Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Extending sovereignty

Would you classify this as a soft power extension of Chinese sovereignty? Or is it a coercive use of power? How are these acts related to Xi's extensions of power and control within China?

Why Did Beijing Slap Down Hong Kong Separatists? To Make a Point.
When President Xi Jinping of China meets foreign leaders, he tends to recite talking points in a dutiful monotone, diplomats say. But when challenges to China’s sovereignty come up — like protests in Hong Kong — he roars to life.

“He read flatly from the script,” one Western official said of such a meeting. “But when it got to China’s core interests, these disputes, he put down his notes and spoke passionately.”

For anyone puzzling over why China reacted so swiftly and severely to block two pro-independence politicians from taking their seats in Hong Kong’s legislature, Mr. Xi’s expansive idea of sovereignty is a good place to start…

Yau Wai-china
The politicians, Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-ching, were elected to the Hong Kong Legislative Council in September on a pro-independence platform. In taking their oaths last month, they substituted a word for China that is widely seen as derogatory, and Ms. Yau added a common obscenity…

A punitive response was in character for Mr. Xi, who has waged a blistering campaign against corruption that has jailed thousands of officials…

[U]nder the agreement that returned Hong Kong to China from Britain in 1997, Beijing agreed to allow Hong Kong to maintain its separate system for 50 years.

Beijing has long treated Hong Kong as a worrisome bridgehead that allows politically toxic ideas, books and people to seep into the adjoining mainland. But until Mr. Xi took office, China’s leaders were less inclined to intervene in the city…

That reticence has evaporated over the last two years…

[D]efenders of China’s position said its leaders would not back down as they have done before.

“Some people have said the People’s Congress should exercise self-restraint, that we shouldn’t use powers to their utmost,” Li Fei, a deputy secretary general of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, told reporters on Monday. “We say that the powers must be used.”

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