With the WTO spectacle ending its last act yesterday, Hong Kong returns to its less boisterous tempo, though the excitement is expected to linger on. Now all eyes will be on Hong Kong's democratic progress. Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen is expected to release the 'perfected' political reform package today and it will be put to the Legislative Council on Wednesday. Mr Tsang made last-ditch efforts to salvage the package by appearing at a roadside rally and broadcasting government-sponsored commercials this month. Barring a last-minute miracle, Mr Tsang's 'perfected' package is more than likely to fail to get through the Legislative Council. Every player will be a loser. A poll conducted by the Hong Kong Transition Project revealed that about 58 per cent of the public would blame Mr Tsang, 46 per cent the central government and 42 per cent the democrats if the reform package does not get through Legco. What is to happen next? Although more people would blame Mr Tsang than anyone else, Beijing's support for him would remain strong and his prospects for seeking re-election undiminished. He is reportedly flying to Beijing next week for meetings with President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao . Mainland leaders are expected to voice strong support for his administration and urge him to focus on Hong Kong's economy and improving people's livelihood, putting any blame squarely on the pan-democrat camp. If democrats hold up hopes that the veto of the reform package could pressure Beijing to make more concessions on the timetable for universal suffrage, they are seriously mistaken. The rejection of the package would play right into the hands of Beijing, which has no intention to accelerating political developments in Hong Kong. From Beijing's perspective, when the late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping laid down the rules that 'everything remains unchanged' in Hong Kong for 50 years after 1997, the package was wholesale, meaning that neither the economic system nor the political system should change much. Following this logic, for any timetable on universal suffrage, Hong Kong people would have to wait until after 2047. It may sound depressing, but that seems to be Beijing's bottom line. Anson Chan Fang On-sang clearly knew what she was saying when she told reporters she took part in the December 4 pro-democracy march partly because she would not live long enough to see 2047. After the rejection of the package, Beijing is most likely to adopt a policy of 'sitting tight in the face of 10,000 changes' on the political developments in Hong Kong, to borrow a Chinese proverb. However, that does not mean mainland officials will pay less attention. In fact, they are most likely to heighten their alerts as the December 4 march has stoked their fears about the impact of Hong Kong's democratisation on mainlanders. Ever since the recent series of 'velvet revolutions' in neighbouring Central Asian nations such as Kyrgyzstan, Beijing has become paranoid about such a revolution spreading to China and has begun taking tougher measures against dissenters.