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Democracy Awakens

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It is one thing for international media to report on the ongoing protests in Hong Kong, but there are many who are attempting to proactively influence events. Understandably, in a country like China, most newspapers and other media toe the official line, while some in Hong Kong can – at considerable peril – maintain an independent line. Unfortunately, foreign media is either trying to undermine the protestors, or instigate governments around the world to ‘assist’ the protestors in various ways. (This is very much like the political stances being adopted in the case of Kashmir.) Every country has its own political culture. China, being a totalitarian ‘one-party’ state, which is taking on an oligarchic form, is extremely paranoid about foreign influences on its society. The country is also seeing the beginnings of a major economic crisis, which it would like to conceal from everybody. By its very nature, it is afraid of western style democracy, which it has to endure in Hong Kong but would not like creeping into the mainland. Its own growing foreign educated citizenry, many the offspring of the Communist Par ty bosses, are seen as potentially ‘open’ to changes in the system, so the panic is even greater. As they are dealing with basically racially their own in Hong Kong, the Chinese have shown exemplary restraint, thus far, in dealing with the crisis. This should be appreciated by the rest of the world. It will not do at all to make the protestors seem the agents of the western democracies, as some within the media are trying to do. It will weaken the moral authority of those seeking change. And those urging foreign intervention will only confirm the suspicions of the Chinese in this regard. It is a crucial stage in China’s history and an opportunity for both sides to forge an understanding. If President Xi Jinping has evolved beyond the concept of ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ enough not to think of western style democracy as merely of ‘bourgeoisie’ nature, he may be open to relaxing the hold over Hong Kong enough to permit the evolution of a system particular to China. It may not be quite what the protestors might want but, if done in good faith, it could lead on to a more workable system. It is only possible though if other countries will keep their noses out of the process and let things happen by themselves.