Leadership Collapses, Hong Kong Disintegrates
Chief Executive Carrie Lam, her executive council and the herd of legislative rubber-stampers have abandoned the city to chaos. That is not accidental. It is orchestrated. Militant protesters, paid thugs, disguised agents-provocateurs and angry riot police loop daily in a choreography of doom. Governance has totally collapsed. The devils of mischief visit mayhem on all sides.
This level of incompetence on the part of the central government agency headed by the chief executive, a marionette, beggars belief. But 70 years of failed rulership over Tibet, and Xinjiang on the part of Beijing is ample evidence of such ineptitude. When authoritarianism fails to force compliance, the CCP defaults to intimidation, abduction, paranoiac surveillance and state terror.
Hong Kong has long taken its first-world freedoms for granted. They are now at risk. The fakery of “Hong Kong people running Hong Kong” is done. The Big Lie is exposed. It was a Hollywood movie prop all along. The disastrous societal collapse triggered by the extradition bill has flushed the puppeteers out.
Crack the whip
The Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office summoned 500 loyalists and tycoons to Shenzhen to stamp out dissent in the ranks. The tycoons, bestowed ‘rotten borough’ functional constituency seats in the legislature, were ordered to back the crackdown. It is payback time. The liaison office is cracking the whip on all who owe allegiance.
Cathay Pacific was told to punish staff who support the protests. One of its pilots was arrested and released on bail, pending riot charges. He was suspended. Two staff who leaked the manifest of a police sporting contingent were sacked. The Civil Aviation Authority of China wants manifests of all CX flights into the mainland to screen its crews. Protest supporters are barred entry. The security bureau’s thought police will no doubt be screening all of Hong Kong.
Trapped in bubble
Liaison Office commissars cocooned in their ideological bubbles interface only with comrades, patriotic thugs and those the Underground Front identifies as useful idiots. The tycoons fall into this category, along with retired senior civil servants and former legislators, granted seats at the annual Chinese Peoples’ Political Consultative Conference of over 2,000 worthies.
The ”actual situation” of Hong Kong is monitored by the liaison office for the central government. They ill-advised Beijing on the Article 23 National Security bill in 2003 and badly misled it on the 2019 Extradition bill which erupted into chaos. Until the apparatchiks exit their echo chambers and connect with real Hong Kong, they will continue to remain under-informed and misinformed. They are useless to Beijing in that state of ignorance.
The riot police have been given the thumbs-up to batter the protesters wherever they can be seized. Instead of defensive lines, the riot squad pumps teargas rounds, chases down protesters to club, shoots rubber bullets at point-blank range, and reverse-cuffs the fallen. It is turning bloody. The mutual hate is all-consuming.
A new twist in riot police tactics is to embed agents dressed in black with face masks and yellow helmets in the protest groups. As the police charge, these agents turn on the protestors and wrestle them down, kicking them as they lie disabled. The live video images are quite disturbing. The riot police are no longer required to exercise restraint.
The challenge for the protestors is whom to trust. The guy marching alongside can turn without warning. As police agents infiltrate the crowd, the youth have to decide if such vulnerability is worth the risk anymore. How should this cycle of disruption conclude? The protest demands are loud and clear. The government is absent. No one is listening.
The price in youth arrests, physical beatings, jail terms, and blacklisted futures is too high. It is a vengeful one-party dictatorship calling the shots. Such is the stark reality for Hong Kong. The youth reject exactly that. They do not want their city hostage to arbitrary abuse of power by unelected officials. They will not yield. Their future is at stake.
The young protestors believe they are sacrificing to protect Hong Kong’s core values. Their parents, teachers, and managers are troubled, yet grateful. There is widespread support within the community. The Basic Law which guaranteed Hong Kong’s autonomy for 50 years till 2047 seems to be putty, deformed at will. The youth distrust the Hong Kong and Beijing authorities totally.
There are growing calls for respected civic leaders to step forward to bridge the gap between rulers and the ruled. Without dialogue, nothing can be bridged. Listening with humility and a modicum of sincerity is vital. Hong Kong will have to save itself. Carrie Lam and the Liaison Office are the problems, not the solution.
The writer is a Hong Kong businessman who asks to remain anonymous out of concern for reprisal.