Columnist takes things at face value

A commenter notes some recent mildly skeptical pieces in the SCMP, including one asking – after few non-DAB or DAB-type candidates got on the District Council ballots – why Hong Kong’s Chief Executive doesn’t trust voters…

…the problem is that Lee is also a politician. He has political power as the city’s chief executive, so it has to be more than that. Is it that Lee is suffering from a crisis of faith in the very system he has been instrumental in putting in place?

…[Decision-makers] are not leaving anything to chance. In other words, there is no room for “faith” in the equation, not even in the patriots to win the patriots’ game.

…How much time needs to pass before those [2019] elections can be forgiven and forgotten? Would the completion of Article 23 legislation next year do the trick?

It comes down to the lack of faith in voters themselves. This then raises the question of how we can convince those in power that we can be trusted. What will it take? Do we need to pass a patriotic exam before qualifying as a voter? Or should we attend education seminars and rack up enough hours to qualify?

Perhaps this isn’t so much mildly skeptical as naive. Is the CE a ‘politician’? Does he have ‘political power’? Or Is the whole NatSec/all-patriots era about a more centralized, top-down power structure, in which local officials are not actually at the top, and the people have no input?

Another question: will the UK Privy Council’s judgement curbing the reach of a former British colony’s sedition law affect the Stand News and other cases in Hong Kong? Not if that more-top-down structure applies to the judicial, as well as executive and legislative, branches. 

In the paywalled department… Minxin Pei at Bloomberg on why China’s generals keep disappearing

Once appointments and promotions can be bought, corruption becomes hard to contain. Officers must first be corrupt enough to accumulate sufficient dirty money to bribe superiors if they want to advance in the system. Over time, bad money drives out good; a very large number of officers in the military are thought to gain their positions via this route.

When investigators searched the home of Gen. Xu Caihou, a vice chairman of CMC and the de facto top political commissar of the PLA, in 2013, they reportedly found more than a ton of cash, jade, and valuable antiques stashed in his basement. One can only imagine how many junior officers must have bribed him over the course of his career.

And a WaPo extract from new book Among The Braves, on the 7-21 Yuen Long attack…

Events in Yuen Long on the night of July 21 when residents were brutalized by marauding gangs would rupture whatever hope still existed that Hong Kong could reach some kind of political compromise. Reporting for a narrative history of the pro-democracy movement reveals that the police were aware of the planned attacks, as were government officials close to Hong Kong’s political leadership. Yet they did nothing to stop it.

More on which here.

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6 Responses to Columnist takes things at face value

  1. Chinese Netizen says:

    It’s not even just the upper ranks of the PLA. Just to get a kid into the ranks as a lowly enlistee, one must come up with tens of thousands of RMB for the gatekeepers.

    You know how the US military offers such enticements as “job skills training”, “college money”, “future career opportunities” and “veterans benefits”? Now imagine turning the table and figuring out how you have to entice the recruiter for the privilege to sign your life away for a few years.

    Why try to join the PLA? After a stint in the service, you’re fast tracked for such cake run gigs as drivers for government officials, one of those guys in a suit and ear piece that escorts Hu Jintao aways from the table, or just lollygagging around all day in some district government office collecting a salary but not actually doing anything.

    Iron rice bowl, baby!

  2. seedy Brit journo says:

    “…or just lollygagging around all day in some district government office collecting a salary but not actually doing anything.”

    They should join the Hong Kong civil service then.

  3. HillnotPeak says:

    No ‘so-called’ press statement from our government today?

  4. Mary Melville says:

    Re; Chinese Net and seedy Brit journo – aptly describes the function of our 90 x $100,000++++ Legco but in the more roomy Leggers compound.
    And soon a further 470 will soon jump on board via the DC gravy train, and then there are the too many to count members of the various committees that all enjoy allowances for doing aught more strenuous than professing to be patriotic.

  5. Chinese Netizen says:

    So the DC so-called “elections” is nothing more than a jobs and welfare program for those needing it the least? Perfect!

  6. Cui bonobo says:

    On Minxin Pei’s article:
    Why do journos always take these CCP “anti-corruption” purges at entirely face value?
    It’s just the official excuse, guys! No need to read much into the lip service: they’re just getting rid of rivals and other unwanted folk. Think Stalin in the ’30s.

    Using corruption as a criterion for getting rid of Chinese officials is the same as getting rid of them for having black hair and brown eyes.

    If they aren’t getting rid of all of them, then corruption isn’t the real criterion. Start again; think carefully.

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