The so-called June 22 electronic voting of electoral reform launched by Hong Kong's opposition groups started Friday. It was reported yesterday that more than 600,000 people took part in the unofficial referendum, a larger vote than public opinion had predicted. Opposition members are entranced, and Western media outlets are scrambling to reporting the news, holding without exception that this vote has succeeded in wielding mountainous pressure on Beijing and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government.
The opposition groups and their overseas supporters have overestimated the effect of an illegal farce. Neither China's central government nor the Hong Kong government will admit the results of the poll. It would be ridiculous to determine the direction of Hong Kong's political reform with this informal referendum.
As a special administrative region of China, Hong Kong can't launch any referendum without the authority of the central government. The country would fall into tumult if all regions conducted similar referendums.
In particular, the electronic poll by Hong Kong's opposition groups seems like a joke where it is highly possible to cheat. Who knows how many votes were fabricated?
Throughout the world, we have never heard of making major political decisions via an electronic ballot. This "invention" is tinged with mincing ludicrousness.
Western media claims that China's central government is facing enormous pressure from the international community because of this poll. However, the West has kept imposing political pressure on Beijing every year. And they will still make waves even if Hong Kong is tranquil. And whenever the West pressures China, is there a positive correlation between the eventual effect and the degree of the pressure?
Hong Kong's opposition groups will find their efforts to convince most of the electorate to be in vain. Even if they can deceive more than half of Hongkongers, Beijing will never compromise on sovereignty-related issues. The simplest reason is that the Basic Law reflects the will of the whole nation as well, and therefore more than 1.3 billion people have the right to speak on Hong Kong's political reform.
We believe in Hong Kong's rationality as a mature society and a successful financial center. The opposition group will gain ground for some time but there is a cap. Mainstream Hong Kong society will not blindly follow opposition members over decisions concerning Hong Kong's stability and prosperity.
The opposition groups can express their will in a legitimate way and pursue maximum political interests within the framework of the Basic Law. Nevertheless, they should refrain from a gambling mentality by believing that they could create overwhelming pressure on Beijing.
The referendum is actually a game where the opposition groups are too deep in their illusion. They should be sober-minded and realize that they are ineligible to object to the Basic Law.