Monday, May 31, 2004

[HK Politics] The Washington Post reports that former President Jiang Zemin may be behind the recent hard line anti-democracy stance taken by the Communists against Hong Kong:

"China's former president, Jiang Zemin, is strengthening his hold on power by promoting a hard-line approach toward Hong Kong and Taiwan, making it more difficult for the country's new leaders to consider concessions on either issue ... Jiang and his allies are trying to preserve economic benefits for their power base in the Shanghai region ... Jiang also held a series of meetings with local officials, academics and businessmen in Shenzhen, located just across the border from Hong Kong, to discuss growing demands for direct elections ... Jiang outlined a firm response by Beijing and referred to a statement by Deng that 'patriots must form the main body' of Hong Kong's leaders ...'They're afraid of democracy in Hong Kong,' said a person who met with Jiang in Guangdong. 'They're afraid if people in the mainland see that Hong Kong can elect its own leaders, they will begin to ask why they can't do the same.'"