Beijing Splits Hong Kong’s Pro-Democracy Forces

From Asia Sentinel:

Clever divide-and-rule tactics by Beijing have split the pro-democracy camp in Hong Kong and assured passage of what passes for political reform in the territory. The now-certain passage of the electoral changes, which only marginally enlarge the franchise, represents a victory for chief executive Donald Tsang, who has devoted massive government resources to trying to drum up popular backing for the proposals.

It is doubtful that Tsang had much success with the populace — and even less when he appeared in a debate on the subject with Audrey Eu, who leads the Civic Party which continues to reject the proposal. Even Tsang himself acknowledges he was trounced.

But the barrage of propaganda was effective with the current leadership of the Democratic Party, the largest and oldest of the pro-democracy groups, who felt that a little progress was better than nothing. The new reform package is only a little more democratic than ones rejected by the legislature in 2005. Although pro-government members, mostly drawn from business groups, are in the majority in the legislature, any constitutional changes require a two thirds majority. In 2005 the pro-democracy groups were united in rejecting the reform as totally inadequate.

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