• Tue
  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 5:01pm
My Take
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 14 June, 2014, 4:25am
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 June, 2014, 5:58am

Is Hong Kong's chief executive indoctrinated in mainland ways?

Political hacks like me who have the misfortune of having to read official documents will get a sense of déjà vu while reading the most controversial part of the State Council's by now infamous white paper. That's part 5 titled "Fully and Accurately Understanding and Implementing the Policy of 'One Country, Two Systems'." In fact, you can skip all the prior sections unless you suffer from insomnia.

But, where have we read part 5 before? Wait a minute, a lot of it sounds like what was put out by the Hong Kong government's Commission on Strategic Development. In a long paper titled "Hong Kong's relationship with the Central Authorities/the Mainland", the section on "one country, two systems" reads suspiciously like a condensed version of part 5 of the white paper, but it was released more than two weeks ago.

Here are a few lines from the commission's paper that could have been straight from the white paper. "The HKSAR enjoys a high degree of autonomy but not absolute autonomy ... The Basic Law is a set of national laws enacted by the National People's Congress ... [It] is an enabling legislation in nature. Under the theory of the unitary state structure, all powers exercised by the municipalities are conferred by the Central Authorities. The executive, legislative and judicial powers exercised by the HKSAR are derived from the authorisation by the Central Authorities, and there is no so-called 'residual power'." So even judges are put in the same category as political administrators by Beijing, which is why the Bar Association has criticised the white paper.

This is interesting because it shows the Leung Chun-ying administration has already been properly indoctrinated so its principal officers are on the same page as their mainland masters. I had hoped that Leung and his officials could have the authority and integrity to serve as honest brokers between the pan-democrats and Beijing. It now looks like they will be no more than messenger boys and girls.

It is a widely held misconception that the Hong Kong government has always been under Beijing's thumb. Our first two chief executives actually exercised a lot more autonomy or at least were given greater leeway. Not so Leung, I am afraid.

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This article is now closed to comments

blue
Donald Tsang displayed a high degree of autonomy when he tried to meet the Pope.
rpasea
Where has Mr. Lo been? The accountability system put in place when senior civil servants were made political appointees was always accountability to Beijing and never to the people of HK.
ruthleelsf
Is it a fait accompli? Not only himself, CY Leung is attempting to indoctrinate the people of HK by telling all of us to read this so-called white paper which has a content that exposes how little attention is paid to the existing systems of HK and how little understanding there is of what makes HK. It really comes as a surprise, this man, who has his career built here and is UK-educated himself can so readily discard his own "heritage"; if it is not because of self-interest, I can think of nothing else. If he thinks that embracing the motherland is so holy; why is he sending his own children abroad; he should send them to work in farms in the mainland to follow the examples of so many senior Chinese leaders. What a hypocrite !
impala
Alex Lo a political hack? Hahahaha. Now that is funny. The man doesn't have a clue what real political analysis is.

And to describe Tung Chee-Hwa as not under Beijing's thumb is even more hilarious. If there was any doubt about his true reporting lines in the past, that disappeared when the man became vice-chairman of the CPCCC now for crying out loud.

And the only autonomy Daffy Tsang ever displayed was in favour of the business elite, in whose pockets he arguably was even deeper than he was in Beijing's.
anthonygmail
Probably so that he could confess some sins I guess.
321manu
"It now looks like they will be no more than messenger boys and girls."
---this is what I've been saying for a long time. This should come as a surprise to no one, but it is refreshing to see Mr. Lo cottoning on to this reality.
As I said recently, the only difference between now and 2047 is that until then, BJ stooges will live in HK; after that, BJ stooges will live in BJ. And given recent developments, I'm guessing the day of reckoning will come far earlier than 2047.
Dai Muff
Well, there certainly is no doubt that each new Chief Executive has been more servile than the one before. But many of us knew this of Leung before he was installed. It is at least good to see Mr Lo finally realising it.
Dao-Phooy
Mr Lo, your comments on this White Paper are so inconsistent - seems like you hadn't read Part V before you wrote your article on 13 June.
5359337f-85d8-4858-a065-34fa0a320969
Is SCMP a Falun Gong newspaper? Or is SCMP a medium for MI6 and CIA?
5359337f-85d8-4858-a065-34fa0a320969
321, I beg you to please please please take some basic courses in political science before putting down something so ignorant and naive.

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