Make way for the Mainlandization Express

Hong Kong’s Legislative Council passes the Express Rail Link co-location plan. The whole episode seems to be about setting precedents.

First, it allows Mainland law enforcement to operate within the city – supposedly prohibited by the Basic Law. In this case Mainland law will apply only in parts of the rail station and underground line technically transferred to Mainland jurisdiction, but the arrangement creates a model for Beijing to deploy cops elsewhere here. If the authorities had wanted to keep Mainland immigration officers out of Hong Kong territory, they could have devised a different system.

Second, the earlier overriding of the Basic Law came in the form of a decision by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee. This edict from Beijing is an ‘act of state’ placing the issue outside Hong Kong’s control on a par with defence or foreign affairs. This is the first time Beijing has used this mechanism, but presumably not the last. Again, Beijing could have chosen a less high-handed, more constitutional approach, but didn’t.

Third, this was rammed through the legislature with time limits on debate and the silencing and ejection of opposition lawmakers. It brings the chamber another step towards a full Mainland-style rubber-stamp.

Not least, the whole concept of the cross-border ‘high-speed’ rail white elephant seems to be more about symbolic integration (or merger) of Hong Kong with the Mainland than practical benefits – as with the Zhuhai Mega-Bridge, the Bay Area Hub-Zone and whatever new Mainlandizing measures are to come.

One more: does Frank Chan set new, previously unimaginable lows as the most inept, dorkiest, waste-of-space Transport and Housing Minister ever, or what?

I declare the weekend open with some zany links.

One of the stranger ways China is trying to juggle overpriced housing and indebted developers – pressuring banks to lend money to (and subsidize) renters. To help you get your head around it, here’s a useful discussion.

How the Chinese Communist Party endangers Overseas Chinese – interesting parallels between Overseas Chinese/Muslims and the CCP/Salafism.

In case you missed them, HK Free Press’s Tiananmen Massacre anniversary features.

And the rainy-day mega-read: US-China strategic rivalry as clash of ideologies.

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3 Responses to Make way for the Mainlandization Express

  1. AHW says:

    Well, Eva Cheng set the bar very low for the performance of a transport chief… so Frank must be really dire.

  2. Old Newcomer says:

    While we’re dissing people, the lugubrious Andrew Leung surely sets a new low for LegCo president. For all their devotion to the CCP, both Rita Fan and Tsang Yok-sing were relatively more impartial in the role and less inclined to gag the pan-dems in order to push through the government’s wishes.

  3. Din Gao says:

    Further proof the SCCPMP has already been Mainlandised:

    Why are you censoring this Comment on http://www.scmp.com/week-asia/society/article/2151075/vietnam-without-love-child-brides-china

    We’re sorry, parts of your comment contravene our T&Cs. Please can you revise your comment and resubmit.

    “Is there nothing this rotten regime will not stoop to?
    They are raping the planet of forests, wild animals, minerals and reefs.
    Now it’s trafficking in young foreign girls because they murdered so many of their own under Mao.”

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