Deputy Dean of the Department for Political Science of the Moscow State University of Foreign Affairs, Igor Okunev, shared his views in a brief interview with Pravda.Ru on whether there is an American trace in the current events in Hong Kong.
"Student protests started in Hong Kong on September 26, and the Chinese leadership says that the protests were orchestrated from abroad. However, Western media believe that this discontent is caused by short-sighted policy of China, and the fact that in Hong Kong, people do not like the mainland Chinese. It is also said that the warnings about uncontrolled immigration that may become real should the election system be altered seriously frightened the locals. Is this true? Are there social tensions in Hong Kong?"
"This is a very strong way of formulating the problem. There's no animosity there, but there is the electoral reform issue. There were different schemes, in which mainland China would appoint the leader. This variant does not suit the Hong Kong residents, because the political culture that has developed on the island, stipulates for the participation of the population in the election process at a much greater extent. Therefore, this is a political issue."
"The protesters demand the current head of the city should step down. According to them, he is personally responsible for beatings of students and for openly helping Beijing put an end to independence of Hong Kong. They also say that the law of "three candidates" kills their freedom of choice. Are these requirements fair?"
"I think that the protests will end and requirements will grow stronger - to remove the head and hold him accountable for the protests. Hopefully, the peaceful process of negotiations will come next, as a result of which they will be able to find a compromise, because mainland China is not ok with absolutely free full-fledged elections. The protesters will not accept it if it is mainland China that will be eligible to appoint the head of Hong Kong. There should be a compromise, unless the protests last too long or lead to violent actions."
"Can China be the next victim of the United States in its crusade to destabilize governments? The Americans have tried to stage protests in Brazil and Argentina."
"No, this is an internal matter. I think the United States is least interested in destabilizing the situation in Hong Kong, because this is the economic gateway of China. Any destabilization in Hong Kong will send stock exchanges down and jeopardize the cooperation between the West and China. Revolution is possible when a government of a country has no feedback with its people, or when they run the measures that raise strong discontent among the population. Without an internal social crisis, no one can make a revolution anywhere."
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