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Time to sit down with Beijing and discuss a vote for all in Hong Kong

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Recent political developments in Hong Kong have been underpinned by two prominent undercurrents. The first is a general disillusionment with what is perceived to be continued encroachment by China’s Communist Party on Hong Kong’s autonomy. The second is rising frustration at the sheer ineptitude and futility of zealous localists who prioritise ideological posturing over pragmatic dialogue with the party.

Both undercurrents point to the value for Hong Kong to restart the search for a mutually palatable compromise with the Communist Party on universal suffrage. There is no reason why Hong Kong and mainland China’s interests should be viewed as a zero-sum game: granting Hong Kong universal suffrage in its choice of chief executive would, in fact, be in the interest of both Hong Kong and the party.

Such a move would serve China’s interests because it would foster a more stable and cohesive Hong Kong for China. At the core of many Hongkongers’ disillusionment with the status quo (barring those at the political fringes) lies a vibrant desire for the ability to truly self-govern, to take part in what democratic theorists term “semi-participatory democracy” – where they can hold their leader to account through open and transparent........

© South China Morning Post