Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung’s promise to reveal the ‘foreign interference’ behind the pro-democracy Occupy movement comes to nothing. All we get is a suggestion that activist-academic Benny Tai received a donation via an extremely sinister HSBC branch in that hotbed of international espionage, Kwun Tong. Benny, speaking from his organization’s secret headquarters inside a volcano in nearby Kowloon Bay, says it’s a joke – but of course he would, wouldn’t he? It would help if Legislative Council President Tsang Yok-sing – widely presumed to be a leading member of Hong Kong’s underground Communist Party – agreed that evidence of such external intervention exists. But, inconveniently, he has said he can’t see any. And CY’s colleagues in government are keeping their heads down on the matter, as if there were something a bit embarrassing about it.
It’s particularly disappointing that CY didn’t produce the extensive report on the US National Endowment for Democracy NGO that landed on my desk a month ago. Some poor wretch put a lot of hard Internet-trawling into it.
CY’s line is that evidence for foreign meddling is significant but he can’t divulge it (national security, you know). Of course, if the national leadership really knew of CIA projects aimed at toppling the Communist regime, they wouldn’t let CY (or anyone else) know that they know. So the ‘evil foreign forces’ accusation may just be a smear – and quite an effective one among xenophobes. Alternatively, we could view it as simply the default response the Chinese government always uses when things go wrong: the Communist Party is perfect, therefore any trouble must be due to hostile elements.
But we should also consider the possibility that Beijing officials really are seeing unfriendly overseas influences at work. To keep the Party in power amid economic and geopolitical change, Xi Jinping’s regime is putting unprecedented effort into creating a new and clear reality for 1.3 billion people. This involves tightly managing media coverage of all political and social issues, making words vanish from on-line searches, and even trying to eliminate discussion, if not knowledge, of whole concepts (the ‘seven don’t mentions’). China’s leaders see ideas as dangerous. The ones they fear the most tend to be widely accepted in the West, and from universal suffrage to nonviolent civil disobedience, they are at large in Hong Kong – sovereign territory separated by just a thin line.
In a climate like this, a planned Occupy Central movement and/or a spontaneous Umbrella Revolution looks and feels like a threat, if you’re a paranoiac (or hyper-sensitive realist who got through an attempted assassination/coup by Bo Xilai and Zhou Yongkang). One rumour is that the PLA were all ready to go in when the students looked set to take over the government offices in Tamar (the seat of power in Hong Kong, and next door to the PLA’s local HQ), and we have CY to thank for convincing Beijing that our own cops could save the day through relatively benign tear gas and beatings. Hard to believe. But property tycoon Thomas Kwok is in prison, and Stanley Ho’s nephew is under arrest for all those leggy bulbous hookers who’ve prowled the Lisboa for years. Normal times stopped a couple of years back, and anything can happen.
Just to make things interesting, an Occupy-related group says it received a donation from a Communist Party member.
Let’s be frank, the CCP and their Hong Kong shoe-shiners are like retarded versions of McArthyism. “Are you or have you ever been a member of evil foreign splittist elements?”
It really is pathetic stuff, like schoolgirls.
My guess is even CY was, and is, embarrassed at trotting out this foreign forces nonsense. He went to Beijing asking them to help and they said, um, well, let’s see, if we reveal the (big cough) “facts” everyone will see what crap it is, and then everyone will lose face. Xi’s not into losing face. Suddenly! The orders are hide behind national security
CY could start with his own family, spouse: Regina Higgins, daughter: lives in the UK, CY himself is British educated. This is just tip of the iceberg. He should spare us the pantomime .
One thing that scares the party more than outside influence is inside, hidden dissent.
“Leung said yesterday the government needs to analyze and study the organizing forces behind the movement and it has a duty to get to the root of the problem”
Bit difficult for him to see I suppose, what with his head up his arse.
Contrast the “foreign forces” paranoid rambling with the measures to encourage more foreign talent to move to Hong Kong in this morning’s policy address. He obviously isn’t even listening to himself talk, he just downloads his instructions. Someone in LegCo ought to ask him how the government plans to screen all these expats for ideological incorrectness.
(He also dedicated 3 paragraphs of the policy address to telling a student magazine why it was wrong. Stay classy, C.Y.)
