The Li Fei-Antony Leung-Tsang-Yok-sing scenario

Hong Kong is on tenterhooks, apparently, as it awaits the visit of Li Fei, the cheerless-looking number-two in China’s rubber-stamp parliament, the National People’s Congress. He is here to ‘swap ideas’ on the Basic Law and the city’s political structure. In practice, this presumably means discreetly laying down some ground rules for the forthcoming public consultation on constitutional reform (the Standing Committee of the largely dormant NPC serves as the rubber-stamp magic wand that can change the meaning of the Basic Law in the blink of an eye).

Pro-democrats, who have mostly not been invited to hob-nob with Li, claim to be worried that the Hong Kong government is being sidelined in the reform process. They are, of course, grabbing the wrong end of the stick. The correct response would be to say: “We sincerely hope that the government is being sidelined, as that seems the most likely way to bring about some progress.”

So, fast-forward to 2017 and – the Standard would excitedly have us believe – former Financial Secretary and financier Antony Leung and personable patriot-politician Tsang Yok-sing are mounting some sort of joint campaign for Chief Executive. Leaving aside the fact that vice-presidential running-mates will almost certainly not be part of the system, we can see why some people would find such a team appealing.

Tsang would be the front-man, with the popularity and DAB/United Front machine to win an impressive share of the vote. Leung would assure the tycoons and broader business community that he would serve as Tsang’s puppet-master, with Beijing’s full blessing. The community, faced with alternative candidates like (say) CY Leung, Regina Ip or Albert Ho, would exercise its precious universal suffrage and come up with what Beijing considers the Correct Result.

Tsang denies everything, and of course it is a bit fanciful. But it’s not about the personalities so much as the formation of an apparent alliance that brings the all-important ‘business community’ and the bulk of the population together on one side.

The Standard’s proprietor and other members of the traditional tycoon-bureaucrat caste might see this as a way to maintain their privileges under a more democratic system. But Beijing might be more calculating. Inevitably, contradictions would appear within such an alliance. Should the tycoons remain entitled to rip off consumers under such a regime, or would a CE with a popular mandate have the right to level the playing field? Beijing today clings to the tycoons (and the Heung Yee Kuk and other parasites) because it can’t/won’t trust the Hong Kong people. If those people vote for a trusted Chinese Communist Party loyalist rather than for a CIA stooge, Beijing will feel less of a need for a groveling power base of grasping property developers and hangers-on.

Of course, we might all be dead by then. A South China Morning Post opinion piece ponders the possibility of a Sino-Japanese war and lists the tragedies that would befall Asia if it happened. The order of this list is telling. First are the financial and economic costs of military expenditure and capital flight. Then comes the prospect of US troops ‘taking over power’. Third in the list of horrors is the fall in housing prices in both China and Japan. Fourth is the relatively trivial matter of humans being killed (main worry, perhaps: the impact on demand for housing). And finally, more American GIs infesting the place, handing out Lucky Strikes, nylons and candy bars to the locals, for ever and ever.

Few fear the holocaust-like devastation that is cheaper homes than the Standard, which reports that ‘investors’ have pulled out from new real-estate purchases and – brace yourself for the ultimate dreadfulness – are forfeiting their deposits. A Ritacorp agent puts a brave face on it and suggests people are walking away and leaving their HK$1 million or whatever down-payment ‘to look at other large developments’. Another puts it down to ‘remorse, as they were only given minutes to choose a flat’, which I take to mean ‘second thoughts after being subjected to a high-pressure sales assault, and then wondering what carnage lies ahead’.  That nervous feeling, indeed.

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14 Responses to The Li Fei-Antony Leung-Tsang-Yok-sing scenario

  1. maugrim says:

    Like a dog returning to its own vomit, one of the distressing things in HK is that we keep returning to the ‘same olds’. Regina re-invented herself, and now Antony. Surely there’s more in the gene pool out there? The same with the Dems too. Besides, how can we have a leader named Jasper? Sounds like something out of P.G. Wodehouse. Pineapple and Monkey can’t be too far behind then.

  2. Ex Tax Payer - formerly RTP(R) says:

    ” Beijing today clings to the tycoons … and other parasites because it can’t/won’t trust the Hong Kong people. If those people vote for a trusted Chinese Communist Party loyalist rather than a CIA stooge, Beijing will feel less of a need for a groveling power base of grasping property developers and hangers-on. ”

    That’s a very profound insight Hemmers. Thanks.

