HONG KONG -- After 16 years during which it ostracized members of the prodemocracy camp, Beijing is finally adjusting its policy toward Hong Kong.

The Communist government is making use of its tried-and-true strategy of forging a united front, such as with its old enemy the Nationalist Party in Taiwan and, in Hong Kong, with democrats whom, only last year, it had excoriated as "traitors."

This is a major readjustment of the united front policy vis-a-vis Hong Kong. Previously, Beijing had tried to isolate Hong Kong's democrats by uniting with all other parties. However, this did not work because the democrats have the support of a majority of the Hong Kong electorate.