Universal Suffrage in Hong Kong Acquires Chinese Characteristics

15-09-2014

China's legislature, the People's National Congress (NPC), has made recommendations about the 2017 direct election of Hong Kong's Chief Executive, foreseen in Hong Kong's constitution. Hong Kong's legislature could reject the recommendations, although the NPC has final say. China's authorities have warned that civil disobedience and protestors' calls to respect international standards may have serious consequences. The European Parliament has called for 'international standards' to be respected in Hong Kong's politics. The selection of candidates will be less free. A candidate will now need to gain the support of at least 50 % of the nomination committee, instead of the 12.5 % required in 2012. During public consultations, a number of initiatives were proposed to make the nomination process more democratic. Beijing has insisted that Hong Kong's administrators respect their nation and support China's jurisdiction over Hong Kong. The events in Hong Kong have been echoed in Macao. Beijing sees its relations with Hong Kong as a model for Taiwan, which it also hopes to incorporate into a 'one China, two systems' arrangement. In the past, the European Parliament has adopted positions on electoral reform in Hong Kong. The EP has stated that 'respect for the full autonomy of Hong Kong is one of the key issues upon which to base the development of future relations between the EU and China'.

China's legislature, the People's National Congress (NPC), has made recommendations about the 2017 direct election of Hong Kong's Chief Executive, foreseen in Hong Kong's constitution. Hong Kong's legislature could reject the recommendations, although the NPC has final say. China's authorities have warned that civil disobedience and protestors' calls to respect international standards may have serious consequences. The European Parliament has called for 'international standards' to be respected in Hong Kong's politics. The selection of candidates will be less free. A candidate will now need to gain the support of at least 50 % of the nomination committee, instead of the 12.5 % required in 2012. During public consultations, a number of initiatives were proposed to make the nomination process more democratic. Beijing has insisted that Hong Kong's administrators respect their nation and support China's jurisdiction over Hong Kong. The events in Hong Kong have been echoed in Macao. Beijing sees its relations with Hong Kong as a model for Taiwan, which it also hopes to incorporate into a 'one China, two systems' arrangement. In the past, the European Parliament has adopted positions on electoral reform in Hong Kong. The EP has stated that 'respect for the full autonomy of Hong Kong is one of the key issues upon which to base the development of future relations between the EU and China'.