So much for hopes for broader freedoms in Hong Kong. China announced that while Hong Kongers will be allowed to vote for the territory's chief executive in 2017, nominees for the job will be selected by a committee loyal to Beijing. Democracy activists had been demanding an open-nomination process that would have let citizens participate, but the People's Republic puth the kibosh on that. Desite agreeing to "a high degree of autonomy" in 1997 when Britain returned the former colony to China, the Communist Party has shown no interest in expanding democracy in the booming city. Democracy activists have vowed to blockade Hong Kong's central business district in response to the decision--which was hardly unexpected.