United Front absorbs ICAC, and other stupidity

29 Aug 2014 | Big Lychee

In the past, Hong Kong has usually had moderate politicians, reasonable media voices and neutral bureaucrats and business people with the wisdom and good humour to maintain some basic cohesion. Even after the Article 23 uproar, or Donald Tsang’s anti-democrat tantrums, some sort of civility returned. This time feels different. In its attempts to assert control, Beijing has polarized the city, and it looks permanent. If they’re going to use law enforcement agencies for political persecution stunts, what’s the point of being moderate and constructive?

Maybe Beijing will realize its tactics are overkill and counterproductive. Otherwise, the city is going to end up more alienated, more disgruntled, and less governable than ever.

Continue reading…

Advertisements

Special Report: The battle for Hong Kong’s soul

Greg Torode, James Pomfret & Benjamin Kang Lim | 30 June 2014 | Reuters

“The real cabinet is the shadow cabinet,” said one source close to Leung [HK’s puppet leader]. “The chief executive’s office can’t do without the Liaison Office’s help on certain matters.”

Before the 1997 handover, the Chinese Communist Party focused on courting businessmen, academics and activists to secure influence and loyalty. It has now become more assertive, attempting to isolate party enemies, silence critics, and deliver votes.

A legacy of the earliest days of Leninist communist revolutionary theory, the United Front Work Department’s mission is to influence and ultimately control a range of non-party groups, luring some into cooperation and isolating and denouncing others. “The tactics and techniques of the United Front have been refined and perfected over the decades and we are seeing a very modern articulation of it in Hong Kong.”

Continue reading…