People's Daily commentary hints at building firewall for HK elections

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On Tuesday, Jan. 12, 微信公众号 “人民日报评论” the official account of the commentary desk of the People’s Daily on WeChat released a scathing criticism (CHN) against Hong Kong’s current election system, saying it became “a tool for bad actors who undercut national security and disrupt Hong Kong’s prosperity.”

The commentary also prescribed a more stringent built-in firewall to fend off “disrupters of Hong Kong.”

The commentary itself highlighted some sentences in boldface and you will find them below.

The commentary explicitly expressed that there are flaws with Hong Kong’s current election system, asking

香港选举,何以成了一些危害国家安全、破坏香港繁荣稳定的反中乱港分子的“工具”?

How did Hong Kong elections became a tool for anti-China, HK-disrupting actors who undercut national security and disrupt Hong Kong’s prosperity?

The commentary also went on to list a series of actions that

已经严重背弃了选举公平公正的原则,是对香港特别行政区宪制秩序的严重挑战,是对香港民主选举制度的干扰和破坏,也是对香港基本法和香港国安法的挑衅。

have seriously betrayed the principle of fair and just elections, challenged Hong Kong SAR’s constitutional order, disrupted and sabotaged Hong Kong’s democratic election system and have been a provocation against Hong Kong’s Basic Law and the Hong Kong national security law.

The commentary, in directly calling out outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a couple of U.S. funded NGOs, said

更让人忧心的是,外部反华势力早已盯上香港选举,企图介入其中,借以操控香港政治事务,谋取自身利益。

More worrying still, is that foreign anti-China forces have long sought to get involved in Hong Kong’s elections, to interfere with Hong Kong’s political affairs for their own gains.

选举,本为选出服务市民的公仆,现如今却选出了外部势力“乱港遏华”的马前卒,如何不令人愤慨?

Elections should have yielded public servants that serve the city’s people, but now the elections have been won by pawns of foreign forces, how is that not enraging?

“爱国爱港者治港,反中乱港者出局”是香港选举必须遵循的原则和底线。

Hong Kong’s election must adheres to the principle and red line of “those who love the country and Hong Kong shall manage Hong Kong, those who are anti-China and disrupts Hong Kong shall be out of the game.“

In the last paragraph, the commentary laid out perhaps the most key message:

对于那些企图操控选举,甚至勾结外部势力干预选举的反中乱港分子,除了依法严厉打击,也要在制度上全面筑牢屏障,不给反中乱港者窃取特别行政区管治权以可趁之机。

For those who plans to manipulate the elections, or collude with foreign powers to interfere with elections, aside from cracking down on them in accordance to law, there should also erect a comprehensive barrier in the system, to deny chances to these people of stealing the power of governance of Hong Kong SAR.

The commentary coincided with a Reuters exclusive story that quoted sources - including one who Reuters described as "a senior Chinese official" - as saying that Hong Kong’s election may “face reforms.”

Following the commentary, which is not found in the People’s Daily printed edition, the Hong Kong-based 大公报 Ta Kung Pao newspaper, published a report (CHN) entitled

政界倡选举设审查机制 DQ乱港分子

Political sector advocates establishing a review mechanism for elections, DQ (disqualifying) Hong Kong disruptive elements

The Ta Kung Pao report went on to quote multiple experts and political figures, with detailed suggestions, calling for

“爱国者治港”是一条不可逾越的底线

"Patriots governing Hong Kong" a bottom line that cannot be crossed

Penned by Yang Liu, a long-time contributor to Pekingnology, with minor editing from Zichen Wang, Pekingnology’s founder.

Yang Liu recently initiated his own newsletter Beijing Channel, where he just published Foreign aid with Chinese characteristics, as told in Govt whitepaper.

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