Zhang Xiaoming, a top mainland official for Hong Kong affairs, claims there is growing evidence of "external inference" in Hong Kong's elections.
He claims the interference is not just showing itself in major elections, but in local ones as well. And his words are raising concerns that Beijing may be taking "a harder line...towards dissent in the city."
Zhang's words come at a point in time where a growing cry for greater distance between Beijing and Hong Kong has been building.
It is believed the growing number of protesters raising the Hong Kong colonial flag in defiance of Beijing has drawn the ire of Chinese government officials. The Hong Kong City-State Autonomy Movement has tried to bridge the gap between protesters and Beijing by explaining that the show of the colonial flag isn't anti-Beijing per se. Rather, it is a display against the Western qualities of Hong Kong being wiped away by Eastern influence.
It is going to be interesting to see how much longer "One Country, Two Systems" can survive.