Beijing’s so-called “electoral reform” for the next Hong Kong chief executive is unsurprising but disappointing [“Open vote rejected for Hong Kong,” news, Sept. 1]. Its obsession with selecting someone who must “love China” — i.e., be acceptable to the Chinese Communist Party — belies its distrust of the very people it seeks to embrace. Hong Kong’s vibrant civil society ensures that whoever is elected would abide by the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s “mini-constitution” since 1997, and protect residents’ interests.
The loyalists’ claim that an imperfect reform is better than the status quo is flawed. For China’s pledge to uphold Hong Kong’s “high degree of autonomy” under “one country, two systems” to be credible, it should measure up to international standards, not its own past.
Since China originally envisioned “one country, two systems” for unifying with Taiwan, its Hong Kong scheme appeals even less to Taiwanese who have democratically elected their leaders since 1996.
Vincent Wei-cheng Wang, Richmond