The Observer view on China’s rule over Hong Kong | Observer editorial

It’s a strange kind of democracy that views umbrellas as subversive. It’s an odd form of people’s government that beats and incarcerates hundreds of people without trial. Bizarre, too, in this democratic nirvana, that journalists are prosecuted for challenging the authorities – and “unpatriotic” people such as you are punished for reading what they write.

These are but a few aspects of the Beijing-style “democracy” brashly celebrated by Xi Jinping, China’s popularly unelected president, when he travelled to Hong Kong last week for the 25th anniversary of the handover from Britain. Xi said his version of democracy was flourishing. Hong Kong’s job now was to assist the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”, not stir up trouble.