Panda wets itself again

Even the pro-establishment Standard’s editorial raises an eyebrow at Wednesday’s exclusion from Hong Kong of the hitherto little-known, apparently mild-mannered British Conservative and Catholic human-rights campaigner and former Hong Kong resident Benedict Rogers.

Optimistic readings of the ‘One Country Two Systems’ deal 20 years ago concluded that Beijing would not dismissively override Hong Kong’s supposed autonomy like this. But the optimists were wrong. Beijing has previously ordered Hong Kong Immigration to bar aging Tiananmen student exiles, Falun Gong conference-goers, young Taiwan radicals and British lawmakers on a fact-finding mission. Compared with the kidnapping of book publishers and a Communist elite-connected tycoon, this at least follows some sort of due process. This drift towards ‘One System’ is of course also evident in political persecution of radical politicians and protesters, orchestrated freaking-out over ‘pro-independence’ banners on campuses and so on.

Beijing’s heavy-handed interventions obviously undermine Hong Kong’s integrity and/or image as a free, open, pluralist society. Poor Chief Executive Carrie Lam is left looking helpless. Just as she is delivering her big ‘Hong Kong is still brilliant’ policy speech, the Communist Party bluntly proves it doesn’t give a damn about that, or about her.

The Standard half-jokingly asks whether ex-Governor Chris Patten will be banned. The un-funny answer is that the Communist Party – in its paranoia – will do anything it feels necessary to keep itself in power.

There is more of this to come.

The China economic recovery/’miracle’ is over: the story from now on will be the world’s biggest middle-income-trapped aging society. It would take a superhuman to overcome the demographic fundamentals and political-economic contradictions. With this in mind, Xi Jinping is about to have himself declared Chairman of Everything for Life with demigod trimmings and no enemies to be seen anywhere at all.

And China is suddenly starting to suffer premature foreign-influence hubris all over the place. The country has been caught trying to corrupt Cambridge University Press, Confucius Institute-hosting campuses, New Zealand politics, Australian academia and media, and Canadian probably-all-the-above. Beijing is being boorish and entitled – pushing territorial claims, making demands of tributary states, erasing Taiwan, rewriting history and pushing grand and delirious plans to assume world leadership in industry, commerce and technology.

In the past when Beijing has told Hong Kong to refuse entry to subversive hostile elements, the individuals went fairly quietly. Benedict Rogers, who has a small – but we can guess, fast-growing – following here, is going to start an NGO to monitor the decline of the city as China’s Leninist control system tightens its grip. A Peeved Pissed-off Panda Paroxysm follows. I declare the weekend open with the hope that he and others continue to hit this raw nerve.


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13 Responses to Panda wets itself again

  1. HillnotPeak says:

    And maybe Britain should not allow Carry Lam’s family entry, that horrible looking husband and those ugly children.
    No retirement for Lam in the U.K., she can go to Shenzhen. I heard there is a ‘nice’ penthouse vacant.

  2. Big Al says:

    This drift towards ‘One System’ … was inevitable and no doubt planned by the CCP from Day One. While the naive (Brits) hoped that China would drift towards Hong Kong’s way of doing things in the 50 years after the handover, the reverse is clearly true. So, approaching the halfway point, we should not be surprised that Hong Kong is approaching “one country, one and a half systems”, with “one country, one system”, the CCP’s system, being the ultimate goal.

    Xi Jinping’s Mao-like ascension to Ruler of the Known Universe reminds me of the conclusion of Animal Farm. To paraphrase Orwell, “The people outside the CCP looked from Xi to Mao, and from Mao to Xi, and from Xi to Mao again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

  3. reductio says:

    Phew! Just back from the comments section on the SCMP. Certainly gives the YouTube keyboard warriors a run for their money and that’s saying something.

  4. Knownot says:

    Something trivial for the weekend

    Big Lychee linked to this story on Wednesday 11th October

    The Pharmacy Cat

    Go to On Tat Estate, Kwun Tong, and you may see
    The gentle, healing feline of the pharmacy.
    Call him Porsche or Marble, he answers either name;
    Right or wrong – no matter – he’ll treat you just the same.
    Feeling under par, or even rather ill?
    Trust the kindly cat, he knows the very pill.
    For insect-bite, or sniffles, a dab of Tiger Balm;
    White Flower Embrocation won’t do you any harm.

