• Thu
  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 12:25pm
My Take
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 September, 2014, 4:49am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 September, 2014, 8:41am

At least we now know where we stand

One country, two systems is as much about substance as appearance. We can argue till we are blue in the face about to what extent it still actually underpins Hong Kong-mainland relations. But given the high-profile manner in which Beijing has handed down its democratic reform package, officials on both sides of the border no longer bother to keep up appearances.

If this had happened during the administration of our first chief executive Tung Chee-hwa or even during the early years of Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress would have handed down the official text of its decision, which would then most likely be left to the chief executive to explain it to the people here.

As it is, officials here have been literally relegated to the sidelines. As Li Fei , the Basic Law Committee chairman, briefed reporters yesterday at an official press conference on the Standing Committee's decision, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who supposedly headed the constitutional reform taskforce, sat in the audience alongside the hacks.

That picture, along with token appearances before the media of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in the last two days, says everything you need to know about the diminishing role the Hong Kong government has to play in this whole reform saga.

Since Sunday, it has been a mainland show. Li, along with vice-chairman of the NPC Standing Committee's legislative affairs commission Zhang Rongshun and the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Office deputy director Feng Wei, took over yesterday to brief some 1,000 lawmakers, district council chairmen and vice-chairmen, local deputies to the NPC and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, as well as journalists.

Local officials from Leung down stayed on the sidelines like secretaries and clerks to the mainland honchos.

Well, we have always known where the real power lies. But rarely has the power hierarchy been on such blatant display.

But at least in one sense, this is good. Li has the full authority of the central government. When he speaks, we know exactly where we stand.


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This article is now closed to comments

Have we not always known where we stand? It's a one party state for crying out loud. Only the screeching Emily Lau and her pals have been so obtuse and wasted 17 years rather than doing anything constructive.
I have not heard a single pro-dem leader tell the public how they would work to improve the quality of governance of HK - or for that matter, how a democratic vote, will bring leaders of quality into the government.
It seems to me that most are solely absorbed in the democratic chant, with hopes of acquiring more political power for themselves and little else.
I agree with your observations. As we only have puppets in place: CY, Carrie Lam, Raymond Tam why should they receive such enormous salaries as they sold out HK big time. As they are just puppets they don't need any pay at all.
Jimmy Lai and his friendly legislators played hard ball politics with Beijing thinking they would gain grounds and make Beijing look weak. What they got was a knocked-out punch in the face where they can only declare the fight "game over". Looks like this round is over for the time being.
No doubt Jimmy and his friends will try to start another fight elsewhere but this must have dealt a big blow and they will need time to regroup.
May Peace Prevail on Earth!
Li might have the full authority of the central government, but another way to put it is - all he is is a puppet/mouthpiece of Xi Jinping and secondly the CCP.
You should know where you stand. Everyone is spouting clichés about 1 country, 2 systems, and outraged that China dares to violate it, except you forget one thing. 1 country, 2 system was and is always a temporary state of affair. It was used to cushion the shock of eventually becoming 1 country and 1 system. China will never countenance a de facto separate city state looking askance at her fellow countrymen.
Or more accurately, you lay under the red jackboots which are upon the back of your neck.
This seems in agreement with Kammerer’s observation
There is a Cantonese saying
about the “substance and appearance “ interplay
架是別人給 面是自己丟
When push comes to shove
London knows silence is golden
China’d resume sovereignty
with or without the JD
which is nothing but a fig leaf
that has blinded HK “democrats” from reality
Unlike London which successfully leveraged on the look of respectability
until the euro dollar merry-go-round slowdown
then it began to line up for its turn of China handout
the HK democrazy is thoroughly foolish
and has abused the appearance of respectability to the end
Much could have been achieved for mutual benefit
under the appearance of respectable autonomy
We may but blame democrazy for lost opportunities
and learn to face and build on substantive practicality
How may HK survive without the respectable look of unrealistic autonomy?
How to administer justice in HK law courts without the wig?
just look inside the US law court
It’s just HK democrazy’s naïve indulgence in colonial rules and practices
It’s such naïve indulgence in unrealistic idea of autonomy planted by the colonialist
and false liberty under colonial rule mistaken as the end of history
that caused HK’s loss of real respectability
"make Beijing look weak". Contrary to what you say, what Beijing has done is incontrovertible evidence that it IS weak.
And please stop writing "May Peace Prevail on Earth" at the end of your posts. It's just hypocritical, particularly when you seem to be very pleased about the "knocked(sic)-out punch in the face" and your other use of boxing analogies. For there to be true peace, both sides will have to compromise, not just one.
dienw: With all due respect, I am merely making an observation on the present political situation. At the same time, I am exercising my right to free speech while it lasts until 30 June 2047.
I do wish for peace and stability from the bottom of my heart. I do not wish my family or my parents endure what they went through during 1967.
I have no interests in politics. But I do have interests in understanding the Basic Law and the History of Hong Kong. My strongest interest is in ensuring our sea water is clean so that my dogs and I can swim in unpolluted water.
Say what you like about me. I am old and my skin has grown thick. Have a nice day!




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