Xi as demi-god portends ever darker times for ‘free’ Hong Kong

Asia Times Online reports: “In troubled Hong Kong, the virtual coronation of hardline Chinese President Xi Jinping last week in the Great Hall of the People cast a long, dark shadow over the special freedoms and autonomy the city has enjoyed in the 20 years since its handover from British to Chinese rule.

It’s no coincidence that Xi’s extraordinary ascension over the last five years has paralleled Hong Kong’s steady decline as a special administrative region of China operating under the ‘one country, two systems’ principle agreed to prior to the handover. While Hong Kong today remains, by far, the freest and most vibrant and efficient city in China, during Xi’s presidency it has repeatedly seen its autonomy violated, its individual freedoms eroded and its independent judiciary compromised.

Now that ‘Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era’ has been enshrined in the Chinese constitution at last week’s twice-a-decade party congress — an honor shared only by the revolutionary founder of the People’s Republic of China, Mao Zedong, and his celebrated successor, former paramount leader Deng Xiaoping – Xi’s near-absolute grip on power appears guaranteed for many years to come. These years promise to be tough ones for Hong Kong, a city of 7.4 million people, many of whom, despite their Chinese ethnicity, refuse to be labeled as Chinese…”

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