Beijing’s friends in a flap

As the Kidnapped Bookseller Saga continues, Hong Kong’s government demonstrates its resolve by announcing a no-nonsense pro-active decision to write a letter to the big boss in Beijing. Chief Executive CY Leung also wonders whether Mr Xi’s officials could or should do more to notify Hong Kong upon the abduction, blindfolding and confession-forcing of city residents. And he might send delegations up there. If necessary. By being open and honest about his administration’s powerlessness, CY actually retains a shred of credibility.


The government’s supporters and pro-Beijing forces are more exposed. Legislative Council president Tsang Yok-sing says we need to ‘find out what actually happened’. The South China Morning Post editorial agrees, citing uncertainty arising from the conflicting accounts of events. (This is how religious-nut creationists argue against teaching only science in science classes – demand that schools cover ‘both sides’ of the ‘controversy’.) The SCMP considerately reports more doubts in the form of returned bookseller Lam Wing-kee’s Giant Enormous Contradiction Inconsistencies Discrepancy (about whether colleague Lee Po said or intimated that he was abducted from Hong Kong). New People’s Party lawmaker Michael Tien says this discredits Lam.

Another approach is to split hairs. One government supporter has been heard complaining that CNN star newscaster Kristie Lu Stout made a slip-up during a broadcast yesterday, saying Lam had been ‘kidnapped’ when, being over the border, he was ‘arrested’. SCMP columnist Alex Lo ruminates on this important distinction.


This leads to a resigned/cynical/cretinous ‘what did the rape victim expect, dressed like that?’ reaction to and explanation for all the fuss. If the regime in Beijing believes it has feudal-style ownership of Chinese people throughout the world, then you have only yourself to blame if you get dragged off for producing a gossipy book about the emperor.

As a last resort, you can always point at the evil hypocritical USA, which is Just As Bad, because it used abduction and extrajudicial transfer of people it thought were plotting terror attacks, which are the same as gossipy books if you think about it.

Oddly, a voice of sanity squeaks above the desperate pro-establishment attempts to excuse, downplay or muddy Beijing’s embarrassing attack on Hong Kong people’s freedom. The Standard (stablemate of Sing Tao, spreader of anti-Lam exclusives) wonders whether the smears won’t end up being counter-productive and boosting the opposition vote in the September Legislative Council elections. Well, precisely.


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9 Responses to Beijing’s friends in a flap

  1. Des Espoir says:

    C Y’s reaction is just like “Yes, Minister”… “the Government is going to have a no-holds-barred look at it..”

  2. Big Al says:

    The letter, which is being actively considered (as opposed to …) by the government would be a joy to behold, not that we’ll ever get to see it. Just imagine how many hundreds (thousands?) of hours civil servants will spend pouring over the use and order of each character and each phrase, how many drafts will be prepared, how many re-writes it will go through. I’m sure there will be a working group formed just to decide on which font to use. And another to decide on the shade of black ink. At the end of the day, by multiplying the hours spend crafting this gem by the outrageously high cost rate of civil servants, lo and behold we also have the most valuable letter ever written. Seems a shame to send it to Beijing when all they will do is have a laugh at it and toss it in the bin.

  3. gweiloeye says:

    Mean while there is a building in Connaught Road filled with people who know exactly what happened. (What do all those people do? or is it just empty floors?) No need to use Chinese postal system when the HK one is all that is needed. or maybe just a phone call would settle this.

  4. Cassowary says:

    The most hilarious excuse given so far was the Ningbo Public Security Bureau spokesman who said that Lam Wing-kee came to them voluntarily to seek their help in getting away from his horrible ex-wife in Hong Kong. Because being in a prison cell was preferable to sharing a city of 7 million with the harpy.

    It will be interesting to see just how many pro-Beijing people repeat this story over the next few weeks. It will be proof positive that not only does Beijing exert feudal control over Chinese people worldwide, it can mandate the ingestion of hallucinogenic drugs.

  5. Fat Fred says:

    seems that Big Al is well practiced in the ways of these highly paid civil serveants

  6. reductio says:

    You know, apropos of mass delusion, I was looking at the comments section on Youtube last night and there are many people in the States who apparently believe the mass shooting in Orlando was a “black flag” op. That the survivors interviewed on the TV were actors. So if some people can believe that then believing that Mr Lam is a lying running dog is no problem.

    I want to live on an island (with all mod cons and my dogs) and just get away from the world. Living in HK is doing my head in.

  7. Joe Blow says:

    @reductio: you are thinking of Discovery Bay, aren’t you ? People have been known to move to DB and they were never heard of again. Spooky.

  8. Red Dragon says:

    Joe Blow:

    Unfortunately for Mui Wo, many of those who went AWOL in DB have pitched up here.

    Couldn’t the commie black ops brigade do us all a favour and kidnap these blighters?

    Were they to do so, I’d be the first to raise my topee to them.

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