HK govt regrets that rents must fall

Unlike the city’s wretchedly pitiful leadership, Hong Kong protesters are creative and adapt. As we saw with the impromptu lunchtime march on October 4 (when the mask ban was announced), there’s a ready supply of office workers for weekday demonstrations. Last night’s gathering in Central attracted a big enough crowd to slow down phone networks.

What’s the betting that future weekday assemblies in the business district fail to get authorization from the police and/or prompt earlier-than-usual MTR curfews?

The protest was calling on the US Congress to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. There has always been something slightly cringe-making about pro-democrats’ jaunts to Washington DC. And of course, ideological leftists of the sort who see Hong Kong as ‘a possible model of critique against imperialisms’ find it hard to get their head around working with the evil US. But you can’t be too fussy when you need allies in a fight. More to the point, Hong Kong is involved in a global conflict here.

The chances of meaningful action against Hong Kong are presumably slim. But just a hint of trade sanctions or visa bans on officials would be humiliating – or as the press statement would say, ‘deeply regrettable’.

The government also ‘deeply regrets’ that the evil protest movement is taking a visible toll on certain sectors of the economy, notably tourism and retail. Luxury brands in particular are squealing. The monetary authority is relaxing banks’ lending ratios, and officials are taking the bizarre step of asking landlords to cut rents for shops and restaurants.

Right-minded Hong Kong people are celebrating the plummeting tourist arrivals and will dance with joy if half the city’s designer-label outlets shut.

Business as a whole is worried. The curious thing is that the authorities themselves are directly damaging the tourist/retail sectors. The excessive force used by the police obviously drives tourists away, and the shutting down of the MTR and malls in the evenings and at weekends impedes and deters consumers generally.

As anyone who lives in Hong Kong knows, the local administration will usually do anything to benefit tourism/retail – landlords’ – interests. Keep land in short supply, swamp the city with 50 million visitors, whatever it takes. It is utterly out of character for them to take any action that damages the sacred rental yields. The landlords always, always come first.

There is only one force in the world that can prevent Hong Kong officials from serving the all-important property barons. And that is Beijing. So petrified is the CCP of an anti-government movement crossing the border, that the Hong Kong administration must sacrifice its most precious and dear tycoons’ profits.

Every tear-gas cloud has a silver lining.

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10 Responses to HK govt regrets that rents must fall

  1. PaperCuts says:

    Don’t worry…Xi JinPing has this whole thing covered…

    Xi JinPing has recently extended a warm, mature diplomatic olive branch…he says, essentially, that all who mess with China will have their…

    “bodies smashed and their bones ground to powder”

    You’ve got to hand it to Xi…when you’re in charge of the largest social experiment the world has ever seen, you’ve got to swing big and be firm, fair and most importantly of all…humane.

  2. foxtrotosca says:

    News emanating from a high-powered dinner on the Peak over the weekend; CCP ready to throw Carrie under the bus. The HK vested interest families will also be targeted and made to bleed to restore some modicum of fairness in society. Land will be freed up for a housing program to be funded by aforementioned hongs. Police not spared; will be investigated. This will be done before CNY.
    Sounds too good to be true but one can hope.

  3. donke says:

    Regarding the topic bubble of Carrie Lam’s upcoming address floated in SCMP today. From what I gather, the administration wants to strengthen understanding and gird the defenses around One Country, Two Systems, while at the same time arguing against any debate or discussion on universal suffrage, which I thought was promised in One Country Two Systems in the Basic Law. Then I read that the administration believes pro-establishment parties will face huge losses in district council elections, and then it’s clear. So, we can only discuss a basic human right when that right can be manipulated to help the parties that help prevent that right from being used. Now I UNDERSTAND What they mean by xxxxx with Chinese characteristics! I was blind, but now I CY.

  4. old git says:

    A total of 200 MHz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band was successfully auctioned off yesterday by the Hk Govt to four mobile network operators at a total of spectrum utilisation fees (SUFs) of $1.006 billion.

    So they will be ticked off if the Govt fiddles with social media anyway.

  5. Reactor #4 says:

    Now the shouties have ruined/negatively impacted a number of high-profile retail businesses whose owners have Mainland connections/sympathies, perhaps they should target the Water Supplies Department plus the importers of basic foodstuffs (greens, fruits and meat).

    If you are in cahoots with the Commie Oppressors, at whatever level, you deserved to be punished. In striving for a fundamentalist democracy there should be no excuses and no one gets off.

    To 4ck up the WSD, I propose a ceremonial mass defecation around the rim of Plover Cover Reservoir – that’s where the water that is piped in from Guangzhou is stored prior is distribution across the HKSAR. That’ll show ’em.

  6. Headache says:

    > “bodies smashed and their bones ground to powder”

    Apparently the Emperor finds the usual TCM remedies for erectile dysfunction less effective these days.

  7. Bluebottle says:

    Seriously Xi? You go to Nepal and shout Fe Fi Fo Fum?

  8. Casira says:

    @Headache: Which brings us back to foreign sausages

  9. Guest says:

    “So petrified is the CCP of an anti-government movement crossing the border, that the Hong Kong administration must sacrifice its most precious and dear tycoons’ profits.”

    Wow, I thought that the protests registered only a tiny blip on China’s radar. That’s what its supporters are saying.

    Yet its forceful reaction to Morey’s tweet states otherwise.

  10. old git says:

    Carrie Lam is ignorant about Hong Kong’s history and her Policy Address articulation of that is amazingly, amazing –

    Paragraph 1:…Hong Kong has been undergoing unprecedented unrest…

    No, it hasn’t – 8,000 bombings in 1967 and bricks hitting Statue Square in 1989 plenty

    Paragraph 2:…..Hong Kong has always been one of the safest cities in the world

    No, it hasn’t – see above and look at its violence over 156 years down to 1997

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