Former Chief Executive CY Leung claims that people leaving Hong Kong because of the NatSec regime are ‘relocating’ rather than ‘migrating’…
Leung said the authorities could help to clear up misunderstandings such people may have about political developments in Hong Kong.
Of course – it’s because they’re stupid.
“They don’t want to give up their Hong Kong identity, and this shows that they want to keep the option of returning one day,” he argued, adding that those leaving have “relocated” to other countries but not migrated.
The telling points are that he implicitly accepts that NatSec is convincing people to go, and that it would be desirable that they return. But unlike the pre-1997 brain drain, today’s movement is not about individuals qualifying for a passport as a family insurance policy – they are selling homes and taking their kids away to start new lives.
Factwire looks at the business connections of John Lee’s sons. In fairness, it would be hard to work in any major local companies that do not have ‘Election Committee’ members among owners or senior management. Indeed – without wishing to sound like a snobbish former Company Gwailo – the Lee boys’ connections are rather underwhelming. (Sniff.)
Oiwan Lam on the next CE…
If Carrie Lam’s mistake is bad political judgment, John Lee would not repeat that mistake as he is more unlikely to make his own political judgment.
…the political purge will likely continue and may further be extended to major social institutions in the name of counter-terrorism and counter-external forces…
You do not choose an ex-cop if you want someone who has his own ideas – just someone who snaps to attention and says ‘Yes sir!’ Looking at the public discontent in Shanghai, I can’t help wondering if Carrie Lam and her (non-ex-cop) colleagues countered Beijing officials’ insistence on a lockdown by warning of another 2019-style uprising if Hongkongers were forced to go through such a nightmare. Which brings us to…
Anne Stevenson-Yang in Forbes on China’s ‘governance implosion’…
Even the 1989 Tiananmen uprising did not affect as many people as the Covid lockdowns.
…Venerable as they may be, the “theories” of General Secretary Xi do not cure COVID.
Unfortunately, rather than forcing the government to make the most obvious adjustment to the visible realities of the situation, the backlash is more likely to reinforce the Party’s sense of being under siege.
…The Party is locked down in its own self-made policy claims and propaganda. The botched lockdowns and flow of damaging videos and testimonials undermine Xi’s core messages: infallibility of the Party and total focus on the welfare of the people.
However, a CNN op-ed believes that Beijing will propagandize its way out of the mess…
…some argue that China has painted itself into a corner where it now needs to uphold its stringent policy, after reveling for two years in the success of “zero-Covid,” while scaremongering about the virus and generating broad support for the policy.
Huang puts it this way: “We should never underestimate the government capacity to redefine its narrative to sustain the public support. And we should never underestimate the people’s tolerance, even for policies that harm their interest.”
Given that the Chinese people have meekly absorbed disasters like the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, I would guess the CNN prediction will be right. Blame it all on evil foreign forces.
Also Forbes on China’s apparent manipulation of Covid statistics…
Even sticking to [data officially reported by the Chinese government], obvious problems emerge. In some cases, the data is incomplete. In others, it is highly implausible. And some of what is reported cannot possibly be true.
…One might wonder how China can claim a Covid mortality rate 30 times lower than Korea’s, 50 times lower than Singapore’s? Or 73 times lower than New Zealand’s (since April 2020)?
…Tens of thousands of officially reported Covid cases throughout China (since April 2020) that have not resulted in a single death attributed to Covid? This is not possible, and not believable. China’s countermeasures, however extreme, have no effect on mortality once someone is infected.
(The latest word is that authorities in Shanghai are now admitting a handful of Covid fatalities.)
Even the SCMP’s laboriously pro-Beijing Canada-based Alex Lo finds fault…
China’s zero-Covid success in the past two years is proving to be less than meets the eye. Its relentless and cruel application in Shanghai, the country’s richest city, is showing the world the ugly side of locking down millions. It is also looking increasingly pointless.
The (probably paywalled) Economist’s intro to a story on Beijing’s zero-Covid fetish in Shanghai…
It is often said that China’s government plans decades ahead, carefully playing the long game as democracies flip-flop and dither. But in Shanghai right now there is not much sign of strategic genius.
…The zero-covid policy has become a dead end from which the Communist Party has no quick exit.
It is one of a trio of problems faced by China this year, alongside a misfiring economy and the war in Ukraine. You may think they are unconnected, but China’s response to each has a common root: swagger and hubris in public, an obsession with control in private, and dubious results. Rather than being the product of statecraft with the Yellow Emperor’s time horizon, China’s actions reflect an authoritarian system under Xi Jinping that struggles to calibrate policy or admit when it is wrong
Beijing’s gullible apologists have long pushed the idea of Chinese leadership’s profound mystical oriental wisdom and ultra-long-term thinking in dimensions beyond barbarians’ comprehension. Others have known for decades – they’re making it up as they go along.