China's 19th NPC: Effects on Hong Kong

Thursday, October 19, 2017 // Written by Enzio von Pfeil

We are the water skier at the back of the Chinese speed boat.  Depending on where Xi wants to take his Party and China, we must follow - pretty much....

  1. The key question that we all must squint at is whether Mr Xi intends to use his power to
    1. continue the Deng legacy of “opening up”, OR
    2. pursue a narrower agenda of defending/ conserving the position of the Communist Party and his allies
    3. Implications of this taking this fundamental fork in the road for HK
      1. Opening up è  HK prospers greatly, as we are a (pretty) open, pretty market-driven economy
      2. Defending/conserving è HK companies die a quiet death.  The key danger is that the Communist Party insists on embedding cadres in each private company, meaning more and more state interference.

  1. Personnel changes don’t matter
    1. Regarding key personnel changes as they affect HK:

                                          i.    The current doyen of HK affairs is ZHANG DEJIANG.  He is the top official responsible for HK and Macau affairs.  Observers expect him to be stepping down shortly, so

                                        ii.    There are two contenders to fill his shoes:

  • ZHANG XIAOMING.  He runs HK affairs at the State Council, and
  • WANG ZHIMING.   He has succeeded ZHANG XIOMING  at Beijing’s liason office here in HK
  1. But ultimately, micro-manager Pres. Xi decides what is to happen to HK; the allies whom he bestows responsibility for  HK – ZHANG or WANG, must  tow Xi’s party line

  1. The bottom line is that my instinct is that Mr. Xi’s overriding objective will be to defend the position of the Party – partially by opening up, but very much by ensuring that Communist cadres are embedded initially in HK-listed China companies, but later on in HK-listed HK companies themselves.
  2. But HK’s leadership cannot get away with blaming China for our woes, which currently are home-grown and we all know about, for instance
    1. Rotting standard of English in one of China’s most important international financial centres
    2. An anachronistic school system reminding more of parrots than of pupils – one in which the educator refuses to talk with the future employer, and
3. Lacking vocational training. Cars don’t care if there is a recession: they will break down when they want to. So who will repair our cars, robots, IT issues?

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