Hong Kong sweeps up after an umbrella and pepper-spray-infused protest near Beijing’s Liaison Office in Western. The confrontation was relatively brief and small-scale, but it had a distinctly familiar feel to it – reassuring and exhilarating to some, disturbing and ominous to others. The trigger was Beijing’s plan to override an ongoing court case and impose an ‘interpretation’ aimed at barring localist radicals from the Legislative Council.
The Communist Party believes this desperate rule-of-man Leninist decree will suppress pro-independence sentiment. More likely, it will help push what is still a mischievous way of needling the sovereign power into a more tangible pro-independence ‘movement’. As if subliminally aware of the inevitable unintended consequences, Beijing announces the decision in a venue called the (bye-bye) Taiwan Room.
Meanwhile, the South China Morning Post presents a joyfully starry-eyed view of the forthcoming Chief Executive ‘election’…
The column dismisses, twice, the painstakingly rigged nature of the Election Committee as a myth. You can judge for yourself by looking at the composition of the body (clue: 50%-plus zombie-loyalists or shoe-shiners representing obscure sectors like fisheries or martial arts). And the writer imagines that the outcome will be just fabulous. Again, you can judge for yourself. Look at past CE ‘elections’. And ask whether the Chinese Communist Party is seriously going to allow a representative and free electoral process to decide an appointment at this or any level.
On a less hilarious note, another column mentions a recent book on Hong Kong by a Mainland expert, apparently analyzing the ‘New Normal’ (old cliché) of Beijing-Hong Kong relations…
The bit about ‘one country being the goal’ and ‘two systems being the means’ jumps out. Mainland apologist-academics explain new meanings to old phrases and concepts all the time, and the eyes glaze over when they utter the latest version of the truth (this is ‘interpretation’ on an informal scale). Sometimes they are talking BS, sometimes they are imparting official positions.
This one is apparently a ‘further clarification’, which sounds like CCP-speak for ‘yet another U-turn as paranoid party makes it up as it goes along’. I always thought ‘one country’ and ‘two systems’ operated in parallel, certainly before (and we are told possibly after) 2047. The implication is that each element of the 1C2S formula exists on a separate level, with neither affecting the other. The idea that ‘two-systems’ is a device to actively bring about ‘one country’ suggests otherwise.
What does it mean? As we can see as today’s news comes in from the Taiwan Room, whatever you thought was true or real doesn’t matter, or just isn’t.
I loves me some umbrella and pepper spray.
Rurik Jutting spent HK$ 6800.00 on one visit to a sex shop. Just think what he might have spent if he was kitting himself out for an Occupy Central Revival Tribute Band Nostalgia riot!
Come back Regina, all is forgiven. Article 23 has risen from the ashes: http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/2043556/beijing-passes-interpretation-hong-kongs-basic-law-legco
Young, Inspired, they pulled a stunt
Foolish, and I wish they knew it.
Dug themselves a proper trap
And wilfully jumped into it.
Fracas, fights, and follies followed.
No way! Beijing would not budge.
No place here for localists!
CY hastened to a judge.
Not enough. The Party felt
The anguish of the Chinese nation.
Every man and woman called for
Basic Law interpretation.
What is right? What should I think?
I thought that I would try to ease
My troubles with the ancient wisdom
Of the classical Chinese.
I searched for Master Kung and found him
Seated with his acolytes
In his modest Institute
Of Wisdom, Law, and Sacred Rites.
“When the breeze is soft and balmy
The wise man rambles far and high.
When the wind is cold and wet
He seeks a shelter strong and dry.
“The true philosopher will see
The Peak is high, the buildings tall,
The shops are big, the harbour deep,
And will not be impressed at all.
“The upright man is not inflamed
By tribulations that present.
He questions with a steady eye
And does not protest or resent.”
I thanked him, bowed, and shut the door.
I’m sorry if I’m being rude,
I was not helped in any way
By such a load of platitude.
Master Lau Tzu then I found
Seated by a babbling brook
Gazing at the waves and ripples
With a beatific look.
