Don’t be fooled by the dashing looks and charisma

Will Luo Huining, Beijing’s new Party Secretary in Hong Kong, be nice or nasty? No sooner is the question asked than we get the answer.

Writing in People’s Daily – the party organ that makes China Daily look edgy, zippy and fun – Luo warns that ‘national-security loopholes’ in Hong Kong open the door to ‘infiltration and sabotage’; he also mentions ‘stronger enforcement’, plus ‘learn from Macau’ and ‘strengthen patriotic education’.

With zero exposure to the world outside the Mainland, Luo must be encountering some serious culture shock in Hong Kong. Foreigners roam at will, and their evil ideas circulate unrestricted online, in print and in classrooms. The local population seem to regard this as normal, and many have little interest in Mainland ways and are actually hostile to the CCP. Unfathomably, some do not even seem to accept that they are Chinese. People and media are free to criticize the local and central governments. The legal system is rooted in a perverse notion that one of its core functions is to limit government power over the population. This is no way to run a major city. It’s creepy.

Luo’s comments suggest that he intends to ‘do’ Article 23 or something like it, to clamp down on opposition activity and opinions through broader laws that weaken individual rights, and by introducing more politicized and compliant policing, prosecutions and judicial systems. Plus things like brainwashing kids in schools.

As the reports mention, however, these comments largely echo what Xi Jinping and other senior leaders have been saying for some time. The system now requires total loyalty to Xi, so Luo wouldn’t say anything else even if he had a mind of his own. Essentially, the new Liaison Office director will be channeling the Chairman-for-life himself.

Luo wouldn’t have climbed this far up the ladder without certain other qualities, like cunning and ruthlessness. He won’t personally seem very involved – it will be arms-length thuggishness. Local minions will have to do the dirty work, preferably without looking as wretchedly abysmal as Carrie Lam.

Obviously, the answer to the question was never going to be ‘nice’. The best way of putting it is ‘nasty with zombie-Leninist characteristics’.

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9 Responses to Don’t be fooled by the dashing looks and charisma

  1. PaperCuts says:

    How many fingers am I holding up Hong Kong?

    – Luo Huining

  2. Stephen says:

    Put Luo Huining in Ocean Park’s Haunted House and I’m sure he’ll scare the kids !

    Talking of Ocean Park, how can it be a ‘ failed business ? ‘ Wasn’t it under the stewardship of tycoon visionary Allan Semen for many years ?

  3. Mark Bradley says:

    It was under Allen Semen until 2014 and then he was forced out. Then in 2015 ocean park started losing money and has been ever since. This government is full of imbeciles who consistently make bad decisions.

  4. Mark Bradley says:

    And yes under Semen the park was performing very well.

  5. reductio says:

    @Stephen

    Indeed it was! Sadly, Alan left for greener pastures and without his laser-like business acumen it was down hill for OP. Talking of which, I read in today’s SCMP that OP is asking for 11 billion but it transpires it owes the government about 4 billion. Using some advanced mathematical analysis I’ve worked out that it could ask for 7 billion and pay off the loan. Or is this loan really a “loan”.

  6. Curious says:

    for all questions related to Luo we will just ask ‘what would Xi Dada do?’

  7. Red Dragon says:

    I loved Ocean Park; it was very much part of being a true Hong Konger back in the ’80’s and ’90’s.

    Now, alas, the allure has faded. I mean why would the average Hong Kong youngster seek excitement on a dreary old OP ride when they can just as easily risk getting shot in the street by one or more of “Asia’s Finest”?

    Dolphin Show, Sir? Come this way.

  8. Stanley Lieber says:

    In the 2000s, my young Hong Kong family visited Ocean Park frequently enough to justify being annual ticket holders. The place had a nice friendly Hong Kong atmosphere, not too crowded at all.

    Towards the end of that decade, we enjoyed improved food quality & hygiene, almost certainly attributable to Allan Zeman’s leadership.

    Also towards the end of the decade, we experienced the beginning of the flood of mainland visitors at Ocean Park. That totally changed the feel of the place practically overnight, and not for the better.

    It was a pity to witness and, let’s face it, there is no going back.

  9. Big Al says:

    Maybe we need some bungy-jumping pigs to entice more of our Mainland comrades to come and spend their hard earned … ahem … money at OP?

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