HK to feel the Drooling Panda Wrath of Xi

This week’s Out of the Mouths of Babes and Innocents Award goes to Hong Kong’s deputy leader Matthew Cheung, who blurts out that he has no idea why people in Hong Kong are so angry at the government. This contradicts two official lines: that we know what’s going on; and that the majority of the population back us. It is reassuring to see that the man is human.

Top officials gathered last night for some sort of emergency meeting. Apple Daily reckons that, under pressure from Beijing, they were considering: ramping up police use of force; neighbourhood curfews; and cancelling the District Council elections (just as they sent me my voting card yesterday). This is depressingly dimwitted enough to sound credible.

Writing in HK Free Press, UK activist Benedict Rogers laments the inanity of trying to solve Hong Kong’s crisis of government and police legitimacy through more tear gas and arrests. However, he lays the blame squarely at Chief Executive Carrie Lam. While the woman is undoubtedly incompetent beyond belief, this is a bit like blaming a toddler for having soiled pants. The buck stops in Beijing, where (as CCP spokesmen constantly remind us) ultimate authority lies.

What is flabbergasting is why not one of Carrie, Matthew and all the other sad mediocrities…

…will tell Beijing that this problem cannot be solved by force and that they will resign rather than cooperate with this stupidity that is killing their home town. Not one.

Bill Bishop in his Sinocism newsletter today says…

There however seems to be no obvious pathway to the restoration of anything resembling order in the city. It appears Xi Jinping has decided to allow chaos to increase, believing that the growing contradictions inside Hong Kong society will ultimately lead to so much anger from most of the Hong Kong populace towards the “radical” protestors that the protests will eventually end…

The growing chaos and economic pain in Hong Kong does have real propaganda value for the Communist Party. The CCP has railed for years against foreign interference and color revolutions, and now the propagandists can easily argue that one has arrived in PRC territory, and as in other countries it has brought chaos, violence and economic pain, and that the stability that the CCP brings demonstrates the superiority of the PRC system.

Beijing and its propagandists are indeed increasingly portraying the situation as a cataclysmic struggle with foreign-backed terrorism. To add to the ambience, Chinese authorities have arranged ‘evacuation’ of Mainland students and are encouraging social media stories like the one saying Hong Kong police shot protesters to protect (non-existent) buses of cute Mainland schoolkids from attack.

China analysts know that when the CCP focuses on its domestic audience it often alienates the overseas one. Maybe Hong Kong is to be the ultimate example.

Local officials are still trying to maintain some sort of ‘business as usual’ façade. Only with reluctance did the government declare schools closed today. Xi’s ‘Extra Tough’ directive implies far more disruption to life and business. Curfews and additional police-rampaging must mean a further collapse in tourism, cancellations of conferences and events, closures of retail businesses and some suspensions of bank and market operations. It will mean departures of expat executives, and perhaps such phenomena as bank runs, panic-buying, even looting. Not to mention increased resistance from the population at large.

Are the CCP prepared to destroy Asia’s World City in order to save it? Don’t they fear a pyrrhic victory (see Minxin Pei)? Will influential interests with Hong Kong exposure – CCP elites, local tycoons, overseas investors – challenge the Emperor? Or will our establishment do nothing and accept their fate, as promised by students, that ‘if we burn, you burn’?

It’s hard to believe that no-one is going to do anything as Beijing tries bludgeoning its most developed and international city into submissive ruins. He says, hopefully.

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19 Responses to HK to feel the Drooling Panda Wrath of Xi

  1. Hong Kong Hibernian says:

    The idiots of the local non-government are merely good little Confucian drones living out the analects: “Look not at what is contrary to propriety*; listen not to what is contrary to propriety*; speak not what is contrary to propriety*; make no movement which is contrary to propriety*” (非禮勿視,非禮勿聽,非禮勿言,非禮勿動).

    *For ‘propriety’, read ‘Xi Jinping Thought’.

    Sad.

  2. Guest says:

    “What is flabbergasting is why not one of Carrie, Matthew and all the other sad mediocrities will tell Beijing that this problem cannot be solved by force and that they will resign rather than cooperate with this stupidity that is killing their home town.”

    The compensation is too good to pass up. Lam and her top lieutenants each make more than the President of the United States.

    Plus, none would dare tell Beijing that its plan for Hong Kong will backfire even if they know it’s true.

    Better to keep their mouths shut and let their successors inherit the problem.

  3. Stanley Lieber says:

    “It’s hard to believe that no-one is going to do anything as Beijing tries bludgeoning its most developed and international city into submissive ruins.”

    No, it isn’t.

  4. YTSL says:

    Your mention of “the other sad mediocrities” provided me with one reason why Carrie Lam has yet to be replaced. That John Tsang — especially in light of his recent statements about the current unrest — seems like he would have been so much better as Chief Executive is so tragic in that I, for one, thought he was an exasperatingly mediocre Financial Secretary.

