Yesterday the local Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) argued that Hong Kong was more than ready for democracy.

The council’s consulting committee yesterday held a conference on Hong Kong and cross-strait development, and Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Director Tsai Jy-jon (蔡之中) made public the conclusions reached.

“Although the selection of Hong Kong’s chief executive has the form of competition, it is still a selection within a `small circle’ and `birdcage democracy.’ It cannot break the political structure that China has imposed on Hong Kong,” Tsai said.

China is worried that universal suffrage would increase Hong Kong’s autonomy and decrease identification with China. Beijing claims open democracy would affect social stability and economic development, and has postponed its pledge to implement universal suffrage.

“In fact, Hong Kong’s society is stable, its economy is prosperous and it has sophisticated legal systems. Hong Kong is totally qualified for implementing full democracy,” Tsai said. “China simply ignores Hong Kong’s conditions.”

Tsai said that about 70 percent of Hong Kong’s people have said they want to directly elect their leader before 2012, and the audiences for the two televised debates between Tsang and Leong were unprecedented.

Today ESWN posted a response from the conservative Hong Kong rag Ming Pao on democracy here in Taiwan.

But Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council believes that Hong Kong is ripe for universal suffrage and, if implemented, the effects would be just as good as (if not better than) Taiwan. But precisely because the ruling party in Taiwan (Democratic Progressive Party) is pushing the Taiwan independence route which is causing longlasting tension across the strait, the various elections in Taiwan have created a negative impression to the Hong Kong people. The chaos has worried certain Hong Kong people. If Hong Kong were to realize the same political democracy in Taiwan, there would be chaos and instability.

The piece is simply a bit of anti-democracy drivel, the kind common in right-wing Chinese thinking — blaming the DPP for causing cross-strait tensions to rise, and attacking democracy as the font of chaos in Taiwan. These two are also staples of Chinese propaganda attacks on Taiwan. The commentator also accused the DPP of “kidnapping democracy” in Taiwan, though in reality, democracy in Taiwan is a creation of the politicians now in the DPP. Fact is, it is now 2007, we’ve had democracy for more than decade, and the currency is stable, the economy is growing, people travel and comment freely, and social issues are openly and sometimes even robustly debated. The last few elections saw no instability of any kind — and the last time around, “chaos” was created solely by the pro-China parties. To the kind of mind that inhabits Ming Pao, though, Taiwan’s lively and free society will always be nothing more than anarchy. Sad.