The weekend in review

Hong Kong’s business establishment are feeling the heat as the old cozy tycoon-bureaucrat relationship gives way to direct Liaison Office control of the city. The outgoing boss of the HK General Chamber of Commerce puts on a brave face by overlooking the rapid shift in the power structure and asking for clarity about what happens after 2047: ‘We must start the dialogue with Beijing now’.

But the CCP doesn’t do dialogue. You can have one of two relationships with it: either you kowtow and obey, or you are the enemy and a threat.

The tycoon caste had their chance 10-20 years ago. They could have practiced a bit of enlightened self-interest and accepted a need for more inclusive and responsive governance. Instead, they went full crony-snouts-in-trough screw-everyone-else. Today, they’re shoved to one side as Beijing shreds rule of law. Too late now.

The bureaucrat side of the old alliance is also fighting a rearguard action. The Hong Kong government embarks on a second attempt to enlist public-relations expertise to restore the city’s battered international image. (Link includes fun tender documents.)

Like their business buddies, the officials are desperate and naïve. You can’t PR your way out of extensively documented incompetence, police brutality, banana-republic stunts like round-ups of lawyers, and Beijing’s unconcealed, unilateral ending of local autonomy. The Liaison Office is now pretty much even dictating the Hong Kong government’s own press statements (compare CCP-style shrieking-hysterics with the administration’s overblown mouth-frothing about foreign interference).

As if to prove the point, the HK Police find yet another of their shock-horror terrorist bomb-factories. (What is this – the fourth, fifth?) This time, the evil radical fanatics have chosen to store their explosives in a disused school that also serves as a police training site. World’s dimmest terrorists, or least-original cops?

We are of course expected to beg for anti-sedition National Security laws. If you didn’t get the message, the Liaison Office delivers a major freak-out rant over Friday’s (barely noticeable) protest activities – ‘radical protesters re-instigating and inciting violence to disrupt society once again and plunge the public into panic and pain, and ignoring the rules of the free market, plus political abduction of the economy, by enemies against the people who are destroying Hong Kong’s hopes’. Otherwise known as going to pro-yellow restaurants.

In whatever shape or form they come, Article 23 laws will (among other things) criminalize opinions, enable censorship, institutionalize intimidation and generally undermine rights, freedoms and rule of law. Nothing the General Chamber or some wretched PR agency can do about it.

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13 Responses to The weekend in review

  1. Stanley Lieber says:

    The “discovery” of bomb caches with dissident pamphlets and other incriminating material conveniently strewn about is one of the oldest communist tricks in the book, going back to the 1940s, at least.

  2. Angus says:

    … as a running dog Commie lackey lickspittle of a 1,000 years and as cynical, sorry pragmatic, cove – I feel I am under qualified to point out on no basis or evidence whatsoever that possibly, just possibly – the bang bangs were planted at a known police training facility to er, I don’t know , cause death, damage, maximum mayhem where there were known to be – police ? hardly efficacious to plant in for example – a House Of Whatever God you pray to ?

  3. donkeynuts says:

    “This time, the evil radical fanatics have chosen to store their explosives in a disused school that also serves as a police training site. World’s dimmest terrorists, or least-original cops?”

    Sincere question: is there a theory or a political philosophy that has a name that we can use when they don’t even try to delude us into thinking that this kind of thing ISN’T made up and trumped up for their own benefit?
    The only terms that immediately comes to mind are dictatorship; Vichy state; fanatic Leninism; militant paranoia. Anyone else?

  4. Commiepinko says:

    I’m not sure how many aviation geeks we have around here, but ever since the Liaison Office became full tilt strident a few weeks ago, I have noticed a plethora of government flying service helicopters on Flightradar24 flitting back and forth between the mainland and Hong Kong Island, and conducting what seem to be airdrops, surveying, or surveillance on outlying islands and in the new territories. I have even seen a few over the last month doing spotlight searches up near Tai Mo Shan. There has even been a surveying aircraft going back and forth for hours mapping the border area above Fanling.
    I wonder what is brewing.

  5. Big Al says:

    Also spotted them buzzing Lantau over the weekend. Something big is going to happen …

    I am so tired of hearing Mr Toad (aka “Establishment heavyweight Tam Yiu-chung”) croaking his pro-China views to the detriment of Hong Kongers. If he loves the CCP so much, why doesn’t he just fuck off and live on the Mainland?

  6. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Commiepinko: No doubt recon for suitable mass troop LZs a la US air cav during the Vietnam War.

    Have the HKCCPPF been engaged yet by such lowly, incompetent departments such as London, NYC, LA, Paree or even Tokyo on terrorist cell smashing lectures and bomb equipment lab discovery techniques?? They really have so much to offer…

  7. Chris Maden says:


    is there a theory or a political philosophy that has a name that we can use when they don’t even try to delude us into thinking that this kind of thing ISN’T made up and trumped up for their own benefit?


  8. HillnotPeak says:

    Isn’t Paul Manafort coming out of jail any time soon? Looks like the perfect candidate to lead HK’s PR efforts.

  9. Cassowary says:

    @donkeynuts: Pseudocracy? Rule by lies. Moropseudocracy? Rule by stupid lies.
    Not that I actually know Greek, but that’s the best I can come up with using Google.

  10. Mun Dane says:

    Re the PR RFP, I can see the conversations with head office. Head Office in London, or New York, or whatever, “So, are you going to respond?” Local head of agency “Only if you can accept a sudden and major reduction in head count”.

    It will be interesting to see who goes for it. Will give a good idea as to which PR Consultancies are low on billings currently. They will likely be the only ones prepared to hold their nose and pitch.

  11. Dulce et decorum est pro pecunia mori says:

    @Mun Dane

    My money says no one will bite. Again.

    Because PR firms would be the first to realise that just being associated with the people gassing and shooting their own schoolchildren (at the order of the people who gave the world coronavirus, covered up it up for months and then went around blaming everyone else for it and selling everyone they infected faulty medical supplies) is a total PR disaster in its own right.

    That’s before you even have to deal with an “image makeover” that is transparently just so that the alleged government can continue getting rid of the last of their population’s rights in peace without losing any face or money.

    Then there’s the loss in reputation when the campaign plays out as the abysmal fiasco it can only be. The whole thing just closes far more doors than it could ever hope to open.

    In short, being made both an international pariah and laughing stock in exchange for less cash than you’ll need to get your reputation back is all that awaits the PR firm that takes the CPC’s shilling.

  12. asiaseen says:

    Does the ISD live in a parallel universe?
    From the brief: :…help ensure global target audiences are aware of Hong Kong’s economic recovery…”
    Paul Chan yesterday: “Our economic situation is very challenging. We are in deep recession”
    The essential requirements section for professional experience in the brief is intruiging – is it one year’s aggregrate experience in just one or all ten of the various categories?

  13. A Poor Man says:

    Mun Dane – no one will take the job and then the CCP and HKG will complain that this violates free market principles.

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