Hong Kong, Beijing need electoral reform all can accept

Whether or not protestors remain on the streets, Hong Kong and Beijing need a mutually acceptable election solution to keep my adopted hometown a vibrant world city that serves the interests of its residents and mainland China. The rest of world, where local and national governments often have divergent political outlooks but work together for the common good, shows it’s possible. Moreover, that’s the essence of “one country, two systems.” Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s performance, telling protestors there’s “zero chance” for changing Beijing’s proposal that will thwart real representative government, graphically demonstrates how crucial it is for Hong Kong be able to choose a leader that stands up for its interests, not only Beijing’s. Good faith and smart people on all sides must make it happen before Hong Kong’s government makes more mistakes.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a blogger for Forbes and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.