Along with scores of ‘ethnic minorities’ sporting improbably exotic costumes, dozens of billionaires sit in China’s National People’s Congress and CPPCC. Some, inevitably, are from Hong Kong (think property tycoons or their kids). Attending the ‘two sessions’ is a tedious chore for them, and some have been known to sneak out to zip back home for a day.
It’s a bore not least because delegates have no input into how China is run (in a system that eschews separation of powers, the parliament is ceremonial, with no debate or knife-edge votes). For the relatively lowly, selection as a delegate offers prestige; but for the plutocrats, it’s a burden that cannot be refused – one of the obligations of the co-opted. Now, the FT reports…
Beijing is pressing Hong Kong’s political elite to give up their western passports in order to be selected for the Chinese parliament…
Most of this (business, not ‘political’) elite would be delighted not to have to attend the ‘two sessions’, but to reject membership would be an unthinkable insult to Beijing. At the same time, they would be unnerved to lose their UK/US/Canadian passports (which provide easier travel and – more to the point – an emergency bolthole, though China does not recognize dual nationality).
This is about forcing privileged pretend-patriots to choose: are you loyal to the motherland or not? One of those situations where we can’t help but sympathize with staunchly pro-Beijing ex-CE CY Leung…
During a national security education event last month, Leung said those refusing to give up their documents were “making up nonsense excuses”.
Someone said that under Capitalism and our “democracy” the people change but the policies don’t.
Under Communism the people don’t change but the policies do.
Where to sir? Not that place again. Full of hookers.
So have CY’s missus and kids given up their Brit passports?????
Under Capitalism, man exploits man.
But under Communism it’s the other way around.
Mary, you are naughty
Next question would be: has Curry Lamb yet sold her farm in the Home Counties?
Ah but what about stealth “citizenship” in semi free, low profile “western lite” countries?? Singapore, South Africa, Argentina, Mexico, Croatia, etc?
It was never about citizenship or sense of loyalty…just passport holding convenience. Necessary pragmatism.
(I do love that it’s a “burden that cannot be refused”)