Hong Kong sweeps up after an umbrella and pepper-spray-infused protest near Beijing’s Liaison Office in Western. The confrontation was relatively brief and small-scale, but it had a distinctly familiar feel to it – reassuring and exhilarating to some, disturbing and ominous to others. The trigger was Beijing’s plan to override an ongoing court case and impose an ‘interpretation’ aimed at barring localist radicals from the Legislative Council.
The Communist Party believes this desperate rule-of-man Leninist decree will suppress pro-independence sentiment. More likely, it will help push what is still a mischievous way of needling the sovereign power into a more tangible pro-independence ‘movement’. As if subliminally aware of the inevitable unintended consequences, Beijing announces the decision in a venue called the (bye-bye) Taiwan Room.
Meanwhile, the South China Morning Post presents a joyfully starry-eyed view of the forthcoming Chief Executive ‘election’…
The column dismisses, twice, the painstakingly rigged nature of the Election Committee as a myth. You can judge for yourself by looking at the composition of the body (clue: 50%-plus zombie-loyalists or shoe-shiners representing obscure sectors like fisheries or martial arts). And the writer imagines that the outcome will be just fabulous. Again, you can judge for yourself. Look at past CE ‘elections’. And ask whether the Chinese Communist Party is seriously going to allow a representative and free electoral process to decide an appointment at this or any level.
On a less hilarious note, another column mentions a recent book on Hong Kong by a Mainland expert, apparently analyzing the ‘New Normal’ (old cliché) of Beijing-Hong Kong relations…The bit about ‘one country being the goal’ and ‘two systems being the means’ jumps out. Mainland apologist-academics explain new meanings to old phrases and concepts all the time, and the eyes glaze over when they utter the latest version of the truth (this is ‘interpretation’ on an informal scale). Sometimes they are talking BS, sometimes they are imparting official positions.
This one is apparently a ‘further clarification’, which sounds like CCP-speak for ‘yet another U-turn as paranoid party makes it up as it goes along’. I always thought ‘one country’ and ‘two systems’ operated in parallel, certainly before (and we are told possibly after) 2047. The implication is that each element of the 1C2S formula exists on a separate level, with neither affecting the other. The idea that ‘two-systems’ is a device to actively bring about ‘one country’ suggests otherwise.
What does it mean? As we can see as today’s news comes in from the Taiwan Room, whatever you thought was true or real doesn’t matter, or just isn’t.