“Come, choose one. But, choose wisely.” A Chinese official (who bears a resemblance to President Xi Jinping) holds two red puppets up from behind the controls of his tank, beckoning an Occupy Central activist to choose between the identical candidates. On August 31, Beijing announced its decision on the 2017 election of Hong Kong’s chief executive—the promised “universal suffrage” will be granted in 2017 and beyond, extolled state-run media, but the electable candidates will be limited to those approved by a pro-Beijing committee. Just prior to the announcement, as pro-democracy activists were gearing up for fresh protests, armored vehicles were spotted patrolling Kowloon, much to the alarm of residents.
On the side of the tank, the character for “Party” (党) is barely visible behind stickers reading “Democratic Faction” (民主派). In the background, Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou and Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chair Tsai Ing-wen shield themselves from encroaching mainland influence with a DPP flag. President Ma Ying-jeou has publicly offered his support for universal suffrage in Hong Kong, and ties between activists from HK and Taiwan have recently been gaining strength.
Untitled cartoon by Rebel Pepper (变态辣椒)