After China’s decision to limit democratic reform in Hong Kong, from my most recent piece — Nikkei Asia Review:-
Beijing only has to look at Iraq or Ukraine to see the pitfalls of failing to meet the aspirations of educated citizens or of introducing electoral democracy at too fast a pace. The consequences of getting it wrong in Hong Kong could be catastrophic. The territory’s democratic ambitions may well prove to be the biggest and most dangerous challenge in this phase of China’s global expansion…….Hong Kong is not a barren reef in the South or East China Seas where disputes can be tested without human cost. Its highly educated population cannot be gunned down and jailed if ambitions are restricted. Its pro-democracy movement will rightly continue to campaign, push and criticize. China must understand that it cannot risk challenging Hong Kong’s pragmatism to the point where people head for the barricades because they feel they have no other choice.