“Turn away and turn inside,
Be still and turn away your wrath.
Turn to spirit, let it guide you
To the pure and simple Path.
“Let the limpid water bear you
Stilly as it downward flows.
Every river seeks the ocean,
Every minnow seeks and knows.
“Step, and never leave a footprint,
Speak, and let nobody hear.
Sleep, and wake, and re-awake,
The Basic Law will disappear.”
I thanked him, bowed, and walked away,
Tired of all that purist guff.
I am not helped in any way
By any back-to-nature stuff.
Ancient sages could not help.
I will not ask them any more.
I came back to the present day
Just as troubled as before.
A constitution incapable of surviving fools is not worth the paper it’s printed on. That is what the localists have shown us. We live in a Potemkin Village designed lull investors into complacency. Our freedoms are valid only as long as we don’t exercise them too vigorously. Our institutions are made of cheap particle board, easily punched through when no longer useful. The Basic Law is the mall display of constitutions.
Very nice verses, Knownot. They have a touch of “The Darkling Thrush” about them.
What Beijing consistently fails to recognise is that the more they meddle in Hong Kong affairs, the more people will seek complete independence from China as the only way to preserve Hong Kong’s freedoms and way of life.
Knownot: You must be a flat owner, in which case going to two anti-materialist for advise and comfort was sure to go badly, even if they were right.
Claudia Mo was doing some prime moaning today. Struck me as ripe. While Ms. Mo isn’t the biggest sinner of her cohort of the old generation democrats in Hong Kong, she and they were a factor in this blow up along with Lufsig and Beijing. From Martin Lee on down these old camp democrats are lawyers and other professionals who owned multiple flats, and often made their fortunes through speculation in property markets. Their sole focus on “democracy” without doing anything effective to break the oligarchy’s monopoly on land supply, housing, foodstuffs, etc; laid the groundwork for the rise of the new independence radicals.
Oddly enough, perhaps our two radical ex-legislative representatives have achived something more, and without even taking office. China has finally forced Lufsig to crack down on the very cornerstone of the old democrats wealth by putting heavy stamp duty on domestic speculators. It’s crude and loop holes Martin Lee could drive a truck through, but they can be tightened up. It seems China is applying both the carrot and the stick with base of the separatist. It will be interesting to see where it all leads.
Ms. Mo is suppose to be a journalist, but she thinks the British established rule of law in Hong Kong. What kind of journalist never spent any time in Hong Kong’s courts, in which for 100 years the poor are almost as disenfranchised as Blacks and Native Americans in America, while the wealthy and connected are given every privilege (in the old meaning of the word, ie private law). Any gains the people of Hong Kong got were achieved by hard work, or by rioting, or by marching in the streets, I can’t think of any decent thing worth counting that was won in the courts or in the legislature.
@Newcomer. I think Beijing realizes, they just don’t care that much. Let’s face it, Hong Kong has an inflated opinion of its place in the world and ‘realpolitik’ means the boys in Beijing will happily flatten this place if it threatens their power. As someone said above, our freedoms are valid if we don’t exercise them too much.
If Art 23 gets on the table, I predict 1,000,000 + in the street. Lets’ see how the HK Police Public Security Bureau ( 27k max) is going to deal with that (provided they don’t mutiny first).
@Old Newcomer: I think that at some level they do realize it. Why else would whoever’s behind all those Singtao editorials be ranting about CY making it worse? But to a dictatorship’s way of thinking, provoking opposition is just a useful way of flushing out traitors. You push them, they lash out, you cut them down, and the rest will be too frightened try the same. #Winning
Very surprised that not more people are outraged about what is happening in HK. the Rule of Law is gone, period.
what Beijing is doing is asking for a revolution for independence of HK. There are plenty out there willing to die if HK can become independent (ie Singapore.) Anyone for lobbing some Molotov Cocktails at the likes of Maria Tam?
More than happy to setup a public donation account to pick off vital Communist party and Basic Law committee members.
Hardly Hardy, but I have just finished reading a selection of his poems. Thank you for your comment.