Hong Kong’s pro-establishment press has an easy job deciding the front-page story today: the elevation of Chief Executive CY Leung to the ever-so important ‘National Leadership’ position of Vice-Deputy Assistant Sub-Huge-Face Person at the Chinese People’s Retired Shoe-Shiners Consultative Conference. For added glowing idolization and all-round Wow, it is unprecedented for a sitting Hong Kong Chief Executive to hold this title.
For a dash of context, Hong Kong’s first CE, CH Tung, was unceremoniously kicked out in the middle of his second term, and made a CPPCC Vice-Chairman to save everyone’s face. The second one, Donald Tsang, was unceremoniously installed to replace Tung, and is now in prison (relieved to at least avoid the tedium of the CPPCC). CY, number-three, is being unceremoniously ejected after his first term. He will be one of 22 Vice-Chairmen of the rubber-stamp CPPCC advisory body.
In its wisdom, the Chinese Communist Party has selected former top civil servant Carrie Lam to be the fourth person to take the job. She looks, if anything, even less suited for the position than her predecessors. She lacks any sort of common touch or policy know-how. But she is a capable administrator, and obedient.
Even some Beijing-friendly figures wonder if this is really happening. Hence the zany rumour – that won’t go away – that Chinese officials will pick another candidate at the last minute. South China Morning Post op-ed page regular Tom Plate laments the choice of Carrie as continuing ‘a tradition of mediocrity’ and ‘a major blunder’, when ex-Financial Secretary John Tsang at least brings some personality and popularity.
The more Hong Kong people rebel against poor governance, the more Beijing insists on imposing it upon them.
Meanwhile, the SCMP makes the most of the flimsiest adjectives-stretching shoe-shining opportunities…