Another CCP ‘hearts and minds’ victory

The Liaison Office – Beijing’s shadow government in Hong Kong – nowadays readily orders the city’s administration what to do. It then sits back and leaves it to the local puppets to clean up afterwards.

From the Chinese party-state’s point of view, expelling correspondent Victor Mallet from Hong Kong would seem like a straightforward Sledgehammer Freak-out Panda-tantrum job. But hapless Chief Executive Carrie Lam has to take ownership of the decision, and bear the resulting attention, questions and general uproar. The reaction has been fierce – perhaps, to the Mainlandization-jaded, surprisingly so.

The Financial Times is going to appeal the refusal of Mallet’s visa. This is presumably futile (‘Immigration Department Admits Error, Blames CCP Pressure’). But it will keep the local administration sweating.

Carrie faces other demands, including from overseas diplomats, that Hong Kong give a reason for the rejection. She will not give an answer (though if Mallet had been dodging taxes or shoplifting at Wellcome, it would’ve been leaked). Indeed she cannot specifically say whether or how the media can handle ‘independence’ as a subject.

Mallet did not break any Hong Kong law. He transgressed only in the ‘rule by law’ sense that enables the Mainland regime to declare enemies guilty of whatever it feels like. Not surprisingly, the press, legal and human rights lobbies are stressing this ‘rule of law’ as much as the ‘press freedom’ side of the controversy. This angle is more sensitive for the business and wider community in Hong Kong. Thus more reason for local officials to sweat.

The affair is damaging Hong Kong’s reputation, with most mainstream international press picking up the story. Keith Richburg writes that ‘The death of Hong Kong’ is now a thing – and that’s in Inkstone News, a South China Morning Post title tasked with making China look oh-so cool and hip.

So poor Carrie has to deal with this mess, like it has anything to do with her. Meanwhile, the Liaison Office drafts its ‘mission accomplished’ report to the big bosses back home.


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8 Responses to Another CCP ‘hearts and minds’ victory

  1. Chinese Netizen says:

    On the brighter side, foreign media can pull up camp, go across the strait and set up in the last free, democratic Chinese society/state on Earth, thus causing HK even more blushing, hand wringing and loss-of-face.

    Economically, the nation of Taiwan might not be much compared to HK but if enough of an exodus begins to flow, who knows??

    Naturally the problem is they have enough of their own “United Front”/triad types there shoe shining Almighty Xi but there’s no Party Secretary office downtown calling the shots from behind tank proof walls and 2-inch glass and the unis have not been fully saturated (yet) by planted students/agents from the mainland devoted to purifying the faculty/agenda/curriculum.

  2. Chris Maden says:

    @Chinese Netizen – My thoughts exactly! What a delicious irony it would be it the international press upped sticks and set off to Taiwan.

    Another plan would be Indonesia, which, as China under Xi Jinping moves to the Suharto/Stalin model of patronage and repression, is morphing into a functioning democracy with a free press.

  3. Happy National Day to the thriving democratic nation of Taiwan! (Thought I’d say that this year because it will probably be illegal to do so in HK by next year.)

  4. Peter Call says:

    Can’t Mallet also file a judicial review like the LGBTQ+ immigration cases?

  5. Rumpole says:

    @Peter Call
    You can only JR a denied right.
    Mallet has no rights…
    I suppose he/the FCC can appeal to the ID but what good would that do other than to prolong the embarrassment?

  6. dimuendo says:

    Peter Call

    Not my area but you have to show that the decison is unreasonable. To do that you need to know the reasons /ground for the decison. Thus if no reason (and government carefully not giving, for this reason) no JR. Accordingly all you are left with is the argument that not lawful not to give a decsion (and in so far as I am aware no such obligation) or that not reaonable not to give a reason/ground. Be v happy to take the case if somebody paying but ….

  7. Feilo says:

    Once again, UK has one very good ace in his hands, the propagadist bint Kong Linlin of the slapping incident. Send her and her obnoxoius son (that we know is well on the way to lowclass hooliganism) packing home and cancel her visa.
    Well, at least the dream was good until it lasted (although it has yet to be ruled out a tit-for-tat retaliation once her visa comes for renewal)

  8. Guest says:

    @Feilo: good idea, but Kong and her supporters could always use the relative openness of the West against it. In fact, she just did.

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