Expect a hurt, whiny, defensive, protesting-too-much press release later today as the Hong Kong government goes into a huff about international lawyers condemning Hong Kong’s declining rule of law, as reported here and here.
Local officials are already embarrassed by last week’s Benedict Rogers incident. Unlike most of us, Beijing’s ever-thorough security agencies were familiar enough with the mild-mannered British human-rights activist to deem him a potential trouble-maker. They ordered the Hong Kong authorities to turn him away, and sooner than you can say ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’, a big fuss results. The guy promises to be a much bigger pain from now on.
For decades, Hong Kong’s mainstream pro-democracy figures tried to encourage overseas sympathizers to pressure China into keeping its apparent promises to the city. But the pro-democrats’ obsession with political structure failed to inspire foreign (not to say local) audiences.
Now things are different. The Chinese Communist Party has made it clear that Hong Kong people will not – cannot – be allowed to choose their own government. Furthermore, Beijing is abandoning the whole pretense that ‘One Country, Two Systems’ means Hong Kong will be insulated from the Mainland’s Leninist control system.
Instead of snore-inducing functional constituencies, we now have political prisoners – a far sexier subject. Barring a massacre, Hong Kong is not going to be a big international issue. But the potential for greater media and other overseas attention is higher.
Beijing’s officials aren’t concerned with external appearances or even public opinion within their own restive fringe territories. Their only focus is protecting the Communist Party’s monopoly of power, regardless of how ultimately self-defeating the methods.
For example, the alienation of Taiwan’s young looks irreversible – Beijing has lost the island, if it cares to notice. In Hong Kong the Leninist grip is tighter, and the question is how frantically should the party-state tighten it?
The CCP and its United Front strategists face a dilemma. Can they wait 20 years for Mainland immigration and schoolkids’ indoctrination to displace native Hong Kong’s hostility and incorrect thinking? Or must they eradicate press freedom and rule of law much sooner, before the city’s CIA-backed pro-independence forces rise up and sweep North across the border? Both entail risks.
This week’s must-read is a comprehensive summary of what you already know and feel but haven’t totally joined up because it’s so sprawling and distasteful – Mainlandization: How the Communist Party works to control and assimilate Hong Kong. Hopefully, the Benedict Rogers out there will all be seeing this.
I think we all need cheering up today. This in the SCMP made me chuckle:
Hong Kong General Chamber of Pharmacy vice-chairman Lau Oi-kwok welcomed Lam’s proposal, saying local retailers had significantly suffered from the two-can limit and many had been forced out of business.
“Business would certainly be better [if the limit were lifted]. We don’t have enough babies in Hong Kong to support so many pharmacies,” he said.
[And is it me, or has your site got really slow recently? Just sayin’….]
Hmmmm. Milk powder again.
Makes me wonder whether the whole mainland baby formula scandal was, all along, part of some cunning commie plan. Stuff the little princes’ nourishment full of melamine, and Mum and Dad will hare off to Hongkers to get the real, colonially regulated McCoy. Add to this the concomitant doubt that pretty much all the shite sold in red Chinese pharmacies is dodgy, and hey presto! you get johnny mainlander swarming across the “boundary” to assuage his hypochondria and feed his bairns.
Not only does this boost the Hong Kong pharmacy sector (probably a fully paid-up member of the “united front”), but also obliges poor old Hongkers to become swamped by mainland “tourists”.
Far-fetched? Possibly. But l wouldn’t put anything past those blighters in Peking.
Dark forces at work in hindering access to your site Old Boy!
This site is already inaccessible up north, I have found
@GoatBoy and Mark
Yes, noticed that too. But they will never take my Hemmers away unless its from my cold, dead hands!
I think Hanlon’s Razor (with a cynical addition) applies to your melamine conspiracy theory: “Never attribute to cunning and malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity and greed.”
In short, the CPC are self-centred plodders not visionaries and Machiavellian geniuses.
Reporting from the gutter in CWB: we have no problem downloading Big Lychee.
Talking about Machiavelli: the man himself, in real life, was no great political operator at all. Bit of a loser, actually. All hat and no cattle.
You assume Taiwanese, not Taiwan, is what Beijing wants. At this point Beijing would be happy to receive an island, a lump of land critical to ideological (idiot-logical) wholeness of the mainland. If it is nearly empty of people, there are plenty of immigrants in waiting, as HK now finds.
@WTF: Eggs Zachary