7 million people give up trying to understand what’s happening

As Hong Kong’s strange oath-crisis moves into the High Court, whose political careers are most under threat? The most obvious answer would be Youngspiration lawmakers Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-ching. On the other hand, maybe it is Chief Executive CY Leung who is fighting for his life.

To the casual observer, CY seems to be working closely with the central authorities in Beijing to crush pro-independence forces, most likely arranging a rule-of-man ‘interpretation’ of the Basic Law to banish localists from the city’s Legislative Council. The Standard, however, sees Beijing as the driving force – and the ‘interpretation’ option as a slap in the face for CY following his failure to solve the problem locally.

Then there’s the intriguing Sing Pao, Mainlander-owned and obviously pro-Beijing but venomously anti-CY and on a mission to destroy the Chinese government’s whole Hong Kong Affairs hierarchy. It is claiming that CY and his Liaison Office minders stirred up the pro-independence chaos to start with and are now spreading false stories about an ‘interpretation’ as part of the aforementioned hierarchy’s broader corruption – for which Xi Jinping will surely punish them in future.

The Hong Kong government’s latest status where interpretation is concerned is: ‘trying to distance itself from it’.

One explanation for the weirdness comes from the venerable Ching Cheong, who theorized here and now here that Xi – having screwed up Hong Kong policy from 2014 – is now trying to offload the blame onto CY and Liaison Office boss Zhang Xiaoming and others higher up in the bureaucracy of Jiang Zemin protégés.

Some pro-independence/localist groups in Hong Kong have suspected the Youngspiration group of being a puppet of the Hong Kong government. Given that Sixtus and Ms Yau are clearly the main target of the current witch-hunt, conspiracy theorists could have fun linking them with Xi.

We will assume this is not the case. For the sake of argument.


Their tactics – seen in yesterday’s Legislative Council incursion – are in danger of playing into CY’s hands. (The guy has even seen an uptick in his rock-bottom poll ratings.) A few LegCo security guards who slip to the ground end up being rushed to hospital like traffic accident casualties. They’re all fine, of course, but oxygen masks are great props, and the media leap at the chance to portray Youngspiration as violent troublemakers, while other pan-dems edge nervously away.

They need to go back to basics. The government wants them to want to be in LegCo. But they did not run for election because the assembly is an important, influential institution where they can help fix Hong Kong’s problems. They ran to show that, in line with the whole political structure, it is a mainly toothless, rigged body that is designed specifically not to benefit the Hong Kong people. They should be mocking LegCo’s uselessness with witty theatrics rather than committing the grave error of apparently taking it seriously. Assuming they’re not secretly working for CY and the Liaison Office. Or Xi.


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19 Responses to 7 million people give up trying to understand what’s happening

  1. Cassowary says:

    As a thought experiment, what would happen if Leung and Yau resigned to preempt the NPC reinterpretation? They would trigger a by-election, which the government doesn’t want to see. And then the government would be forced into making the absurd argument that the two people who they won’t allow to be sworn in shouldn’t be allowed to resign because they aren’t members yet.

    Or, if the government accepts this and allows a by-election to go forward, they would promptly register to run and obediently sign their declarations. They’d be daring the government to reject them. If rejected, they launch a JR and recruit two of their localist buddies to run in their stead and create a gigantic media circus. If accepted, they run and force the pro-Beijing side to front candidates against them and create a gigantic media circus.

    Then the government would then be prompted revive its 2011 attempt to do away with by-elections, allowing the entire pan-dem camp to create a gigantic media circus.

    They could drag it out for months.

  2. Meathamper says:

    I’m not one to support everything Adam Curtis says in his documentaries, but what he says about Vladislav Surkov pitting groups against each other, even groups he supports, to create a bizarre world where nothing makes sense, seems appropriate here. Or indeed in the entire world

  3. On pourrait changer le disque.

  4. LRE says:

    I have to say, if the youngspiration duo can land 3 security guards in hospital, they probably need to sack all the security guards immediately and totally rethink the hiring policy — the only real security on show thus far is job security.

  5. Chinese Netizen says:

    I always thought the Chinese breed was always most interesting when it came to theatrics and drama and possibly squeezing blood out of a stone for some (ANY) sort 0f monetary compensation for a perceived slight or dubious “injury”.

    Having spent a good amount of time on the mainland, I witnessed too much of the rolling around on the ground when barely scratched by a car fender or the crashed moped driver lying on the road but calling anyone and everyone on his cell phone after taking a spill allegedly caused by someone else (apparently PERSONAL responsibility was NOT something the venerable Confucius taught).

