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"One Country, Two Systems" - the Carrie Lam Stress Variable in Hong Kong

The aspirations of the world's youth are the developmental building blocks of all societies. Even when such aspirations appear to contradict or to counter a governing authority, beneficial balances and compromises are usually formed with a view to maintaining the continuity of the structure that rules.

The ability to reach needed compromise and balance between government and its people defines a jurisdiction's government and its scope to effective authority and rule over the people. 

With that said: recent protests over a proposed extradition bill in Hong Kong, which China rules under a "one country, two systems" policy, should not be construed as any example of dissent of Chinese rule or against "one country, two systems", but  as an explicit opposition to the current local government in Hong Kong under its chief executive, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor. Lam, 62, was the Beijing supported candidate for chief executive, a post she has now held since 2017.

Returned to China by Great Britain in 1997, the past 22-years of Chinese rule in Hong Kong has not been without protests. Massive demonstrations for greater autonomy by Hong Kong's youth in 2014 triggered some reforms, yet the "one country, two systems" formula survived. But sadly, many pro-democracy activists were jailed and punished for their involvement in the Umbrella Movement. Until recently, the Umbrella Movement was the biggest of all protests in Hong Kong.

However, under Lam's leadership in Hong Kong, the numbers of protesters have swollen to over two million people turning out in the streets at one time of a population of seven million. The unprecedented number of demonstrators is indicative of the unpopularity of Lam and her execution of the job as chief executive of Hong Kong. 

Lam's claim yesterday that the protested extradition bill "is dead" in a last ditch effort to appease Hong Kong, will not likely satisfy protesters, who are demanding a full withdrawal of the legislation. Lam is damaged as a leader of Hong Kong. Her administration's imprisonment of Umbrella Movement demonstrators remains unpopular. Her government's disqualification of pro-democracy candidates in Hong Kong is also unpopular. Her raising of the age of threshold  for the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance welfare program has been very unpopular. Lam's responses to the current affairs of Hong Kong have often been taken to be somewhat condescending. And with her "total failure" to reconcile Hong Kong with the proposed extradition bill, Lam's continued leadership in Hong Kong must be at the pleasure of Beijing and not of the local people.

Therefore, it is not Hong Kong's protesters that offer any threat to the "one country, two systems" policy; that threat and danger rest with Carrie Lam and her local government. Hong Kong's government under Carrie Lam represents a very crucial stress variable to China's continuity of ruling Hong Kong under its "one country, two systems" policy.