In Beijing, top official Zhang Dejiang reminds Hong Kong members of the National People’s Congress of the usual list of conditions under which the city can have quasi-democratic elections. Presumably hoping for a pat on the head – or maybe a tummy-rub! – Maria Tam tells Zhang that fellow local deputies have been actively opposing Occupy Central and releasing “positive energy”.
Beijing’s big fear is something called ‘Western-style democracy’. Although he doesn’t define it, Zhang comes up with some elaborate reasons why we can’t have it. One is that it is a trap, and would lead to Anarchic Mayhem Civilizational-Collapse Freak-Out Bloodbath Chaos of an exceptionally undesirable type. Another is that Hong Kong people are not ‘acclimatized to such exposure’ to these barbarian ways (or perhaps are far too familiar with them). A third, relayed by Rita Fan, is that Hong Kong is not a sovereign state – which doesn’t stop full democracy in thousands of elections for local mayors and governors throughout the Western world.
Rita then explains that Hong Kong’s political structure must not undermine the country’s sovereignty or security. While this is a refreshing improvement on Zhang’s obfuscation, it still doesn’t quite spell it out: by the country’s sovereignty or security, she means the Chinese Communist Party and its right to be the sole source of political power in the nation. Rather than just admit this simple truth – that non-guided (‘Western-style’) democracy is incompatible with a one-party state – all these people drone on endlessly using their coded phrases about the Basic Law, euphemisms for dictatorship and non-sequiturs. The pro-democrats meanwhile take it all literally, and disassemble and dispute every item point by point.
But wait! There’s more! Zhang also announces something we haven’t heard before. For months now, several of Hong Kong’s NPC deputies have been among those spouting the politically correct line about ravenous hordes of Mainland shoppers – they are good for us, we can’t limit the numbers, we have to accept it, let’s have 50 million more, blah blah blah. Now, however, the hyper-incisive, sharp-minded lateral-thinking officials in Beijing have concluded that perhaps the city is stuffed full and can’t take any more. Rita, once again, regales us with the details, revealing that Zhang is one hip and trendy dude who’s even familiar with the Big Lychee’s racist (or whatever-ist) entomological terminology on the subject…
By accepting that the Dreaded Locust Menace is a real, not imaginary or politically unacceptable, problem, Beijing leaves some of its loyal supporters looking slightly foolish (in finest we-kick-everyone-in-the-teeth-eventually Communist fashion). The Standard’s ‘Mary Ma’ editorial sounds distinctly miffed, essentially hoping that we’ll all be happy now as we lose our jobs and starve in the absence (we’d be so lucky) of Mainland shoppers.
I declare the weekend open with a patriotic opinion poll, confirmed by highly gifted businessmen as ‘independent’ and free of pro-dem bias…
Q: Beijing now accepts that Hong Kong is suffering from the impact of too many visitors. Why do you think this is?
a) Mainland officials, highly concerned with our well-being, have been carefully monitoring the numbers of visitors and the degree of crowding;
b) Our local politicians and representatives, elected or otherwise, noticed the burden of visitor numbers on the public and pleaded with Beijing to re-think;
c) Ordinary Hong Kong people on the streets and elsewhere complained so strongly, even obnoxiously, that they could no longer be ignored.
Amazing song choice today. One of their best albums!
I wonder where Marxism/Leninism came from? Oh that’s right, the West. /sarc. There is a bit of frothing/hand wringing going on about planned protests coming up regarding our Northern cousins. One concern is that a Mongkok protest will also coincide with a Taoist procession of some sort. HK street theatre in action. Hang on, didn’t they ban that a few weeks ago? The other concern, not surprisingly in HK is about about lost money/sales. Which reminds me, yesterday Carrie Lam had a meeting to discuss the effect of large numbers of tourists with, yes, members of the retail and tourist sectors, who opined all we needed were car parks and larger shopping centres. Its like saying to an obese person, look it seems you may have a weight problem, what do you suggest? Their reply being wider door frames and bigger seats. I don’t get it. If you are looking for perspective/understanding/a solution, is the ‘travel industry’ going to give it to you? We are doomed.
Rita will be in deep doo-doo if she’s correcting the Chinese of her lord and master.
And could someone tell Maria to keep her hot flushes to herself?
You didn’t catch on to the recent very sensible suggestion that the locusts sorry visitors should be equally dispersed all over the territory.
One hundred thousand million are heading to Kwai Chung Container Terminal right now.
I note Li Ka Shing couldn’t resist giving us all the pleasure of listening to his wisdom on populism (bad) mainlanders (share the love) democracy (consensus) and repeated the porky that he once was poor. Has he ever been able to prove his past poverty ?
On the mainland probe into Hong Kong’s tourist capacity – don’t underestimate the lengths that the CCP will go to give Hong Kong whatever it wants, except true democracy.
…previous 4 posts…damned good show…especially @maugrim…funny too…
…it should be acceptable to use “locusts”…everyone’s a racist…it’s OK to be one…
…just don’t…put people in ovens…deny someone job opportunity on account of their (where on earth can one find that smell on earth) cologne…make them drink from different fountains…etc.
…there are racists everywhere at an England vs Scotland game…but nobody dies at the end…I think…so let’s all just chill man.
Focusing on the habits and image of the tourists will only hurt the case of protesters who have the objective ammunition of losing small businesses that actually benefit locals, a strained transport system that is on the verge of breaking (or has it already?), and an unsustainable future that disproportionately benefits tycoons and uber rich.
Why is Mr. Li Ka Shing worried about Occupy Central? He said “It may hurt Hong Kong” but he forgot to add “‘s Economy” to the end of the statement. These folks fail to recognize that the people protesting have no hand in the economy and want things to change. They also don’t care about the “image” of Hong Kong, because what use is the image if it’s simply changed to another Chinese city? My money is on the fact that the normal office stooges like me will continue to go to work while protesters line the streets. Only those who stand to lose the most are at all worried.
to answer your poll (c)
well, non-western democracy made the CCP a bunch of liars since the Sino-British agreement states a democratically (“western-styled”) elected CE and Legistature (sp?)
What if HK refused the version of sufferage offered by Beijing?Zhang Dejiang hints all bets are off including taking off his gloves (declaration of emergency? PLA troops storming HK declaring martial law?)
Is one allowed still to be considered patriotic and answer :
“None of the above. The fact is there are just too many fucking tourists for HK to cope with, end of story. So stuff that in your pipe and smoke it Greg So , Mary Ma and Co” ?
BTW: what’s all this sudden taking offence at being called locusts ?
I agree that wheelie -pullers might be a more apt term, but actually both are equally descriptive.
I’ve been called a red -hairy foreign devil for as long as I have been here . I’ve even grown to like the moniker , after a fashion.
Classic drivel by LKS in the SCMP today…
“Instead, Li said, the city should model itself on Singapore by investing in innovation and technology.”
Great idea, how about we give one of your sons a vast piece of land to build some sort of cyber technology hub, we can call it…..
I think we’re all prejudiced, which is not quite the same as being racist.
Interesting to see Li promoting some sort of lowest-energy-use-on-the-market light bulb that he apparently plans to market. Considering his investments in electricity generation, that sounds like shooting himself in the foot.