Hong Kong "elections" swept by pro-Beijing candidates

(34 miles)

You can file this article under the category of headlines that surprised absolutely nobody anywhere. Hong Kong held its latest set of “elections” this weekend and the results were sad but completely predictable. Virtually every one of the meager number of elected seats remaining on the Legislative Council (LegCo) were captured by members of the hilariously named Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong party. The name of the party is offensive since it is not only uniformly opposed to anything resembling a democratic process, but the members of the party must be approved by Beijing and the Chinese Communist Party before they can register or run as a candidate. And yet they somehow won all of the races by a wide margin. Anyone who has been following the news out of Hong Kong for the past couple of years won’t be the least bit surprised by this result. (Associated Press)

Pro-Beijing candidates dominated Hong Kong’s legislative elections, beating out moderates and independents in the city’s first public poll after Beijing passed a resolution to amend the city’s election laws.

Candidates loyal to Beijing won a majority of the seats in Sunday’s election after the laws were changed to ensure that only pro-Beijing “patriots” could run the city.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said during a news conference Monday she was “satisfied” with the election despite a 30.2% voter turnout — the lowest since the British handed Hong Kong over to China in 1997.

As noted in the excerpt above, Leader Carrie Lam pronounced the elections to be satisfactory, despite the fact that less than one-third of the theoretically eligible voters turned out to vote. This was also unsurprising because Lam is little more than a mouthpiece for Xi Jinping, a fact that has kept her in power for several years. In fact, her next move is scheduled to be a trip to Beijing to provide a “duty report” to the central Chinese government on the results of the elections. Delivering news of anything other than a total victory for mainland China would no doubt have a negative impact on her career prospects.

All of the recent changes made to the government of Hong Kong under China’s new “national security law” made this outcome a foregone conclusion. First of all, the number of seats on the LegCo that are decided by elections was reduced to 20 out of 90. The other 70 are all appointed by officials approved by Beijing. A special council was created to evaluate everyone who attempted to file to run in an election based on whether or not they qualified as “patriots.” The short translation of that word is that the candidates must swear fealty to the CCP.

A similar process was applied to those who wished to register to vote. Anyone with a history of pro-democracy advocacy was eliminated. In other words, only people who oppose democracy were allowed to vote and the only candidates they had to choose from came from similar stock. The pro-democracy Democratic Party of Hong Kong fielded no candidates this week for the first time in 24 years. What did you think was going to happen?

Carrie Lam added insult to injury when she declared that the recent changes have gotten the city “back on track” and that Hong Kong is now representative of the slogan, ‘one country, two systems.’ The “one country” is, of course, a repetition of China’s mantra regarding any breakaway provinces. The “two systems” line is probably technically accurate because it is a separate system of voting. But that system is now completely under the thumb of the CCP.

The former democratic republic of Hong Kong is completely gone at this point and pro-democracy advocates are already being locked up for lengthy terms in prison. There is no viable path to turning the clock back. Anyone who values freedom that is still stuck in Hong Kong should leave immediately. The British are still offering free visas and citizenship for anyone who wants to flee to the United Kingdom. People should be taking them up on that offer while it’s still possible to escape.