Rectification of the fence-sitters coming

Lau Siu-kai, a gruff semi-official oracle who translates CCP-speak into human language, confirms what most assume – that Beijing is going to more formally end the grip of Hong Kong’s bureaucrat-tycoon ‘elites’ on the city’s power structure.

(The SCMP is quoting an article in a HK & Macau Affairs Office-sponsored journal, not apparently online yet.)

While he cuts through the CCP’s impermeable rhetoric, he leaves Leninist mendacity intact. He maintains that the post-1997 administrations that continued seeing ‘One Country, Two Systems’ in 1980s and 90s terms (insulating Hong Kong politically from the Mainland) ‘failed to implement’ (ie adapt to the redefining of) the formula. Civil servants who have adhered to their traditional impartiality have in fact deviated from it. Loyalty to Hong Kong is ‘disloyalty’, and officials persisting in this are ‘dissidents’.

The most pressing sins of the elites of course concern the Extradition Bill controversy that blew up into a popular uprising. Lau blames the officials for heeding public pressure and failing to act severely enough against the protests.

Essentially, our top officials have tried too hard to balance Hong Kong’s interests and those of the Central Government.

He also accuses officials of protecting their personal interests and says opportunists and even dissidents are among local ‘patriotic forces’. Sadly, he doesn’t name names. But at the very least he must be referring to (supposedly) pro-Beijing tycoons who have kept their heads down or tried to sound even-handed as the public rebelled against the CCP-appointed leadership. This is probably also a warning to any members of the harder-core pro-Beijing political groups who might be tempted to pander to public opinion.

Obviously, Chief Executive Carrie Lam and her sorry rabble are toast. But Lau’s channeled message does not necessarily indicate a full-scale purge of the establishment (which would at least offer some amusement). Beijing’s local power base is too thin for that. But it does suggest a rectification campaign: a classic United Front squeeze of the co-opted useful idiots as the CCP consolidates its control over a reluctant territory.

It will not be enough for moderate pro-establishment types to merely avoid saying anything nice about the opposition; they will have to actively join in blood-curdling denunciations, and visibly display their total loyalty to the CCP. Some of the more genteel bureaucrats will probably back out – but expect the property barons’ kids to start bleating about Xi Jinping Thought.

Lau’s analysis of course disregards the possibility that the CCP might have any responsibility for Hong Kong’s predicament. It is the Hong Kong population who are wrong in failing to have ‘national identity’. Their lack of respect and obedience towards the CCP are due to foreign forces and insufficient patriotic education for the young.

If you want to carry on being Beijing’s friend, you will loudly agree and take part in putting that right.

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17 Responses to Rectification of the fence-sitters coming

  1. YTSL says:

    One can but hope that pressure like this will (finally) get many of those thus far publicly silent or avowedly “neutral” people to balk and finally go over to join the pro-democracy ranks. But I’m sure veteran Hong Kong watchers will reckon that’s mere fantasizing on my part.

  2. Reader says:

    So all that time we thought the brutish behaviour of HKPF was out of line with Hong Kong’s norms and standards, actually it was the other way around.

  3. Cassowary says:

    1. It’s obvious that the only acceptable answer to any problem in Xi’s China is that somebody wasn’t loyal enough. The remarks fed through Lau Siu-kai are likely intended for consumption of one Xi Jinping as much as a statement of policy. Rather like how Republicans feel compelled to go on Fox News to sing the praises of Donald Trump, because they know he’s watching his TV all the time. The question is what they’ll actually do.

    2. I figure the CCP could take or leave the tycoons and likes of the Liberal Party, but will designated Cuddly Loyalists like Jasper Tsang be allowed to remain as they are? They seem to keep him around just because he’s been a Communist since the Pleistocene but never allow him to wield actual power.

  4. Proctologist #4 says:

    In my view, the fundamental problem with the CCP is its complete unpredictability. If only there was someone in the city who could read the ogre’s mind, then perhaps we could nudge it such that our collective ambition had a high chance of coming to fruition. As is, there appears not a single person among the 7-plus million of us who has the nous to work out how to play the beast such that the said outcome could be achieved. Sad. Very sad.

