Saturday, January 01, 2005

Why is Xinhua reporting on this Hong Kong protest?

Xinhua, Communist China's government-run "news agency" reports on a street protest in Hong Kong:
Tens of thousands of Hong Kong citizens marched on the New Year Day to show their strong condemnation of, and anger at some politicians for their moves that have damaged Hong Kong's interests and disturbed its social order.

They also voiced the prevailing will for maintaining the stability and development of the Hong Kong society.

They marched through the central districts, carrying slogans saying "Condemn cunning politicians who try to destroy Hong Kong,""For stability and prosperity," "Smash any sabotaging schemes."

According to the organizers, about 40,000 to 50,000 people joined the march.

Some politicians in Hong Kong played tricks lately to block the listing of the world largest property trust -- the Link Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT).

Originally the Hong Kong government had planned to sell shops and parking lots through the trust, valuing about 3 billion US dollars.

However, due to the tricks by these politicians, the governmentwas forced to shelve the plan just hours before the listing as twotenants of the related housing filed a lawsuit at the last minute,claiming the listing violated relative regulations.

At first blush, it wouldn't appear to be in the government's interest to document a street protest. But look at the slogans: "Condemn cunning politicians who try to destroy Hong Kong," and "For stability and prosperity."

And this is a strange statement: "Some politicians in Hong Kong played tricks lately to block the listing of the world largest property trust -- the Link Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)."

Near as I can tell from this and this, it looks like Link REIT is a government owned entity that they are trying to privatize. It seems China really wants to cash out. But still, the article rings very strange.

Here is another article on the issue from China Daily, Politicians Sabotaging the Link REIT Listing Are Public Enemies:

The interests of more than 500,000 subscribers, most of them small investors, some with borrowed money, have been hurt. And the reputation of Hong Kong as an international financial centre is at risk.

This is all because of a small bunch of trouble-making "democratic" legislators who want to show the world that they are in charge of Hong Kong. The most prominent among them is Albert "Taipan" Cheng, who in the past, as a radio talk-show host, was known as "the chief executive of Hong Kong before 10:00 am".

He walked away from the show on the pretext that he was under a political threat, but resurfaced soon after to organize his campaign to run for the Legislative Council election, and was subsequently fired by his boss at the radio station. Now he is among the 25 "democratic" legislators, leading a lacklustre existence. To break out of this doldrum, he has to create some issues.

Ah. Now I get it.

The Communists want to brag about tens of thousands protesting against democracy. Pretty lame considering the hundreds of thousands who marched in favor of democracy in July 2003.