Beijing’s shopping list for this summer in Hong Kong: the National Anthem (Compulsory Adoration) Bill; perhaps moves towards licensing of news reporters; some sort of disqualifications/ballot-rigging/plain cancellation for Legislative Council elections; extra-stern no-nonsense huffing and puffing about Article 23 National Security laws; and more patriotic education in public schools, including an attack on evil Liberal Studies – a syllabus that somehow leaves students imagining the government is garbage. (So pernicious is this course that it even has this effect on older generations who never took these classes.)
The pro-CCP DAB will make a show of raising some or all of these (plus a ban on eating cats and dogs) at the ‘two meetings’ in Beijing later this month. Dozens of Hong Kong’s great and good have been rearranging their diaries to fit the two-week NPC/CPPCC charade into their busy schedules after it was postponed from March due to the coronavirus.
Not only will the shoe-shiners, tycoons and ‘heavyweights’ have to undergo virus tests upon arrival and departure – they will be confined to their hotels when not doing the daily choreographed snoozing/hand-raising/study sessions thing in and around the Great Hall of the People. For two weeks. (They are normally free to dine and hobnob in the evenings, have a massage, and even discreetly sneak back to Hong Kong for a half-day.) For the Beijing-co-opted businessmen, in particular, this will be a torment.