More on the new old guys

With the WHO’s blessing, China’s leadership magics the coronavirus away and – while we’re distracted – puts Gui Minhai in prison for 10 years. This is the same leadership that has placed new (as in plucked-from-pre-retirement) bosses into its more-streamlined Hong Kong Affairs bureaucracy. Of which some more analysis…

Suzanne Pepper at HK Free Press says the appointment of obedient loyalists with zero clue about Hong Kong doesn’t look good. But she sees a slight (theoretical) glimmer of hope:

Director Luo is said to be a soft-spoken man with a knack for solving difficult problems. If he can use the new streamlined channels of communication to correct the official narrative on Hong Kong resistance and foreign force infiltration, he would at least be taking a step in the right direction.

I can picture it now… “Hey guys! Guys! You’d never guess, but it’s nothing to do with hostile foreign forces – it’s all our fault for not letting them have more representative government or respecting their identity and freedoms.”

Philip Bowring at Asia Sentinel doubts the two new bosses know what they’re in for:

Hong Kong is an entirely alien environment for Luo. He might as well be walking on Mars. He will be bewildered by its freewheeling press, pesky reporters, rude politicians and impolite students…

Xia Baolong will have no qualms stomping on his liaison office teams, or threatening civil servants who question his bombast. Winning hearts and minds was never his concern. He may hector the protesting youth, academics, civic activists and pro-democracy politicians … He will have to stomach the lampooning, cartooning, and graffiti that Hong Kong typically showers on pompous bureaucrats.

There is that. Watching these two grapple with the sheer strangeness of a free pluralistic society might be entertaining. Speaking of which, on the apparently mystifying continued presence of Carrie Lam as Chief Executive and nominated scapegoat, Bowring intones:

The party will not concede to protest calls for her removal. That would be showing softness to dissidents, which is never an option for the party. Besides, Lam has always been the loyal marionette, who never let judgment or dignity get in the way of her obedience.


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8 Responses to More on the new old guys

  1. Reactor #4 says:

    Bowring is slow of the mark. I effectively made that point last Friday, although from a somewhat different slant.

  2. Hamantha says:

    @Reactor #4

    Yes, I remember that. I think Bowring might’ve stolen your stuff!

  3. Red Dragon says:

    Reactionary #4

    The reason you need to remind people of the points you claim to have made is that either they are made so obscurely (“from a somewhat different slant”) that the few who read your maunderings don’t spot them or (and more probably) nobody reads what you say in the first place.

    You have the hide of a rhino, but you might care to reflect on this.

  4. Mary Melville says:

    The sentencing of Gui Minghai appears to be timed as a warning to anyone daring to report facts on the Wuflu that do not fit the party narrative of what fate awaits them.

  5. Pawn Broker says:

    Damn Asia Sentinel. Thanks to that description of Carpet Carrie as a majorette I can’t shake the notion that she marches around Government House wearing a pleated pussy-pelmet with knee-high boots and a big gold stick. Now I keep breaking into the kind of clammy sweat that will see me stuck at home with a wrist-tag, fielding phone calls from DAB groupies.

    It’s not responsible journalism.

  6. pie-chucker says:

    @ Reactor

    You’ve been in Hong Kong 10 minutes compared to Bowring. And he has ‘access’ to the inner workings in Legco. Maybe Bowring had some sort of political epiphany from reading your Friday comment. But I doubt it.

  7. AHW says:

    The article is dated February 18, a couple of days before Fri 21. (The byline, however, is “Special Correspondent”, and the line “The author is a Hong Kong businessman who prefers to remain anonymous” appears at the end.)

  8. Hong Kong Hibernian says:

    The WuFlu has done one thing for Winnie the (Flu) Pooh: it has removed any worries about Chinese soft power for the time being.

    Swedish citizens? Throw ’em behind bars!

    Hong Kong? Grind ’em down with the tag team of Luo and Xia.

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