An SCMP interview with the new Bauhinia Party’s guy confirms initial impressions that it’s a CCP initiative to co-opt broader middle-class and young elements. It looks like an attempt to sideline, rather than just scare, the pro-Beijing groups that currently fail to attract much following from those ‘sectors’.
The predominance of Mainlanders in the group seems like a turnoff, but the Liaison Office might be calculating (rightly or wrongly) that the old traditional local business establishment is so unpopular among the populace that it will be a plus. The fact that you’ve never heard of these people is the point. Ronnie Chan, Allan Zeman and the plutocrat kiddies are yesterday; the future lies with the Mainland and the Bay Area.
Although the group presents itself as a ‘political party’, the idea would not be to focus on Legco, elections and the local quasi-politics charade (though they might participate in these to raise their profile). The long-term strategy will be to form a broader and more loyal business/professionals base, under United Front control, to pull the middle class away from the pro-dem movement.
That means it will have to appear ‘fresh’ and to some extent critical of the status quo. The disdain for Carrie Lam might seem edgy, but is essential for any hope of credibility (and no doubt reflects Beijing officials’ own views). Subtle stuff, for Leninists.
It will be interesting to see how it goes about building up its image – eg by attracting some new and appealing figures to join it. The mission will be to appear sexier than the Tung Chee-hwa/tycoons mob – not the hardest job in the world.
I think you’re all overplaying the political role of the “Bauhinia Party”. They’ve been pretty clear at first that their only objective was getting Lantau Tomorrow money into the right hands.
BTW, any updates on the ongoing mission of that Middle East based PR firm tasked with making HK hip cool and attractive again?
The SCMP review reminds us how this newspaper is failing the community by no longer straying outside the narrow focus of the story and incorporating relevant detail. But perhaps with the focus on Alibaba and GBA its reporters are no longer in touch with local affairs.
One of the founders of the Bauhinia Party is chairman of Bonjour. This cosmetic retailer is in deep shit at the moment with multiple writs for millions in unpaid rent. The most recent is a winding up petition against a subsidiary:
Hardly a model of inspiring leadership. Are the other members squeaky clean?
Today’s Guardian article:
Trump administration by contrast has sanctioned 14 Chinese officials specifically over Hong Kong, including the chief executive, Carrie Lamb.
@Mary M: one needn’t be clean if one is sufficiently sycophantic
Even more on the Bauhinia Party from “Veteran political journalist Ching Cheong”