August 02, 2005

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How HK Democracy Was Foiled, 53 Years Ago

You may want to have a look today at a post on my own site, "Blogging... Walk the Talk" that discusses how a bold initiative to create democracy in Hong Kong after World War II was derailed. Governor Young's plan to introduce a broad franchise amongst the Chinese population was axed by his successor Governor Grantham, owing to fears of Communist subversion and inviting the ire of Mao during the Cold War (specifically, due to the Korean War when the invasion of Hong Kong had to be considered a real possibility).

But had democracy been introduced in Hong Kong then, as it was throughout much of the British Empire during decocolonization, what would have happened? Would it have been successful? Would democratic principles have been reluctantly agreed to by Chinese signatories to the Basic Law? Or would Mao have invaded and brought Hong Kong's nascent postwar prosperity to a complete halt? Read on...

posted by HK Dave on 08.02.05 at 11:24 AM in the Hong Kong democracy/politics category.


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Interesting topic.
Overall, democracy or not, it's just a handle for British interests.
By the way, there is no reason to suspect that Mao would invade Hongkong just because of democracy. Mao was never afraid of it. Don't forget, Mao defeated KMT by advocating democracy.

posted by: lin on 08.03.05 at 03:52 AM [permalink]

Hi Lin,

Appreciate your comment! However, it does seem that the British were warned off of introducing democracy to Hong Kong and told to keep it a Colony or that there would be trouble. That's certainly what the papers seem to indicate, and was a reason why Britain chose to maintain the antiquated colonial systems in Hong Kong when they were dismantled everywhere else...

posted by: HK Dave on 08.03.05 at 07:33 AM [permalink]

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