Henry Tang fought back by throwing out a political bomb during last week’s televised debate. Tang exposed some of his rival CY Leung’s supposed political ideas said to have been raised in an Executive Council meeting in 2003, where Leung allegedly considered the use of force to crack down on demonstrations in Hong Kong by tear-gassing protestors on the streets. By revealing such a state secret, Tang’s political future is as doomed as Zhao Ziyang’s was in 1989. Zhao’s crime was simply the confirmation of a widely speculated piece of information—that the retirement of the patriarchal Deng Xiaoping was not true, and the old emperor still held the gun firmly in his hand. Hongkongers were amazed to witness Tang’s stutters turn into eloquence, on par with King George VI transforming into a professional broadcaster, and the legendary war horse Joey, tied down under barbed wires in no man’s land, bouncing up in full force and galloping away. With a glass of Heineken in my hand in front of the TV in my sitting room, I could almost see the balls growing in Tang’s pants that night. The wealthy wine-sipping and Don Quixotic scion of a Shanghai textile family business evolved into a soldier overnight, at last, although the metamorphosis came a bit late. The next day, sycophantic Chinese newspapers noisily predicted that Tang’s rebellious remarks would shake the dragon’s throne in Beijing with fury. And so it did. Tang’s impertinence was met with a hostile editorial from a hard-line official mouthpiece in Hong Kong questioning his political loyalty. How could this man be trusted if he could guard his illegally built wine vault and swimming pool and womanizing, but could not keep his mouth shut over sensitive secrets concerning another possible Tiananmen action plan? Tang would have evaporated overnight like the US consul-general-defecting traitor, Wang Lijun. The fact that he was allowed to go home, have dinner with his family and then attend another round of televised debates the following Monday with his innocent grin and usual stupefying stutter testifies to the magnanimity of “one country, two systems.” But can Tang be humbly granted a turn to be angry? He was firmly told, together with some leading property tycoons, as early as 2008, that he had been handpicked for the chief executive job. He had then been reassured many times that the decision had come from the top uncle in Shanghai and remained rock-solid. Had the former chief secretary of Hong Kong known through the crystal ball that the influence of the Shanghai court could be thwarted in a fierce power struggle following Wang Lijun’s defection to the US consul general, he would not have been shanghaied into a mud-throwing character assassination campaign and reduced to a laughingstock. The pouncing war horse may have reunited with his young master in the Speilbergian epic, but Tang is to be put down—as we Chinese are not particularly well-known for our kindness toward animals. Chip Tsao is a best-selling author, columnist and a former producer for the BBC. His columns have also appeared in Apple Daily, Next Magazine and CUP Magazine, among others.