As stated in Hong Kong Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, by 2007 Hong Kong people have the rights to elect their own leader, i.e. the Chief Executive. In 2004, the National People’s Congress of Communist China interpreted Basic Law to deny such rights, and in 2007 the NPC once again denied the universal suffrage of Chief Executive of Hong Kong. This constitute a breach of contract (i.e. Sino-British Joint Declaration). Nothing has changed so far. The “political reform” proposed by the Hong Kong SAR government clearly shown that PRC has not intention to demolish functional constituency (members of this constituency are not elected by all the people of Hong Kong, but a small group of so-called elites). The Democratic Party engaged in a closed door negotiation with the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government and voted for this proposal which essentially represents a decline of democracy in Hong Kong.
With the background above, the people of Hong Kong are increasingly displeased with China’s continuous interference of Hong Kongers’ rights and the hindrance of Hong Kongers’ demand for a democratic society.
In January 2013, Benny Yiu Ting Tai, an associate professor at The University of Hong Kong, announced his “Occupy Central” proposal. The proposal (as it develops over time) includes 7 steps: 10,000 participants signing declaration (taking a vow and pledge that they’re willing to take it to the street), live TV broadcast of discussion, electronic voting on formula (of universal suffrage), referendum on formula, Super-Seat Legislative Council member resign and trigger another referendum, legal and affect-no-social-order movement, occupy Central in July 2014.
The notion Occupy Central received a lot of attention, and supports of the public when it was first announced (without any of the above steps). However, as Professor Tai’s theory develops, debates arise – will this actually work?
Hong Kong has been fighting for universal suffrage of its own Chief Executive for a long time. The bottom line for any democratic election is that candidates running for the leader of a society election will not be sift from a number of candidates by any sort of committee and finally be elected by the people – 1 person 1 vote. All Legislative Council members are elected by the people, again 1 person 1 vote.
The pro-Peking (PRC) individuals jumped out to defend China’s position recently as the debate heats up. There are reports and rumours saying that there will be a “pre-election” before the universal suffrage in 2017, meaning a selection of candidates will be elected by a committee controlled by the PRC. The PRC government officials also said that “the CE must love China and love Hong Kong”, putting China in front of Hong Kong, the place the CE will govern, and setting “love China” as a criteria is simply not acceptable nor necessary. The same official also said that “PRC will not accept a CE that is not patriotic” – this means that Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong is only a myth. Not to mention the fact that PRC as a nation is hijacked by the China Communist Party, if one is not loyal to the Party means that he/she is not patriotic.
Regina Ip (former Security Secretary in Hong Kong who pushed for Article 23) even said “pre-election” exists in any democratic society. This is complete rubbish – the so-called “pre-election” in democratic societies are elections each political party hold to choose the representative from the party to run for office.