Saturday, December 29, 2007

An Important "Inch"

"A timetable for obtaining universal suffrage has been set," Tsang said. "HK is entering a most important chapter of its constitutional history."
Beijing will allow HK to directly elect its leader by 2017 and all its lawmakers by 2020, the territory's chief executive said Saturday, immediately sparking criticism from democracy activists who sought a faster timetable.

Many had feared it would stop short of allowing full democracy in the booming financial capital, and the decision caught some political observers by surprise. But the decision did not please opposition democratic leaders, who have called for direct elections in the date of the next leadership race. "We are extremely disappointed, you could say we are furious, about this decision in ruling out 2012," Democrat Party chairman Albert Ho told government-run RTHK radio station. "The wishes of the Hong Kong people have been totally ignored."

The news is likely to be greeted positively by HK stock markets. Some battles cannot be won completely, even I am flabbergasted that Beijing would even give a proper date for full democratic elections. One should be wary of how much one is asking for - giving an inch is already a big thing if one were to consider the full spectrum of things China. It could have been a lot worse, much much worse. The economy of HK over the last 5 years showed how much HK is dependent on China - think before shouting from the rooftop.

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