• Wed
  • Oct 22, 2014
  • Updated: 10:18am
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

The concluding sentence in this article is an assault to our common sense, as if we had never known where we stand? When a man raped a woman, will the woman says: "this is good, at least I know where I stand."
You used the wrong word Alex, at least we now know where we lie. The Joint Declaration, as history now proves, is a world class hoax. The British got their way to settle the issue of the millions of BNO holders by promising them a "one country two systems, Hong Kong life styles unchanged for 50 years, at least " [sic] , and the CCP bought enough time to sort out their own mess. Would the CCP say what they say now 17 years ago ?
Formerly ******
Mr. Lo,
Yes, you sure do know where "...you stand" - just a few steps away from a CCP-sponsored firing squad, should you fail to be properly cowed and docile. Watch as the little darlings of the CCP come to take from original Hong Kongers all of the wealth built under a free and capitalistic society.
是的你知道在哪裡"......,你站"-只是幾步之遙中國共產黨主辦的行刑隊,如果你不能被正確地被恐嚇和溫順。看著中國共產黨來採取從原始 Hong 人所有的財富建立在自由資本主義社會下的心肝寶貝。
Timocracy, Oligarchy, Democracy, Tyranny
Change, Poetry, Documents, Rites, Annals
Plato & Confucius. What we in Hong Kong are uniquely privileged to witness is the merging of these two west/east civilisational paradigms into a new fusion "Glocal" model that will only fully emerge in the generations to come. This is merely the end of the beginning of that confluence.
Let's hope and work for results where Qi flows via the most beautiful Li patterns, and where (Good) Forms follow (Truest) Flows - for that is where the most Truth, Justice, Fulfilment of Potential, Beauty, Virtue, Harmony & Happiness lies.
Why is this a good idea? Science tells us that the above can be derived from physics & even more profoundly, from geometry itself.
So yes it's opinion, but opinion informed by and derived from nature's fundamental, universal laws themselves.
How About
Alex, it's probably not a bad idea to commission a few more writers to work on articles about
1) Athenian Democracy, and how was it viewed and received by Socrates, Xenophon, Plato and Aristotle.
2) Is the system we have in place to elect our CE, remotely 'democratic' as in vaguely representative as in USA-electorally-representative, I recall one of the more astute commentator below made a comparison on that a couple of months back.
3) Invite these writers to opine whether 2 above, as it is, is dystopic?
Thank you.
Alex & Co. Be respectful to yourself and stop using the word "democratic" to describe this monkey business. it's an insult to its original meaning. take it from a Greek will you.
Are we talking about Athens or Sparta? What type of Greek are you? Are you the type that believes all males over a certain age, excluding slaves, captured enemies, etc. should take it in turns to make decisions? Or are you the type of Greek who comes from a nation with such a great post-war record of democracy? Was tyrant a Greek concept? The last person we should listen to on what democracy is or isn't is a Greek who believes that modern democracy, that thing that many are fighting for, has anything but a passing resemblance to the numerous Greek models of antiquarian times.
if it's an apple call it one. if it's an orange, call it so. dont call it something it aint. i am simply asking to respect the actual meaning of words. at the end of day, democracy is an evil Greek-born, western concept and I gather China wants nothing to do with it. so abolish the use of the word and call whatever this 'thing' proposed to the god forsaken people of HK something else. dont get excited, it's just an IP issue.
Be careful that "democacy" will be re defined in 10-20 years time. It will come from China, not Greece.
Benign tyrant - that's a good Athenian one.




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