  5. Penny says:

    “propagandists can easily argue that one has arrived in PRC territory, and as in other countries it has brought chaos, violence and economic pain, and that the stability that the CCP brings demonstrates the superiority of the PRC system.”

    In case anyone buys into the propoganda, this should be required viewing/listening:
    The Autocratic Temptation: Lessons from China about Transformation – Stein Ringen
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNvXQb3ETYY

  6. old git says:

    Two days ago, to enter the MTR, I had to navigate a Putonghua-speaking riot squad.

  7. MoeFoeux says:

    @old git “Two days ago, to enter the MTR, I had to navigate a Putonghua-speaking riot squad.”

    Are you serious, or is this just hyperbole?

  8. Cassowary says:

    YTSL: John Tsang was a mediocre financial secretary, and if he had been made Chief Executive he would have been mediocre at that too. The job requires mediocrity, lack of vision, and spineless obedience to Beijing. He only looks better in comparison now because he no longer works for them, and can behave like a somewhat normal human being.

  9. Des Espoir says:

    Pictures of Tung Chung MTR station show platform glass screens all smashed.. hey, wait a minute.. the station was closed, so how did that happen? Inside job? And how come Plod was not called in? The cop-shop is 200 m away from the station..

  10. Bluebottle says:

    @HKH, you are too kind to those “idiots”. As I write this Teresa Cheng is speaking to the CIArb. The Arb being Arbitrage. Could arbitrage mean pleading for asylum and immunity in exchange for squealing on your CP puppet master? I don’t know.

  11. Joe Blow says:

    I also received my DB election card yesterday. In my neck of the woods part of CWB, I have the choice of two (2) candidates, one of which is a plumb DAB auntie. Of course, I shall vote for the earnest young man who is the other candidate although I have no idea what he stands for.

  12. Reactor #4 says:

    I love it when the protesters smash up and torch those small family business that are owned by people with a Mainland connection (perhaps they arrived in HK post 1997, or perhaps much of their stock is sourced from over the border).

    When I see live footage of such ransackings, I swear there’s a little bit of movement down in my nether regions – not quite an organism, but getting there.

    Well done to those revolutionaries who carried out such actions in Yuen Long last night. You make me feel proud to be a Hong Konger.

  13. Penny says:

    @YTSL – on John Tsang “That John Tsang — especially in light of his recent statements about the current unrest — seems like he would have been so much better as Chief Executive is so tragic in that I, for one, thought he was an exasperatingly mediocre Financial Secretary.

    He was an exasperatingly mediocre Financial Secretary and doubtless would have been an exasperatingly mediocre and incompetent CE.

    Could anyone in this town – or anywhere else for that matter – successfully navigate between two basically incompatible syestems of governmance?

  14. Ho Ma Fan says:

    @Penny, I would gladly offer to step in and attempt to thread the needle of two incompatible systems. What’s more, I would do the job for a fraction of what the current incumbents are paid, so that even if I was truly awful I would at least cost the hard pressed taxpayers less.

  15. Des Espoir says:

    I hear that every time an MTR station gets trashed, the repair contract goes to one of Teresa Cheng’s husband’s companies… Surely this must be Fake News…?

  16. Moo Wow says:

    So let me get this right @reactor#4.

    I turn up at your front door, heavily armed in full combat gear, surrounded by a dozen other thugs just like me, and announce that your even more thuggish landlord sent me to take over your life because he can run it better than you. I explain we shall be moving in, telling you what to do, watch, read, think and believe, monitoring what you can have access to and what you are doing around the clock. I explain that if we decide anything is not the way we want it we shall disappear you all for re-education/gang rape/commercial organ harvesting and forced labour, claiming you are all terrorists. You tell me to fuck off and slam the door. So I start to smash it down, and you run upstairs to hurl things down at me, perhaps including gasoline and matches. So my boss, your landlord, tells the world you are a terrorist who must be crushed, and pays lots of idiots to spread the same self-serving thuggish shit. Correct so far?

    For most of Hemlock’s readers the concept of an overpaid white wumao is apparently hard to grasp. But then they’re not aware of your past mediocrity. Sympathies.

    PS. It’s an orgasm, although in your case I can easily believe there’s an organism in your disgusting undies, ghastly though the thought may be.

  17. Reactor #4 says:

    @ Moo Wow.

    Thank-you very much for your response – 231 words in reaction to the 95 I posted is quite something. I apologize for the misplaced “organism”. I meant to write “onion” or “orange” or “Orion’s Nebula” or “Oryzomys” or something. Unfortunately my syphilis is now in an advanced stage and vast tracts of my grey matter have been stripped out. Hence, much of the shite that I these days tend to spout doesn’t quite land. Please forgive.

  18. steve says:

    @Moo Wow: Wow.

  19. Red Dragon says:

    Moo Wow.

    You make a fair point very persuasively.

    However, you fall into the trap of responding to Reactor#4, which none of us should do. Ever.

    You will see from his subsequent response to you that the only reason he posts is to gain attention, and that when he gets it, he is almost touchingly grateful.

    In future, just resist the temptation.

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