This past Sunday — was the moment when the “one country, two systems” formula Hong Kong was promised on its return to Chinese sovereignty in 1997 was finally laid bare as unworkable.
This oped is interesting for some of the bright lines it seems to draw, although it seems to contradict itself in calling for foreign states to express solidarity with the protestors while also attacking China's assertion that foreign states are trying to manipulate the process behind the scenes. If the US spoke in favor of the democracy movement would China then use these statements against the protestors?
The problem with democracy is that its necessary but not sufficient for a free society. Democracy in some places in the middle east means totalitarian rule by religious extremists. What we need is liberal democracy - a democracy that is coupled with a respect for the individual rights of individual people.
Why isn't the US an outspoken advocate of that - everywhere?
Hong Kong is a country that respects individual rights, and with that ingredient, democracy can succeed there in a meaningful way.
Hong Kong People! - NYTimes.com