Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The (business) People's Republic of Hong Kong

I am fascinated by these remarks by Leung Chun-ying, Hong Kong's Beijing-appointed leader. It is rare for a leader to say so openly that he is against more democracy in government because that would mean that the government would be more responsive to the needs most citizens. It is also interesting that he sees keeping Hong Kong "business friendly" as being directly contrary to a system that would require politicians to talk to the "half of the people in Hong Kong who earn less than $1,800 a month."1

No doubt there is a lot of fear that poor people will have a voice in government among the oligarchs of the world. But Oligarchs in democracies are well-practiced at disguising their concerns in the language of democratic values. It is refreshing for Leung to just say what he really thinks--that the private business interest of the elite are more important than having a government that is responsive to the needs of most people. It also goes to show how far the current regime in Beijing has moved from its communist roots.

1-I assume he is using Hong Kong Dollars here. $1,800 HKD equals approximately $232 US.