This is a matter of law and transition from a Colonial time to a new area.
You also have to look at it in another way. If they do provide such "freedom" to HK, the mainland will increasingly (as it is developping and a middle/rich class is taking shape and increasing at a fast speed) seek for the same. The central gvt is simply not ready to handle such a push in China. As such they will try to slow this process down as much as possible here in HK.
Btw, for at least half the population of HK, YES, they are more worried about the food they have to put on their table, than having the Universal Suffrage.
Never forget that we are a small number of privileged people here who can spend time to debate on these issues. That said, and Pin is right, those issues have to be brought up and debatted. But never forget also where we come from / live.
I think the argument that the poor are only looking to put food on the table and are not concerned about democracy is only put forward by either rich tycoons who don't want to give the masses any power as it would mean a loss of power for them (eg Hong Kong), or by one party states who would lose power if the masses could choose their government (eg China).
As I said 2 times already, the issue has to be addressed and thanks PIN for launching the subject, but to keep things in perspective those parameters have to be acknowledge as well.....don't really see what is offensive or difficult to understand in my comments folks.
While there are many well off chinese in cities, if you spend some time in the countryside you see the opposite - it's a big country and there is some way to go yet.
We need to set a good example of the benefits of democracy but not force it down people's throats. At the end of the day, the Chinese have valued harmony as a benefit to society for millenia - is it really our job to tell them that is wrong? Take a look at Singapore - not exactly fully democratic either, is it? But everyone seems pretty content.
I'd like to see ordinary folks in China get access to media and for the truth about Tiananmen to come out - and then if they decide to ignore it, then that's their choice. It's their history after all. If they choose harmony, who's to say it's wrong for them.