Democracy is road kill on China’s financial highway

China has stamped on Hong Kong’s democratic aspirations even as it embraces financial liberalisation, moves that secure the city’s future as the financial highway into mainland China.

China has stamped on Hong Kong’s democratic aspirations even as it embraces financial liberalisation, moves that secure the city’s future as the financial highway into mainland China and limit its political significance as a semi-autonomous region.

China said on August 31 it would allow Hong Kong residents to vote for their leader from 2017 but only from a shortlist vetted by Beijing loyalists. Pro-democracy groups have vowed civil disobedience but increasingly acknowledged that this was as much flexibility as they could win.

The clash comes as China speeds up the opening of its capital account. China’s leadership wants a stable Hong Kong to achieve the delicate...

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