A Canadian businessman decries the Hong Kong government’s adoption of Mainland-style rabid and delusional public statements…
The true meaning and objectives of some government communications, and even the intended audience, are becoming harder to divine. Combative overtones can be detected in communications that seek to deny and deflect rather than deal directly with the issues at hand.
Examples include officials’ choreographed mouth-frothing over Nancy Pelosi, the claim that ‘external forces’ were behind the 2019 protests, and the insistence that press freedom is still protected. As the author says, this saps the administration’s credibility and undermines public trust. He suggests that, under ‘One Country, Two Systems’, the local government has the freedom to change course – but of course the descent into CCP-speak comes with the ending of that ‘high degree of autonomy’. Someone has to insert the ‘wolf-warrior’ ranting into the press releases and speeches, and they are not from this side of the border. The only audience that matters is Beijing.
It’s not that government communications were once forensically rigorous and bursting with integrity. Go back 10 years, and you’ll find ‘lines to take’ brazenly declaring such bullshit as ‘the bridge to Zhuhai is essential infrastructure’, or ‘the housing problem is due to a shortage of land’. But that duplicity was rooted in bureaucrats’ condescending colonial-era belief that the population were infants. The new practice of PR-by-propaganda-slogans reflects Mainland-style ideology, where everyone must loyally recite the same fictions, however disconnected they are from any sort of objective truth.