A gathering* of pro-Beijing bores, the South China Morning Post reports, tries to solve the great mystery of why Hong Kong people seem to like their own city. (I am not being pejorative here, just completely accurate and objective: whoever drew up the invitation list went to great lengths to approach only the most tedious members of the establishment and loyalist camps.) The conclusion is that they are suffering some sort of mental derangement because China’s economy has grown to the point where Hong Kong’s per-capita GDP is now a mere five or six times that of the Mainland…
A recent outspoken defence of local culture was the result of a “psychological imbalance” among Hongkongers who felt powerless when faced with the mainland’s economic growth, said speakers at a pro-Beijing forum yesterday.
The event, organised by the Hong Kong Development Forum, was intended to “rethink [they’ve thought about it once already?] the rise of nativism”, and was hosted by Hang Lung Properties chairman Ronnie Chan Chichung.
Professor Lau Siu-kai, former head of the Central Policy Unit think tank, and lawmaker Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said Hongkongers had long felt superior to people across the border, but that with the mainland’s growth they feared they were losing their edge. They also felt [‘felt’ as in ‘know for sure’] their interests were being harmed by travellers buying up stocks of infant formula milk and causing a shortage of maternity beds.
“They are two sides of the same coin – pride and abasement,” Ip said.
Lau said the campaign had no clear objectives or strategies and lacked a powerful leader.
Economist Francis Lui Ting-ming said it was impossible for the city to gain autonomy because its economy could not stand without the mainland.
The Hong Kong Development Forum seems to be a one-man band, namely staunchly pro-Beijing Executive Council member and proud Bronze Bauhinia Star holder Cheung Chi-kong. As boss of the One Country Two Systems Research Institute, he is accustomed to framing questions with a view to suiting the pre-arranged, correct answer.
For Lau Siu-kai see Cheung Chi-kong and insert appropriate propaganda/think-tank name.
It is sad to see former Security Secretary Regina Ip stooping this low. Her name was mentioned as one of Beijing’s possible ‘Plan B’ replacements for Chief Executive CY Leung, and this is exactly the sort of shoe-shining you are expected to do to prove yourself. ‘Abasement’ indeed. (Just because Mainland officials are falling over themselves to assure us that journalist Willy Lam’s report on Plan B is definitely, absolutely, indubitably untrue, it doesn’t mean it is true. It would not be beyond these cunning fiends to arrange for Lam to pick up an apparent leak in order to give everyone in Hong Kong a bit of a kick up the rear. A lot of CY’s foes, let alone friends, would gulp at the thought of, say, Regina as CE.)
Lack of national education in the city makes it difficult for Hongkongers to have a clue who Peking University law professor Qiang Shigong is. As for understanding the culture on the Mainland, maybe the problem is that people in the Big Lychee know about it, from Bo Xilai to babies down toilets, all too well.
Economist Francis Lui Ting-ming thinks a city state cannot be autonomous because its economy relies on that of its hinterland. Maybe he should study Singapore – utterly reliant on Southeast Asia and fearless owner of half a dozen squadrons of F-15s and F-16s. He is a courtier (see definition 2) at HK University of Science and Technology, an institution sadly still awaiting its first Nobel Prize in his subject area. Like his fellow academic from what we Chinese culture experts call Beida, he frets about how all Hongkongers (apart from him, I guess) don’t understand the Mainland. This may cause them to lose out to global competition, he says; he doesn’t tell us how or why, because obviously we’re too stupid to get it.
A quick glance back up to paragraph 5 of today’s generous donation from the SCMP: “Lau said the campaign had no clear objectives or strategies and lacked a powerful leader.” Right – so why were you all sitting there blathering away about it?