    Then upon seeing the same shenanigans on the streets of Taiwan, those like the “cornered” important types that were blocked into the university in Hong Kong because of a human blockade a while ago and now the poor, assaulted security guards here, I’ve come to the conclusion that the Chinese breed may truly have invented football/soccer as we know it 8,463 years ago, as claimed, in the land of the Yellow River because NO ONE ACTS (think modern football injury drama) as well as a Chinese person who thinks he can squeeze some cash out of someone utterly undeservedly.

  6. WTF says:

    ‘Entire China wants Youngspiration duo out’

    Good news, Global Times implies that Hong Kong and a considerable part of it’s people are not part of China.

  7. dimuendo says:

    Can somebody please explain, given five people’s Legco oaths were disqualified, why three were allowed to retake their oaths and two are not? Surely it should be all allowed to retake or none allowed to retake?

  8. stanley 2 says:

    3 didn’t insult China

  9. PCC says:

    “They should be mocking LegCo’s uselessness with witty theatrics rather than committing the grave error of apparently taking it seriously.”

    This penetrating insight may not be good advice as Hong Kong is an irony-free zone.

  10. @dimuendo – I’ve been wondering that too. There should be objective criteria, not merely the opinion of the LegCo President – or of the CE. The same goes for disqualifying potential candidates from LegCo elections. I hope the courts will tell the government exactly that.

  11. Joe Blow says:

    Interesting commentary in Epoch Times, claiming -via a ‘reliable sauce’ close to Zhongnanhai- that Xi had decided to give 689 the boot and, moreover, that “he will be dealt with”. Xi dada not happy.

  12. Stephen says:

    @Old Newcomer

    The courts will which is why the NPC Standing Committee is being prepped for action. Very sad to see how far Hong Kong has fallen in the last 4 1/2 years and for that we have the CCP to thank.

  13. CH says:

    @dimuendo, @old newcomer: The difference is the HK Gov’s JR here specifically targets Yau Wai Ching and Baggio Leung, and not the other 3 people. The Legco President is not allowing Yau and Leung to retake their oaths yet, on the basis that the JR case against them is still ongoing. This is a reversal of his initial position that it is up to the Legco President, and not the courts or the government, to determine whether members can retake oaths.

  14. Knownot says:

    Xi Jinping is now honoured as the ‘core’ of the Chinese Communist Party. As has been suggested, he is responsible for many of Hong Kong’s present difficulties.

    This happened once before
    One man at the core
    Only one
    Remember Chairman Mao
    And I remember how
    He did it
    And millions died
    And millions died
    And every pure Red Guard
    Was shouting very hard,
    “You’re great!”

    And here in poor Hong Kong
    Look at all the wrong
    Xi has done
    Electoral reform
    But it was still-born
    He said it
    They Occupied
    They Occupied
    But nothing could succeed
    Trouble or impede
    The state.

    If I were you, I’d realize that Xi
    Is the boss, the only one you’ll see
    And I’d give up, and realize that we
    Ought to sink in the Southern China Sea.

    with acknowledgement to ‘No Reply’ by Lennon, McCartney

  15. dimuendo says:


    Thanks for the comment but not sure I agree. Legco president initally was permitting all to take then bottled out under pressure. Initial stance surely correct.

    However our esteemed CE and Secretary for Injustice in taking the two youngspirationists to court, and not the other three, are making my point (and that of old newcomer). Why? What objective crieria are there or is it all now down to how you are preceived to have pronounced a word?

  16. dimuendo says:

    perceived, sorry

  17. Cassowary says:

    The thing I want to know is whether things are going to get better or worse for us if Xi is in fact angling to get rid of Leung & his Liaison Office handlers, and succeeds.

    The loyalist anti-Leung screeds are going with the premise that he mucked Hong Kong up by being excessively confrontational. Are they saying he will be replaced with somebody moderate and reasonable? Somebody who will ignore and tolerate the localists like a sensible, non-paranoid person? That sounds far too good to be true. The biggest control freak China’s seen in 30 years, telling the Liaison Office to take a chill pill? I’ve got a bridge to Macau to sell you.

    Which leaves me wondering about the exact nature of the bait and switch Beijing is prepping itself to pull.

  18. Joe Blow says:

    @ Cass: 2 words: Mr Handshake.

  19. LRE says:

    To quote the delightful Mr Vonnegut: “Everything is going to become unimaginably worse, and never get better again. If I lied to you about that, you would sense that I’d lied to you, and that would be another cause for gloom. We have enough causes for gloom.”

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