The big news in Hong Kong today is the Chief Executive’s 2017 Policy Address. One small snag: I can’t bring myself to look through it properly. But a quick glance at the list of contents suggests it is the politically correct, buzzword-laden drivel we would expect.
It starts with the National 13th Five-Year like-we-give-a-damn Plan – Beijing’s own contrived, Stalin-inspired, mega-Policy Address. Then the ‘Professional Services’ section mentions the redundant CEPA (a vacuous cross-border-commerce PR-stunt from 10 years back) and the hyped-up HK-wannabe hub-zone real-estate plays Qianhai, Nansha and Hengqin. Further on, the government will be opening another dozen or so Economic and Trade Offices in Mexico, Russia, South Africa and various mainland cities, to be staffed by civil servants doing God-knows-what all day long.
A straight-faced finger-wagging goes out to ‘Hong Kong independence’ somewhere here. Yes, the same ‘Hong Kong independence’ CY and his Communist Party buddies spent the last couple of years contriving, nurturing and exaggerating. And got fired for a month or so back. You have to hand it to the guy for shamelessness and total bone-headedness.
As well as numerous, expensive Belt and Road initiatives, Hong Kong will sign visa-free agreements with Belarus and Cambodia to ‘facilitate movement’ of these scumbag regimes’ citizens. Something called ‘People-to-people Bonds’ will absorb more taxpayer money, also in aid of Belt and Road. There is lots of Belt and Road, obviously, and also the ever-mysterious ‘super-connector’ concept-theme.
Not that we’re desperate or anything, but Major New Excitements Coming Soon: global offshore Renminbi business (again), data centres and an aircraft-leasing hub!
The South China Morning Post introduces the Dazzling Space-age Tech part of the policy address with the headline ‘New mentality needed on innovation’ – neatly encapsulating the tautological/bureaucratic/head-up-backside government approach to the subject (I presume, not having actually read the thing). The Standard’s headline on our soon-to-be ex-leader’s number-one policy challenge is ‘CY’s Goodbye Homes Pledge’, which sounds as if he is admitting that Hongkongers can abandon any hope of affording a place to live.
Major freak-out you’d-never-believe-it shock: West Kowloon Cultural District to include Luxury Apartment Scam for developers.
Further down, we have the usual box-ticking stuff about education, air quality, pedestrian facilities, the elderly and an array of other things officials are determined to ignore, plus various no-hope schemes to push private medical insurance, attract high-quality talent and enhance healthy lifestyles and rule of law in caverns to celebrate the yippee-yippee 20th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to the Motherland. We will spend countless millions and billions on correct or fashionable lost causes such as the promotion of Chinese culture among youth, elite sports and, as if Tseung Kwan O wasn’t sufficiently benighted and voodoo-ridden, a ‘Chinese medicine’ hospital.
On a brighter note: lawmaker-tycoon Michael Tien was on the radio this morning complaining bitterly that CY ignored the needs of the ‘retail sector’ – so it’s not all bad.
If Carrie Lam wants a simple, symbolic break with the past and her three disastrous predecessors as Chief Executive, she would scrap the Policy Address as the tired and pointless ritual it is. The relief…