HK govt clarifies misunderstanding following confusion about screw-up

Having been hung out to dry by its CCP masters, the Hong Kong government issues a squirming late-night press release on why it needs to keep on redrafting late-night press releases. Essentially: Beijing’s local Liaison Office was founded as the Xinhua News Agency in 1947 and the dog ate my homework.

Often, these statements are attributed to a fictitious ‘government spokesman’, but this one attributes the embarrassing blather to a fabricated nameless official specifically attached to the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau. To further help distance other government agencies from the haplessness and horror, the Bureau’s boss Patrick Nip kneels on broken glass and confesses to ‘errors’:

…releases needed to be issued again to make corrections and explanations, and there were confusion and misunderstanding. I deeply regret that!

An unimpressed Bar Association releases another opinion, pointing out (among other things) that the Central Government in Beijing is supposed to be subject to the Basic Law (a PRC law), so its Liaison Office must be too.

A commentator in Ming Pao makes another good point, namely that the Basic Law not only says the Hong Kong government will have autonomy over internal affairs – it allows for Beijing to replace the Chief Executive if things go badly wrong. Such a failsafe mechanism presumably not being necessary if the Liaison Office is intended or able to micro-manage internal affairs.

In case you need any more evidence that we are witnessing Classic CCP Making-Up-Casuistry-As-They-Go-Along Mayhem, here come Beijing shoe-shiners Tam Yiu-chung, Regina Ip and Ronny Tong to tell us that the Hong Kong government has failed to grasp/doesn’t understand/is confused about the Basic Law (‘unlike us, as we are so knowledgeable and insightful’).

Meanwhile, the local administration-puppets have to watch helplessly as the round-up of Martin Lee, Margaret Ng et al attracts more attention around the world (eg here and here).

And Fitch rushes to reduce Hong Kong’s credit rating again, citing a lot of economic troubles, but also…

…central authorities taking a more vocal role in Hong Kong affairs than at any time since the 1997 handover…

Cue anguished mouth-frothing about a ‘disproportionate emphasis on prevailing socio-political issues’. Which sounds slightly like the CCP’s basic problem.

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18 Responses to HK govt clarifies misunderstanding following confusion about screw-up

  1. Revolution says:

    Read together, the various press releases confirm that Hong Kong has always been at war with Eastasia.

    Coming soon – Ronny Tong to explain that Luo Huining is holding up 4 fingers when everyone else thinks he’s holding up 3 fingers. Tam Yiu-Chung will explain how people just haven’t grasped how many fingers are being held up.

  2. Twocisterns says:

    Has the Liaison Orifice been buying flats and avoiding stamp duty because it is a governmental department? If it isn’t officially a government department isn’t it obliged to pay the stamp duty now?

  3. Joe Blow says:

    Patrick Nip has just been relieved of his duties.

  4. asiaseen says:

    Tam, Ip and Tong (what an acronym) have risen above shoe-shining to the proctological level.

  5. skreader says:

    Replaced by Eric Tsang of Immigration Department

  6. Mark Bradley says:

    Well the two knuckle draggers that run the Hong Kong Macau Affairs Office in Beijing and the liaison office respectively are doing a fantastic job at digging their own grave. I hope the National Anthem Bill will get eliminated by filibuster which is exactly what Beijing is freaking out over in the first place since it’s effectively a veto on their dumb national law which will soon become officially undead like Article 23.

    Hopefully the pan dems can get enough functional constituency votes to be able to form a majority in the 2020 Legco election. I think any DQs will just make voters even more determined to vote in whatever standin democrat replaces the current crop of lawmakers.

  7. reductio says:

    @Joe Blow

    I think Patrick Nip will be rather relieved. He’s still pulling in the $$$, nice pension lined up, some post retirements gigs to pay for home improvements (or even more homes), and he’s already saving cash not having to buy spare underpants for work anymore.

  8. dimuendo says:

    Mark Bradley

    Watch the forthcoming Law,Society elections. Last year at least 5 of those elected stood for nothing, including one who openly said he had never previously played or (from memory) had any interest in the Law Soc.

    The President said she would vote unmarked proxy papers as she saw fit, but declining to say how she would so vote. All the blues as elected goethe majority of their votes by proxy.

    Same President this year for the AGM

    If the yellow camp in solicitors cannot together a viable bunch of candidates (and get the vote out in support) thenwhat can you expect from the fragmented camp at large. Ignoring of course that which ever brave soul lifts his/her head above the parapet is automatically targeted.

