Restless Hong Kong will be big test of Xi Jinping's China dream

Democracy China's new leader has an expansive vision for the country, but a dictatorial one too. How will that steer his handling of Hong Kong?

Shortly after Xi Jinping became President of the People's Republic of China in 2012, he told a party meeting of the China Communist Party that the lessons of the Soviet Union's collapse should be heeded.

Primarily, the CCP should note the Soviet Union's failure to maintain Leninist discipline that had allowed "political rot, ideological heresy and military disloyalty to undermine the governing party".

It's difficult to see how this version of history could lead to any conclusion that carried the slightest risk of loosening the CCP's grip on Hong Kong.

Heightened risk would certainly be the case if Xi conceded to the demands of the protesters – that the whole Hong Kong electorate should decide the candidates who contest the Hong Kong leadership ballot in 2017, not the
hand-picked 1200 CCP-friendly voters proposed.

Even before achieving the presidency, Xi was extolling the necessity of party unity, loyalty, obedience and incorruptibility as being indispensible if it was to continue in power, command respect and, most important, maintain the legitimacy of its rule. Xi has demonstrated his own commitment to what has been called his "Chinese dream" with an anti-corruption drive that has surprised with its aggressive pursuit of high-profile figures.

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Max Walsh


Max Walsh was for many years one of Australia’s top economic and political commentators, highly regarded as a journalist, author and broadcaster. Throughout his career, Max was involved in all dimensions of the media industry, which has encompassed positions with two of Australia’s largest publishing companies and television networks.

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