    PS: Has Bela gone back to Transylvania ? I hope so.

  3. Joe Blow says:

    Anthony “Lexus” Leung always looked kind of dorky. But after his apparent ‘make-over’ he looks like a complete retard. Yep: CE material !

  4. Property Developer says:

    Li Fei’s not cheerless, he’s a death mask trying to recover from 18 months’ rehab.

    I too was struck by the rumour of people throwing away $1m+: enough to buy 700 sq ft of rural bliss only a few years ago; and by their “remorse”: in English, kicking themselves at appearing so stupid in public.

    Lex Zhao starts from a logical quicksand: Diaoyu as the international name, the USSR fell because of the Americans, the average Chinese feels rich (in fact they’re about the level of the Pacific Islanders), or believing anything the People’s Liquidation Army says.

    But one has to give him credit for admitting, sort of, that China has no friends, and many, many enemies.

    However, his conclusion, which involves holding hands, sitting down together and working as a team, falls below the level of the band-2 14-year-olds who invariably conclude letters to the PCMP by saying let’s work together.

    When you think of all the greedy philistines jostling for power, the Kuk, the Tycoons, the China sycophants, all the cosy little bureaucratic empires aka FEHD, Lands Dept, AFCD, traffic wardens, etc., you do wonder how Hong Kong can ever survive.

  5. Sojourner says:

    Indeed, maugrim.

    Jasper the grasper, like something out of Dickens.

    Maybe we should apply to Rome and beg Pontius Pilate and his, sidekick, Biggus Dickus, to run as a CE presidential team.

    (The Python reference was for TFF).

  6. Headache says:

    ETP, shhh… Speak the name, summon the named.

  7. Oneleggoalie says:

    We knew it…she was a Tranny…

    …and on the subject of undead…the English who remained in HK are a bit like ghosts…they’re dead but just don’t know it…

    they keep repeating the same things over and over…go through the same routines…just like ghosts…

    can’t play chess with one…coz ghosts can’t play chess.

  8. Sojourner says:

    You can play chess with Death.

    I saw it in a movie.

  9. @ETP – no, he’s still here; his satirical organ takes another swipe at Hemmers today – as if there weren’t more important targets in HK (take Property Developer’s list for a start). I enjoy many of Bela’s posts, but if he’s so concerned about censorship, why doesn’t his blog accept comments?

  10. Joe Blow says:

    In Ingmar Bergman’s “The Seventh Seal”, the protagonist plays chess with Death on a beach. In black-and-white, no less.

    Personally I think the concept of death is seriously over-rated.

  11. gweiloeye says:

    @PB- we can’t post because we are all MI6, CIA, Mosad, ASIO et al agents.

  12. Mjrelje says:

    It is truly horrible to see Lexus. Vagina and Henry in print on the same day. With all that overseas education, 16 years later in some cases. Is that all HK has to offer? Just goes to prove that HK elites really have not brains or balls to create anyone of substance and are exactly the same as China of course. The Han can only cheat on themselves in the end.

  13. Mjrelje says:

    And that is all HK is really isn’t it. A cheating, loaded, racist, anything can’t be questioned, cess-pit of Han thinking GDP equals happiness in the most miserable circumstances of its achievemement. No culture, no belief, no compassion, no idea. Imagine. The true net result is a council of idiots leading a proud 3m people to decimation in a frog in a cooker way. The rest are just sheep to the slaughter.

    Nice to see wankle four has realised that his fake teeth and soul is about to expire, and has given the rest of the crinkly wax works a nice place to go and die in. Can you imagine the joy that HK will roar in 5 years when LKS clips his cloggs? By then we will be dancing in the street!

  14. Older than Old Timer says:

    Cheerless, Li Fei may well be but hardly the “number-two” in China’s National People’s Congress.

    To keep things in perspective, he is a third tier official well down in the pack.

    The NPC has 13 Vice Chairman. Li Fei is not one of them. It has a 161 member Standing Committee of which Li is indeed a member. The NPC runs nine specialist committees one of which is the Law (or Legal Affairs) Committee. Li Fei is one of its 8 Deputy Directors. Under the Law Committee there are two non-permanent subcommittees dealing with the HK Basic Law and the Macau Basic Law. In March this year Li Fei was appointed head of these two subcommittees.

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