When its own democracy fails, why still try to sell it to HK? Senior Chinese policy advisor fights back against Western countries' criticism over HK election
Published: Dec 27, 2021 10:46 AM
Wang Zhenmin

Wang Zhenmin

Top Chinese policy advisors on Hong Kong affairs slammed the recent criticism made by some Western-led blocs such as the G7, Five Eyes and EU over Hong Kong's electoral system reform and the Legislative Council (LegCo) election, saying such criticism only reflects the old-fashioned colonial mindset of the West while they face severe crises in their own democracies. 

"What are they worried about? I truly don't understand," Wang Zhenmin, head of the Institute of State Governance and director of the Centre for Hong Kong and Macao Studies at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times at a press conference on Monday about Hong Kong's democratic progress under "one country, two systems" when asked about his comments on the recent statements issued by some Western countries over the Hong Kong LegCo election. 

"Electoral reform is helping Hong Kong become better, isn't that something we all want? If they have concerns about it, their concerns stem from ulterior motives," Wang said. 

After the LegCo election concluded on December 20, Five Eyes countries, the EU and G7 voiced "concern" over the outcome, calling it an "erosion of democratic elements." 

For a long time now, some Western countries have believed that there is only one set of democratic practices, and if others do not adopt their method, it is undemocratic or not good enough, Wang said. "This only reflects their bias and prejudice… Some Western politicians even tried to impose their own democratic model in Hong Kong, which shows they have the 'mindset of a gangster,'" Wang noted. 

Wang, along with other senior experts on Hong Kong affairs including Han Dayuan, Basic Law Committee member and professor at the Renmin University of China, and Zhi Zhenfeng, a legal expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, attended the press conference to further elaborate on the release of a white paper last week titled "Hong Kong: Democratic Progress Under the Framework of One Country, Two Systems."

In academic circles, we used to worship the Western-style of democracy, but many have stopped supporting it after many years of practice exposed its own problems, hypocrisies and dangers. It's a type of democracy "which is not perfect at all," Wang said. 

The new electoral system has proven to be a good system with broad representation and balanced participation. Conversely, past democratic practices have also proven that Western-style democracy did not work out in Hong Kong, experts said. 

"Look at their failed governance, how could the US be a model of democracy?" Wang asked in response to a question raised by the Global Times. He also referred to the chaotic scenes occurring amid the presidential election in the US last year and "beautiful sight" of the Capitol Hill riot. 

The white paper on Hong Kong's democratic progress was also the latest document on democracy issued by the Chinese government after it published a white paper on China's whole-process people's democracy on December 4 and another report exposing the deficiencies and abuses of democracy in the US a day later.

"We've all seen disasters in places that were forced to accept the US-led Western style of democracy, with endless human tragedies and wars, why doesn't the West reflect on such consequences and still tries to 'sell' such a model to Hong Kong?" the senior policy advisor asked.