I have long argued that China’s attacks on Taiwanese democracy and independence are not as much about Taiwan as they are about keeping Hong Kong, Tibet, Xinjiang, and other regions of China under control. This Washington Post article shows how tense things have gotten in Hong Kong:
China’s central government has issued a string of increasingly blunt reminders that it retains the final say over how Hong Kong is governed, seeking to douse activists’ hopes for rapid accession to full democracy in the former British colony.
The latest warning came Monday in the form of an interview attributed to a senior Chinese official in which he warned that Beijing would be forced to act if the Legislative Council gained a pro-democracy majority in upcoming elections. Wen Wei Po, a newspaper that relays official Chinese views in Hong Kong, said the unnamed official declined to specify whether that meant dissolving the 60-member legislature, leaving the possibility open and reinforcing the gravity of his warning.
“I have a knife,” Wen Wei Po quoted him as saying. “Usually it is not used, but now you force me to use this knife.”
When Bush and Chirac support China’s position on Taiwan, they undermine efforts to promote democracy within China. But, then again, Bush’s plan to force quick elections in Iraq shows he never cared about Democracy in the first place. If it wasn’t about democracy, and it wasn’t about WMDs, what was it about? Not oil? Couldn’t be…
UPDATE: More from Nathan Newman on Bush’s hypocrisy.