  5. Mary Melville says:

    Surely Lau himself should be the first to go. His years in charge of the Central Policy Unit did nothing that won minds and hearts. In addition he obviously failed miserably to decipher public sentiment and advise Beijing of the actual lay of the land.

  6. Boris Badanov says:

    It sounded to me that this was the new Beast from Zhejiang’s solution and a seriously depressing forerunner of what’s to come in the world of rallying around the core with XJP at it’s centre now the Xianggang autonomous zone is to be ideologically incorporated into the dominant Mainland dialectic. If you can’t change the population, beat them till they submit…so I only foresee more of the HKFP agitprop on the old Wanchai police station and poor police getting frustrated with the situation and running lawless and unaccountable as we all get “honour, duty and loyalty”-ed into submission. Welcome to the brave new world of the Xianggang guang an run state.

  7. Stephen says:

    @ Cassowary,

    I disagree about Jasper Tsang. Yes he’s a card carrying CCP member from way back but remember his Legco portrait wasn’t smashed in July. Father-time is ticking along but he’s still younger than the next POTUS. I think the CCP would like him as CE but he’s too much of a realist to accept it. He knows constitutional reform needs to be realised if the second half of two systems are to have any chance of succeeding. Will the CCP give him a long enough leash (or is that rope?) to come up with a workable compromise?

  8. Joe Blow says:

    Yesterday a police van (blue shirt) stood parked on the corner of Percival St and Hennessy Road. Since the dismantling of the street gates during the demos everybody simply walks straight across from the Rolex Shop to the opposite corner. So the popo strung a plastic popo ribbon where the gate used to be. Then he sat in his van for 3 hours playing with his smartphone.

    This morning the van was gone (where did the van Gogh?) and so was the popo ribbon. And folks were happily crossing the street again.

  9. Des Espoir says:

    I remember in about 1998 Lau Siu-kai came up with the idea that we should all change to driving on the right in order to maintain harmony and homogeneity with the motherland. Not sure who he thought would pay for it, or how much it would cost…

  10. asiaseen says:

    Historically the first to get the chop after a revolutionary take-over have been the winning movements most avid fan base. The Ides of March are now past, even so, beware Lau, Fan, Tam et al

  11. Lau level hypocrisy says:

    Lau’s beef is basically redundant: all local ‘patriotic forces’ are self-serving opportunists by definition. Nobody sensible in the whole of China actually believes in Communism, least of all the Politburo: that lot aren’t sending all their kids off to Harvard because of patriotic or zeal.

    As Hunter S Thompson pointed out: “In a closed society where everybody’s guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.”

  12. donkeynuts says:

    Anyone know where I can get some Pantone code “Communist Red 675” dye for the bunting I plan on hanging around my toilet?

  13. asiaseen says:

    donkeynuts, Pantone 186C is the one you want.
    513 Paint Shop Address: Shop S513, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, may be a good place to start

  14. donkeynuts says:

    Are you sure that you don’t really mean Pantone 1989 TS? I found that one quite rich, almost blood like crimson, really strikes the eye and the kneecaps.

  15. OCD-esigner says:

    Actually the China flag spec is 485C. It’s only the HKSAR flag that’s 186C.
    Turns out, not all the reds are equal: some are more equal than others. Who’d have seen that coming, eh?
    But for true authenticity, don’t go anywhere near the US Imperialist Pantone system: get the cheapest dodgy copy dye from taobao; you know, the one that’s toxic and carcinogenic.

  16. asiaseen says:

    Every reference I can find specifies 186C. Here are the alternative colour specs:
    Flag of the People’s Republic of China Red
    RGB 222/41/16
    Hexadecimal #de2910ff
    CMYK 0/82/93/13

  17. asiaseen says:

    Also. don’t forget the colour will look different on a computer screen as compared to a dyed fabric.

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