    But then, one day, a Mainland Chinese woman came
    And made a very troubling, very serious claim.
    “This scratch, five millimetres, behind my poor boy’s ear
    Was made in your shop, by your cat, when we were here!”

    Five millimetres – one fifth of an inch!
    The horror! What a dreadful injury! I flinch!
    But, really, a disgraceful story to invent;
    We all believe the cat is innocent.
    Go online where our petition can be seen:
    Do not take the poor cat into quarantine!
    And now the cat has been reprieved, we’d like to sign a
    New petition: Send the woman back to China!

    And we all hope that, though the cat is famous, he
    Will soon be back on duty at the pharmacy.

  5. Paul says:


    I believe that all of Carrie Lam’s family except her are (full) British Citizens so they can’t be expelled. Her passport is waiting for her when she retires. She already said that she will move to the UK – the plan was to do so this year, but the CCP twisted her arm to do the job that no-one else wanted.

    You do have to wonder what exactly it was that they offered her – it’s not as if she needs the money, and her husband is on record as wishing she’d hurry up and retire with him in the UK! Maybe there’s a skeleton in her closet that the CCP has the dirt on?

  6. dimuendo says:

    I have not yet waded through today’s judgement as to Mongkok Occupy, but can somebody please explain why the defendants were charged with criminal contempt. It was a civil injunction taken out, at least in theory, by a private organisation. Surely any obstruction should be civil?

    Furher the obstructors did, in my view, a considerable public service in that blocking the junction of Nathan Road and Argyll Street stopped the traffic, considerably reduced noise and completely eliminated pedestrians being mown down. Not a political point, simply fact.

  7. Xiaoyao says:


    >You do have to wonder what exactly it was that they offered her…

    I’ve wondered about this too. But I suspect the most likely explanation is the obvious one: a combination of pride, ambition, and a belief that she’s God’s chosen person for this mission. I doubt she took much convincing, given her combination of arrogance, willful blindness, and a deep susceptibility to the Dunning-Kruger effect.

  8. Headache says:

    @ diminuendo

    The contempt conviction isn’t about the obstruction of the road, which as you say was the subject of civil proceedings for public nuisance (the government being too spineless to lay criminal public nuisance charges and preferring to let united front types do the dirty work). It’s a criminal contempt to obstruct or impede bailiffs in the execution of their duty, which is reportedly what happened when they moved to clear the MK protest site.

  9. WTF says:

    To be honest, there is a method to her madness… she hope she is working with morons.

  10. Sojourner says:

    Nice one, Knownot.

    I think Porsche/Marble should be nominated for a Golden Bauhinia.

  11. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Paul…why must we always be the cynics?

    Of COURSE 777 is doing it not through coercion or blackmail but rather LOVE OF COUNTRY…SENSE OF DUTY…PRIDE OF RESURGENT HAN NATIONALISM…LOVE FOR THE HONG KONG PEOPLE!!!

    Or….she needs to buy more time for #1 son to build up his guanxi portfolio so that he won’t need mum and papa to clear the path for his future China connected riches…

    Good thing that UK passport is safely ensconced in “a safe location”.

  12. Knownot says:

    “Optimistic readings of the ‘One Country Two Systems’ deal . . . concluded that Beijing would not dismissively override Hong Kong’s supposed autonomy . . .”

    “Dismissively” is a well-chosen word implying that, for them, Hong Kong is just a small annoyance. It can be dissed and dismissed.

    The Benedict Rogers affair is not surprising. As we read above, there were previous cases. We knew we were descending, so we might have known that this was the next step.

    It’s a disagreeable subject, but what is now the next step on this staircase? One of the things to be most grateful for in HK is the granting of permanent residence after seven years; but someone will be denied it – I hope this hasn’t happened yet – because of the groups he has been moving in, or because of something, not illegal, he has done or written. No reason will actually be given.

    Carrie Lam will say,
    “As you know I do not comment on individual cases so of course I cannot say why this particular individual was denied permanent residence but the Immigration Department of course acted according to its normal criteria however permanent residence is a privilege not a right and as it concerns a citizen of a foreign country it is also of course a matter related to foreign relations so . . .”

    Even more disagreeable: after that, the next step will be revoking someone’s permanent residence.

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