Hong Kong people will ultimately win their fight for democracy, according to a leading activist investor.
David Webb told protesters not to worry about the small economic impact of their movement because its larger outcome will benefit Hong Kong in a more dynamic economy.
He criticized the government for “colluding” with the business elite at the expense of ordinary people, referencing a recent visit by 70 Hong Kong tycoons to Beijing where they received a high-level reception including a meeting with President Xi Jinping.
Webb said the democracy movement keeps Beijing on notice that Hong Kong people want real universal suffrage and a “fair nominating process”.
“We don’t need civic nomination if we can restore the nomination threshold to one-eighth of the committee, instead of 50 percent… Fairness is all that we really want,” he said.
In a blog post on Tuesday, Webb said the official response to the democracy campaign, such as attacks on the the source of its funding and accusations of foreign intervention, is “the last resort of a government that cannot defend its policies”.
He compared the the government in Hong Kong and mainland China to that of Argentina which he said blames its economic woes on the United States and a violent crime wave on Spiderman.
Webb questioned whether Chinese leaders truly believe an authoritarian system is better suited to China today than democracy would be.
“[if they do,] then it would have no fear of removing mainland reporting restrictions, removing censorship of the internet, and letting its own people debate the way forward and then conclude that the unelected government of the Communist Party of China is indeed a better way forward than democracy,” he said
“But that is not what the leadership truly believes, is it?”
Webb, 49, is a former investment banker who has lived in Hong Kong since 1991, according to his website.
He operates Webb-site Reports, an online service that “provides reports and independent opinions with a focus on Hong Kong affairs including corporate and economic governance, business, finance, investment, legal and regulatory affairs”.
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