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It's already succeeded. Hong Kong will never be the same again.

As far as the tactical goals. The Western news media doesn't have a good sense of the total chess game. There

are several interlocking chess games going on, one is at the legislative level.

So what it looks like from someone that does know about HK local politics is that the demonstrators make demands, Beijing says no, and then you either have a nasty confrontation or the demonstrators give up.

But that's not what is going on. The demonstrators are really trying to take control of Hong Kong from the local property barons, and they have a *really* good chance of doing that.

see The myth of a free Hong Kong economy

As far what policy changes people want to see. What about releasing more land for building. Also reintroducing some of the programs that the British had for letting people buy their flats at subsidized prices. Or maybe a real anti-monopoly law.

One intended side effect of the "Hong Kong people rule HK" policies of the PRC is that this has massively increased the power of the tycoons. Under the British, the tycoons had power behind the scenes, but the Governor was a colonial British administrator that was not in the pocket of the local barons. Under Chinese rule, because Beijing needed local help in running HK, the power of the local oligarchs has massively grown.

What's happening is more complicated, and the demonstrations have radically altered the political landscape in HK and the calculus for the chief executive election debate.

This is going to be hyper-geeky is if it doesn't make any sense ask me to clarify in the comments.

Here are the players:

pan-democrats - the umbrella political party
pro-establishment - the business elite/Beijing loyalist party
CY Leung: the chief executive (CE)
Carrie Lam: the person responsible for constitutional affairs
NPCSC: the Chinese national legislator


So the current legislative situation. The NPCSC has put its restrictions on the type of elections for 2017. The problem with things restrictions is that the NPCSC was so vocal at saying "no changes, no deals" that it just cannot back down on this without looking really bad. Either take this restricted election or you take an appointed CE. The rules make it impossible for the protestors to have any sort of meaningful input into the CE and keeps control in the tycoons.

Until last week the next move of the chess game was as follows.....

1) pan-dems boycott further discussion of the CE elections
2) the pro-establishment parties cooperate with Beijing's framework
3) the come up with an establishment friendly bill
4) pan-dems either vote no and get blamed for no universal suffrage, or they vote yes and the tycoons win
5) 2017 comes around you have a chief executive in the tycoons pocket. Probably CY Leung again.

The chess game has changed

1) CY Leung and Carrie Lam *CANNOT* push electoral discussions further without cooperation from the pan-dems
2) CY Leung is politically bleeding right now. He *cannot* support the tycoons completely. If he is seen pushing tycoon interests, then people will force him to resign.
3) pro-establishment is bleeding. They *CANNOT* force through a constitutional settlement
4) Beijing is now seriously wondering whether it would be a good idea to reconsider its alliance with the tycoons and to make a new deal
5) Until this demonstration it was widely assumed that CY Leung would run in 2017, the tycoons would put up a token opponent, and CY would win easily. Now all of that is open to question.

So the chess game now looks like

1) the pan-democrats completely boycott any new constitutional talks, threaten mass demonstrations if they go forward.
2) CY Leung now has to ask Beijing if they are renegotiate any of the limits.
3a) If yes, then we go forward with some sort of compromise plan
3b) If no, then the pro-establishment looks bad and you get more demonstrations
4) CYLeung is compromised, and if Beijing decides to give up on the tycoons, then the pan-dems could get the CE chair in 2017 or 2022.

The cool thing about political chess is that you happen to be one of the pieces, and in the last few days, I've flipped, and I could stay flipped assuming that the demonstrators declare victory and open up traffic

The name "Umbrella" has a lot of different meanings. One is that it is an "Umbrella" of three different groups in Hong Kong that where not normally able to work with each other. This is important because they can now collaborate with each other. The two demands of the students are a) CY Leung resign and b) NPCSC reconsider the decision. Neither of these two things are going to happen, but these demands are very, very carefully calculated as part of the game of legislative game. The students are not good at legislative chess, but they are now working with pan-dem legislators who are.

The big change is that I'm no longer afraid of the Umbrella Party. I had this image of mad bomb throwers and radicals. If they can organize Hong Kong as smoothly and as well as they've organized this demonstration, then I'm not afraid of them.

The other thing that's causing me to flip is that I'm looking at the Umbrella Party and they have just out-teched the government. They were using smart phones, social media, and I even saw someone using a drone. The pro-establishment people don't know crap about technology.

What should really scare the tycoons is if *Beijing* is no longer afraid of Umbrella Party. If Beijing decides to deal with the pan-dems and isn't locked in with the tycoons, then the tycoons have a lot of problems.

There's also the issue of "not settling". As long as the tycoon played the fear card, I was in their pocket, but now I'm thinking to myself, you know...... Why the hell is my rent as high as it is?

Also, I'm not in the pocket of the Umbrella people either. If the tycoons give me a better offer then I'm back in their camp, but HK politics has changed because I'm now able to move between two groups rather than have the tycoons give me their choices.

And there is yet another game of chess that is happening in Beijing that's even more complicated with even bigger consequences. The HK tycoons have extremely cozy relationships with top officials in Beijing, and there is an entire underground economy in HK that is based in laundered money from corrupt officials. If Xi no longer needs HK tycoons, then he can get some massive housekeeping done.