Chinese Communist Party leader Wen Jiabo has asked Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Donald Tsang, to solve (quote) “deep-rooted conflicts” in Hong Kong. It came during Tsang’s visit to Beijing last week.
Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China, with a separate legal, political and economic system. And it enjoys some degree of democracy, a heritage it carries from its time as a British colony.
In recent months, though, there’s been more and more demonstrations by the Hong Kong people demanding greater democracy. This has clearly raised concerns in Beijing, which is trying to tighten its grip on the region. During the meeting last week, Wen told Tsang that he should (quote) “appropriately and effectively deal with political development to maintain Hong Kong's harmony and stability.”
At a forum on Sunday, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy legislator Albert Ho said Hong Kong’s “deep-rooted conflicts” stem from the communist regime’s tight control of its political system.
[Albert Ho, Democratic Party Legislator]
“The issue is that the political system is controlled by central government. In fact, it has taken away Hong Kong’s rights. It’s holding onto power, and will not face up to the calls of the Hong Kong people.”
Albert Ho says the recent waves of protest in Hong Kong are the people’s way of showing their dissatisfaction of the current situation.
On New Year’s Day, thousands of people marched through Hong Kong. They were demanding that democratic elections for Chief Executive be held in 2012. Currently the Chief Executive is elected by committee, not by mainstream voters. The Hong Kong government had said recently that, in line with a directive from the communist regime, free elections would not happen until 2017.