Spare a thought for those Hong Kong tycoons who have to attend the National People’s Congress and CPPCC sessions in Beijing during this time of plague.
As there are no flights from Hong Kong to the capital, they must fly out of Shenzhen. Although exempted from quarantine (in both directions), they must undergo a virus test after crossing the border. This apparently involves sitting in a slightly grungy room alone for many hours, with a menu offering three unappetizing choices to eat. They then get their flight, and go through a similar test again in Beijing, which has separate health regulations.
They are not allowed to bring flunkies. Thus Peter Lee, scion of the Henderson Land empire, has to struggle with his bags – and breaks his delicate foot. (He’s the one who acquired surrogate triplet boys to continue the family line.) Note that Victor Li, son of KS, can get away with ‘having a fever’ and staying in Hong Kong. Lesser plutocrats’ kids can only look on in envy.
Once in Beijing, the Hong Kong delegates will be confined to their hotels except when attending to snooze-voting duties in the Great Hall. For some, it might mean long evenings with only Maria Tam for company. She will no doubt regale them with stories about how she convinced Hong Kong officials to use the pattern of her bloomers (known in textiles-design circles as ‘Dongguan Tweed’) for the government’s ugly free face-masks.
The ‘two meetings’ this year will be a bit shorter than the usual two weeks. It will feel longer.