But the new Expats won’t care ? They get their 7 minutes a night of HK news on Pearl followed by a free English newspaper the following morning featuring puff pieces on the wisdom and benevolence of the Tycoons (Today a page on Li Ka Shing – takes everything to heart apparently) . Those curious to know more will scour the PCMP only to find prats comparing Hong Kong’s ongoing democratic trials to that of an adolescent child. These Expats may laugh, disbelievingly to hear a grown up, University of Bristol man (not a paranoid dictatorship) talking about a foreign power (read USA) subverting the vast majority of students here. All is peachy.
We are at risk of one large demonstration going awry when the CCP liaison office, with the agreement of this unelected, illegitimate CE, calling out the PLA Garrison. The sun will set a lot quicker on Hong Kong once that happens. Never mind the new expats can always return to Boston, Brisbane or wherever.
Hong Kong was a fine place in the past.
It was so efficient, things were done so fast.
Bruce Lee films! Plastic flower-pride!
The air was clean and the harbour was wide.
This comment may be out of key
But it flourished as a colony.
The Opium War was a true disgrace
But Britain made it a decent place.
People knew it over the border.
It was a place of law and order,
A place where work and food were found.
Some, trying to swim here, drowned.
Much was wrong. I won’t romanticise.
But Britain knew how to compromise.
Corrupt policemen were removed.
People worked hard and life improved.
British men who were shy or gauche or reserved
Married prettier girls than they deserved.
Although this comment may not please,
Hong Kong is now perhaps too Chinese.
That was obvious yesterday
When we heard the Chief Executive say
Yet again that the Occupy demonstrators
Were really (I exaggerate) traitors
Whose illegal hidden community chest
Is filled with money from the west.
When asked for proof by those he accuses,
He prevaricates, refuses.
Although he accuses the opposition,
He is himself under suspicion.
He sold an insolvent firm, became a multi-millionaire,
Got a small fortune which he didn’t declare.
Although he denies it, it can’t be ignored:
He received funds improperly from abroad.
Now he makes an empty, unproved allegation,
Which will harm Hong Kong’s, or his, reputation.
He sounds like the leader of a third-world nation.
I don’t think CY is meaning “expats” in its true sense. He’s meaning (or intending to achieve behind the scenes) a return of members of the Master Race who were born and/or bred in Hong Kong, and who have now stolen all that is useful from the evil foreigners, and should now return home to the Glorious Motherland and divulge the useful secrets.
And how does he plan to separate those amazingly useful Master Race Returnees from their children, the barely Chinese-speaking bamboo shoots corrupted by unpatriotic notions like representative government and freedom of the press?
Bristol Poly (now University of the West of England), not clever enough for Uni!
I think he meant mainland talent not expats. All part of the plan to further mainlandise HK.
As a graduate of the University of Bristol I would like to point out that C. Y. studied at the former Bristol Polytechnic (now UWE) whilst learning the ways of muddle-headed, pernicious foreign types. Had he enrolled at the University of Bristol no doubt he’d be even worse than he is today.
I’m out of the loop here: why is Regina’s last name ‘Higgins’ ? She doesn’t look like a half-breed to me. Enlighten me.
@ElFlaco, nice to meet a fellow alumnus on this site and i wonder if you were at the alumni reception on Tuesday?
Knownot, You surpass yourself!
The well-tested Chinese method is to employ pliable, fresh-faced technical skills on temporary contracts, then send them home and replace them. A bit like maids really.
It’s a similar situation with what used to be called China-watchers. Global opinion was manipulated by promoting (a) near-brainwashed insiders (Edgar Snow, assorted Frenchmen) and (b) gullible youngsters sated with simpering pigtails.
CY Leung’s insider deal to screwed the shareholders of DTZ, is note worthy for the lack of action against CY by any of the shareholders. Surely some of them were not Chinese (DTZ had an office Tokyo too, talk about undesirable foreign influence). Surely these shareholders are now collecting something in kind from CY out of the taxpayer’s commonweal for their acquiescence.
Just like the shareholders of the Texas Rangers Baseball team as well as two oil field companies that George Bush Jr. drove into bankruptcy while paying himself a bundle. They all said nothing, because they knew they were going to get theirs after he became president. ICAC my arse.