Mega-snore meeting to hit town Thursday

Hong Kong’s first major bore-fest of the year takes place next week. The ‘symposium’ on the Greater Bay Area will include Chief Executive Carrie Lam, leaders from all your favourite fun Pearl River Delta cities, and senior planning types from the national development and reform commission.

Although Beijing announced the Greater Bay Area Themed Integration Hub-Zone Vision several years ago, no-one really has a clue what it is. The timing suggests that merging uppity Hong Kong into its hinterland – symbolically, psychologically or concretely – was the main driver (thus allusions to San Francisco and Tokyo that look like clunky attempts at hipness).

Beyond that, it seems like a classic case of Chinese Communist Party doing-things-backwards, like ‘Belt and Road’: the vanity-fueled top man announces a grand-sounding but nebulous strategy; shoe-shiners bow down and worship the idea; underlings then scrabble around to find policies and projects that fit the vision; and finally everyone watches to see what the outcomes are – and praises or buries them accordingly.

After much talk of a Bay Area blueprint over the last year, the central government is finally about to release an ‘outline development plan’. But word is that it will simply be more vague slogan-waffle, so the assembled officials at next Thursday’s gathering will just be ‘exploring opportunities’ – raving rapturously at the wondrousness of the Greater Bay Area Win-Win Partnership Powerhouse Concept to a public that is still none the wiser. The NPC/CPPCC ‘two meetings’ in March are also supposed to focus on the ‘Big Bay Region’. (A ho-hum theory: Beijing doesn’t want to alarm Trump.)

One apparent theme, last repeated in China Daily, is something about ‘avoiding vicious competition’ among the different jurisdictions in the region by allocating specific roles to individual cities. This approach is a big turn-on for the central-planning types up north, but would be resisted by the dozen or so local governments in the area, and of course it challenges Hong Kong’s traditional free-market principles.

It might be nothing. But given Xi Jinping’s autarkic leanings and the growing potential for weaker relations between China and the West – deglobalization, etc – Beijing might seriously think this is the region to experiment with a new tech-finance Chinese-characteristics dirigiste economic model. For what it’s worth, he’s very proud of his dad’s role in Deng Xiaoping’s gamble on transforming the paddy fields between Guangzhou and Hong Kong into the dazzling (allegedly) space-age metropolis that is Shenzhen.

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4 Responses to Mega-snore meeting to hit town Thursday

  1. Casira says:

    I’m always amazed at how some find Shenzhen to be a tech hub.

    Actually it looks like a mishmash of hip money losing projects which will end up as piles of trash (think electrical buses, bikes, qrcodes) and actual piles of trash.

  2. Chinese Netizen says:

    Surely all this is designed to shock-N-awe and entice that naughty renegade region called Taiwan into being impressed as hell by the amazingness of fully morphing into the Motherland for rich economic benefits (for a handful) and by products of super patriotism at calling oneself CHINESE as opposed to Hongkonger or Taiwanese?

    Especially now that it’s going to be an US (All Han Chinese extract peoples) versus THEM (arrogant developed white western nations) clash of civilizations sparked by Drumpf/Lighthizer’s China spankings, the arrest of Ms Huawei and squashing of a Chinese led 5G push.

  3. KwunTongByPass says:

    The “grand plan” is to make Hong Kong the playground for the mega-rich mainlanders only, with their servants, living in the 126 sqft ‘palaces’; the upper middle class, from where also most of the ‘mahfan’ people come from, should please move to Vancouver/Sydney/London/LA and the rest of the riffraff get out of the way, and move to Nanshan, Heshan, Zhongshan, Foshan – and other great places in the Belt – ahh, Bay Area!

  4. dimuendo says:

    Poem

    Mr Hemlock

    Way off relevancy, save given you are British and comment frequently on self aggrandising individuals you may be interested in this , as may Knownot if not the actual author.

    Source being a contributor below the line on an article in the Guardian about the invisibility of David Cameron. Article Monday 11th February 2019. I commented “excellent” and poem and all that followed was promptly moderated.

    I’ll tell you a tale of tragedy,
    of triumph and of loss.
    Of a glorious few, who soared and flew,
    yet never gave a toss.

    It’s the tale of Bullingdon bully boys,
    a triumverate of vice.
    Its Boris and Dave and George of course,
    a tale of three blind minds.

    Our first pilgrim is generous George,
    who never lacked for cash.
    This miserable man had a miserly plan
    at the economic crash.

    We’ll just not spend! He loudly cried,
    and economic famine.
    But the nations clout, was hollowed out,
    a cake without the jam in.

    Hold on! How did they meet, these knaves,
    Spread eagle-ing our nation?
    At a posh boys club, with drinks and grub,
    and strange initiation.

    They made Dave wait with trousers down,
    to face his porcine peril. But the smell of ham,
    marks the measure of man,
    so he risked his little squirrel.

    Then years gone by, rush voting done,
    what would our hero say?
    That self same Dave, was not so brave,
    and whispering walked away.

    With Boris now where do I start?
    How many stanzas left?
    To know this cad takes the Ilead,
    To get the proper heft.

    Filandering, meandering,
    thorough untruths is his lot.
    But those endless lies cannot disguise.
    How empty is the pot.

    An empty man whose empty words,
    bestrode an empty bus.
    Yet in his hands, there were no plans,
    caveat emptor for us.

    So what of our myopic mice?
    How end their sorry tales?
    Well Georgie – Poos, now writes the news?
    For him our justice fails.

    And no one knows where David’s gone,
    The beach? Perhaps a mountain?
    While Boris is just pissing lies.
    A foul fallacious fountain.

    So the Bullingdon boys, well bully for them!
    They always smell of roses.
    But here at the crime, it will take all our time,
    to get the stench out of our noses.

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