    As for our impartial Commisioner of Police we are still waiting to read Junius Ho has had his collar felt.

  9. Cassowary says:

    @Mark Bradley
    By my calculation, the dems could get at best 8 of the FC seats. Too many are determined by corporate votes.

    Of the FCs, only law, education, medical, health services, engineering, arch/surveying/planning, IT, social welfare, are elected by enough human beings to give the pan-dems a chance.

    Catering, wholesale and retail, and at a stretch, Commercial Second and import/export could theoretically flip if usual Liberal Party voters mutiny in large numbers, but I think the rich would rather chew their own arms off.

    The rest are lost causes. Heung Yee Kuk, ag fish, insurance, transport, all 3 labour, real estate & construction, tourism, Commercial First, both industrial seats, both financial seats, textiles and garment, and sports/publication/blah blah. The tycoons would have to have a collective aneurysm.

    Let’s give the pan-dems all 6 District Council FC seats.

    Assuming the Democrats maintain their 60% vote share in the geographical constituencies, given that they’re proportional representation and not first-past-the-post, they’ll expect to get 21 geographical seats, assuming they distribute their votes expertly and don’t waste any.

    8+6+21 = 35

    They’d have to play all of their cards right, and flip an extra pro-government seat, to get 36. And after all that, the government would DQ them all over again.

  10. asiaseen says:

    I like the SCMP’s description: “…a cabinet reshuffle that was planned earlier…”
    In other words, since Sunday lunchtime.

  11. Stanley Lieber says:


    It’s hard to argue with your math.

    Even if the dems were to snatch a couple of extra FC seats, they could just as easily lose a couple of geographical seats through poor coordination of candidates. On this they have form.

    Apart from generating massive turnout, the key for the pro-dems must be to campaign hard amongst sensible people in the business community with the message that the incipient the police state is going to be a disaster for them, too, in the fullness of time, and that the pro-dems can produce a better economic and governance model, and not just more protests.

    KS Li has given plenty of hints that he thinks the current mob are useless and going in the wrong direction. If the pan-dems can figure out how to get him and others like him to either climb aboard or at least remain on the sidelines, then the pro-dems have a real shot at 36 seats or more in September.

    If DQs follow, so be it. The fight will go on until the next CE election regardless.

  12. Mark Bradley says:

    @Cassowary I don’t disagree with your math at all. But even wining 35 seats would essentially paralyze the legco since neither side would have enough votes to pass legislation with a simple majority, and normally the president doesn’t vote so in theory 35 seats could be a majority.

  13. Mark Bradley says:

    Also once the pan democrats are sworn by after doing a perfect oath, there is no opportunity to DQ them except via legco itself which requires a supermajority. And if the HK government decides to go full retard and DQ all current pan dems trying to stand for election, it won’t accomplish anything since their alternates would still get nominated and it may actually help voter turnout.

  14. Hong Kong Hibernian says:

    And now Sun Lijun turns out to have been spying for Australia? Or was he stupid enough to have spoken the truth after his recent visits to Wuhan? Perhaps he had access to information about the Xi family fortune and properties, including the one in Repulse Bay?

    Love it! Eating their own.

  15. Cassowary says:

    @Stanley: There is evidence that some of the tycoons and the tycoon-adjacent are getting mighty uncomfortable with the Xi regime, but the pan-dems have comparatively little to offer them, when Xi’s got their nuts in a vise. Apart from being entirely dependent on the grace of the CCP to do business over the border, any one of them could probably get nailed against the wall on bribery/insider trading/money laundering charges, some of them even non-fictional. We may see some minor rumblings, perhaps.

    @Mark: The Liaison Office has both declared itself above the Basic Law and redefined “violating one’s oath of office” as “doing stuff we don’t like”, and made itself perfectly willing to sack any HK government minister to get its way. This means they will DQ anybody for any reason.

    And since I am no longer willing to put anything past them, I’ll say there’s a 25% chance that they will also “vet” the replacement candidates out of existence, and only allow pro-government figures to stand for election. At that point, turnout will be the least of anybody’s worries. (Among the reasons why Patrick Nip got canned, being too squeamish to bar candidates other than Joshua Wong.)

  16. Mark Bradley says:

    @Cassowary good points. That would be an insane move but not something I would put past a Party secretary with a very hardline reputation.

  17. Tofu says:

    @Cassowary I’m a bit late to this post but the Democrats won’t get all 5 super seats since they are proportional. They’ll get the 1 DC (First) and 3, at most 4 DC super seats if they coordinate well enough.

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