Hong Kong Candidates Called to Toe Beijing Line, Shunning Debate and Challenging China

HONG KONG — In the run-up to the Hong Kong legislative elections on Sunday, the candidates have largely avoided debates, shied away from discussing key issues and refrained from challenging the ruling party..

This is because all 90 candidates have been vetted by Beijing and are supportive of the government, leaving no room for a real contest of ideas..

The lack of debate has left voters with little choice but to support the pro-establishment candidates, who are widely expected to win a majority of seats in the legislature..

The elections are seen as a litmus test of Beijing’s grip on Hong Kong, which was promised a degree of autonomy when it was handed over from British to Chinese rule in 1997..

But in recent years, Beijing has tightened its control over the city, cracking down on dissent and pro-democracy activists..

The legislative elections are the latest example of this, with Beijing ensuring that only candidates who are loyal to the government are allowed to run..

This has led to a situation where the elections are no longer a contest of ideas, but a rubber-stamping of Beijing’s preferred candidates..

The lack of debate has also made it difficult for voters to make informed decisions about the candidates..

Without hearing from the candidates on the issues, voters are left with little to go on but their personal impressions and the candidates’ campaign materials..

This is not a healthy situation for a democracy, and it is a sign that Beijing’s grip on Hong Kong is tightening..

The Hong Kong legislative elections are supposed to be a democratic process, but the reality is that they are anything but..

The candidates are all pro-establishment, the issues are not being debated, and the voters have little choice but to support the government’s preferred candidates..

This is a far cry from the democracy that Hong Kong was promised, and it is a sign of the increasing authoritarianism of the Chinese government..

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