Just a few boot-lickers to win over…

You are wrong. You misunderstand. You are stupid. You are ignorant. You have been misled. Clearly, we have not communicated in sufficiently simple terms that your childlike pea-sized minds can grasp.

The Hong Kong government has run out of talking points. Public opinion refused to buy the idea that the Mainland extradition amendment was necessary to send an alleged murderer to Taiwan. Nor will the rabble believe that the measure will fill a loophole, make us just like France, or ensure justice. So officials and supporters must retreat to their default last-ditch position: we are smart and you (and the media) are dimwits.

(While we’re at it – you’re all morons for not getting the Greater Bay Area wondrousness as well.)

To emphasize the uselessness of Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s administration, Beijing’s locally based overseers sweep them aside and start directly whipping loyalists and shoe-shiners into line. Forget the pretense about ‘One Country Two Systems’.

This is the Chinese Communist Party getting frustrated. (The US is cutting Huawei down to size, United Front meddling failed to swing the Australian election, Taiwan wins global coolness with Asia’s first gay marriage laws – it’s all too much for a hyper-whiny insecure dictatorship to take.)

From their point of view, hostile foreign forces are using the extradition issue to split Beijing’s Hong Kong support base. Ta Kung Pao compares Western countries’ concerns to the foreign intervention against the Boxer Rebellion (don’t ask) – and denounces local opponents as traitors to the Han race.

Fears (from Trump’s compatriots, no less) for Hong Kong’s competitiveness, rule of law, reputation etc are irrelevant – this is about ensuring that the paranoid CPP can exercise ‘sovereignty’ in this worryingly out-of-control territory.

The pressure is now going to be on the local business community – second-generation, spineless, groveling, entitled, cartelized rent-seekers and sweatshop owners. Their instinct is to lick the boots of the Chinese government. But they also have a curious nervousness about the way the extradition proposal includes bribery and would be retroactive.

What happens next?

A modest prediction… The CCP will ease its boot further into the slobbering business sector’s jaw and make them an offer they can’t refuse. ‘You will rubber-stamp this thing. In return, we promise (ha ha) to use the extradition system mainly to grab or silence our own corrupt/rogue/rival CCP-elites-and-their-families holed up in Hong Kong. And partly to spread some long-overdue rule-by-fear among local dissidents. But not to get at you, our obedient, obsequious, grubby little industrialists and speculators. Probably. Maybe. Until we feel like it.’

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