisingly, he backed Beijing's position that all candidates to succeed him as chief executive, the top post in the city, must be screened by a "broadly representative" nominating committee appointed by Beijing, and offered several thinly veiled warnings on Monday that it was risky for the protesters to try the patience of the national authorities.

 

 

As The NY Times reports,

...

 

Mr. Leung’s blunt remarks reflect a widely held view among the Hong Kong elite that the general public cannot be trusted to govern the city well. His statements appeared likely to draw fresh criticism from the democratic opposition, and to inflame the street struggle over Hong Kong’s political future.

 

Representatives of his government are scheduled to hold televised talks with student leaders of the protests, who have said that Mr. Leung was defending a political system stacked against ordinary citizens.

 

Mr. Leung said that if “you look at the meaning of the words ‘broadly representative,’ it’s not numeric representation.”

 

“You have to take care of all the sectors in Hong Kong as much as you can,” he said, “and if it’s entirely a numbers game and numeric representation, then obviously you would be talking to half of the people in Hong Kong who earn less than $1,800 a month.”

 

“Then you would end up with that kind of politics and policies,” he continued.

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Finally, we also note, Leung comments on the drivers of the pro-democracy movement...

He also raised again the suspicions of his government and of Beijing that “foreign forces” had played a role in the street protests, although he declined repeatedly to identify those forces or provide any examples.

 

“I didn’t overhear it in a teahouse, and it’s something that concerns us,” he said. “It’s something that we need to deal with.”

*  *  *
Mr. Leung offered several thinly veiled warnings on Monday that it was risky for the protesters to try the patience of the national authorities.