No mythical democracy for HK

In case you hadn’t noticed, Beijing is planning changes to Hong Kong’s ‘electoral’ system. This might seem superfluous. The CE is hand-picked by the CCP, with a small-circle rubber-stamp ‘election’ following. The Legislative Council has always been rigged, and is now largely cleared of pan-dems. District Councils are largely powerless, and now due to be cleansed of pan-dems as well. 

But just rigging outcomes is not good enough. Underlying polling figures still show that Beijing ‘loses’ whenever a free vote is allowed, making the process itself humiliating for the CCP. So we are now hearing talk of rejecting nasty Western-style democracy and replacing it with a healthy ‘consultative’ approach – essentially to strip universal public participation out of the formula.

Presumably, District Councils will end up being ‘elected’ by (Beijing-friendly) functional/United Front bodies – thus becoming like Municipal People’s Congresses, which send delegates further up the pyramid to rubber-stamp the regime’s decisions, like selecting Chief Executives. The symbolic presence of popular representatives in the Chief Executive ‘election’ procedures will end. 

This is not about control so much as appearances. The abandonment of just a pretense at a Western-style electoral system (outlined in the Basic Law) sends Hongkongers an obvious message about their cultural/national identity. And simply the sight of opponents within the essentially ceremonial structure drives the Leninist mind nuts. The system is perfect, so by definition there is no place for opposition or dissent. In order to maintain this state of bliss, it follows that accurate public opinion polls will also have to cease.

In other Hong Kong matters…

The FT reports (paywall) that the HKMA, SFC and Financial Services Bureau are phoning bankers and fund managers leaving Hong Kong for Singapore and Tokyo, to ask why they are relocating. 

The calls … described as new and unusual, asked for a full picture of the decision-making process behind the moves and the significance of the timing. 

Sadly, no mention of the answers the agencies received. It would be a bigger story if these agencies weren’t keeping tabs on this trend.

And a Bloomberg op-ed wonders whether Beijing is more nervous about suppressing Hong Kong than we might think. The circumstantial evidence is that the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China – the organization behind the annual Tiananmen vigil – survives. 

Of course, the June 4 gathering itself is suspended owing to Covid. But continued toleration of the vigil was one of Governor Chris Patten’s dozen or so tests of whether Beijing was upholding One Country Two Systems. Another example of Beijing’s supposed restraint would be RTHK, which remains editorially independent and vibrant (notwithstanding attacks on specific programming and staff members). 

So maybe the CCP is slightly mindful about upsetting international opinion. Or maybe it just has a long list of hostile forces to work through.

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6 Responses to No mythical democracy for HK

  1. Stanley Lieber says:

    “So maybe the CCP is slightly mindful about upsetting international opinion. Or maybe it just has a long list of hostile forces to work through.”

    It’s pretty clear that Chairman Xi doesn’t give a damn about international opinion. The lies he tells the Davosians and others would appear to be mainly for his own amusement.

    The list of hostile local forces is indeed long. And then there are the churches.

  2. Chinese Netizen says:

    Wow…who’da thunk that little SOB that murdered his gf in Taiwan actually unwittingly poured serious accelerant onto the (long) planned decoupling of HK from any sort of arcane Western style governance and that the entire “Basic Law” and anything nodded on by the CCP with the Brits was just pure bullshit (like so many other “agreements” the CCP loves signing on to)?

    What’s up with that little fucker these days?

  3. Stephen says:

    @Chinese Netizen

    Maybe I’m misreading your comment. The suspect alleged to have killed his girlfriend in Taiwan should have his day in court and if proved guilty, imprisoned for life. However he was purely a patsy offered up by the puppet administration to push through the CCP ordered edict regarding extradition (rendition) to the Mainland. The puppet administration never gave a shit about the victims and certainly don’t now. But to answer your question I believe he’s still at liberty in Hong Kong but willing to return to face justice in Taiwan.

  4. Red Dragon says:

    Stephen

    Very nicely put.

  5. Mary Melville says:

    He left one prison for another. Picked up by patriot Peter Koon and whisked off to a safe house where he is under the care and protection of the NSL enforcers. You will not bump into him at Seven Eleven any time soon.

  6. Din Dan Che says:

    @OurLadyofMelville – in the benign (I presume) custody of NSL officers — how intriguing. This Rev Koon must have many secrets under his dogcollar

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