Date
23 October 2017
Cyd Ho presents the editorial to Li Fei, a move that has caught the imagination of mainland netizens. Photo: HKEJ
Cyd Ho presents the editorial to Li Fei, a move that has caught the imagination of mainland netizens. Photo: HKEJ

Blast from the past: Cyd Ho and a 70-year-old Xinhua editorial

A Labor Party lawmaker and a 70-year-old Xinhua Daily editorial have become a talking point among China’s netizens.

Cyd Ho Sau-lan gave her prized clipping, albeit a photocopy, of the Communist Party mouthpiece to Li Fei, chairman of the Basic Law Committee.

She was with the pan-democrats when they met the top Beijing official in Shenzhen last week. 

The editorial dated February 2, 1944 was back then championing universal suffrage in China. The People’s Republic of China was established by the Communist Party in 1949.

It said “the rights to elect and be elected are the same, and any election that has screening is using voters as tools for election”.

Ho’s gift to Li is aimed at criticizing Beijing for fooling Hong Kong citizens about universal suffrage.

Hong Kong’s media did not have a lot of coverage on Ho’s action on that day but focused on other pan-democrats.

However, the episode has become a heated topic among mainland netizens, with Ho gaining a large following on Sina’s weibo.

“Pay my respects to Labor Party’s Ho Sau-lan,” one netizen said.

Some said the clipping is “a slap in Li’s face” and he should be ashamed.

Some even posted editorials of Xinhua Daily in 1944 that touched on elections.

In an October 3 edition, the newspaper said: “Letting the public elect their own leader is very usual and it’s quite natural for democratic countries like the United States. However, the idea may sound unusual or even exotic for those nations that are undemocratic.”

In its November 15 edition, Xinhua editorialized: “Leaders like Lincoln or Roosevelt are not afraid of democratic criticism and the expression of public opinion. They are not worried that these could affect their position and instead they firmly support these democratic systems. They are the people chosen by the people.”

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JZ/JP/JL

Freelance journalist

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