They both follow the same master, but politically they are not on the same level.
Carrie Lam is obviously on a lower level. Her biggest achievements are the wounds all over her. During the anti-extradition movement, she was cursed day after day and did not have much room to maneuver. She later played the family card, saying her family did not want her to be the chief executive. Afterwards she kept brandishing her scars left by foreign sanctions, saying she is prepared to be sanctioned for life.
Everything she does is meant to win her master’s sympathy for her injuries. The logic is that even though she hasn’t made any positive achievements, at least she is suffering.
But as Charles Ho Tsu-kwok has pointed out, she was asking for what she was given. She should reflect on how she managed to get herself and the whole of Hong Kong sanctioned. On a micro level, it is all because she is unable to look introspectively at herself. On a macro level, she is simply incapable of helping Beijing solve problems.
Hu Xijin, on the other hand, is on a much higher level. This is a man who can always find a way to explain things away no matter how the wind direction changes. When a bomb is thrown in his way, he can always catch it so that it will not fall and explode and hurt the master.
The arrival of a US military aircraft in Taiwan provides the best example of late illustrating Hu’s abilities. On the face of it, the US operation involved transporting vaccines to the island. In practice, however, it was meant to demonstrate America’s military strength and the determination of a big brother taking care of its younger Taiwanese brother. Previously, Hu, in an attempt to make his master look powerful, went so far as to warn pro-independence forces in Taiwan in an “editorial” that if US military aircraft ever dared to fly into the airspace of Taiwan, the first shot would be fired across the strait, and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) would definitely expel US troops and shoot down the US aircraft. He said that was the bottom line of China.
As it turned out, he had gone too far with his words. The US has deployed an aircraft to Taiwan without seeking the PLA’s approval. Has the US touched China’s “bottom line”? Is China to send troops to the strait as Hu predicted?
Of course, Beijing does not dare to do so, and this has got millions of Chinese netizens highly impatient. They wonder “what bottom line there is now that the underwear has been taken off”. When the fire of nationalism gets out of control, the master will be injured.
But the good old Hu has no qualms about bringing up his previous prediction on China’s bottom line. He actually clarified his point, saying the US military’s “salami-slice strategy towards the Taiwan issue will soon see it cut its own finger”. According to him, “the Taiwanese authorities have downplayed the arrival of the US aircraft obviously because they do not want to offend Beijing”. He also came up with a fresh excuse, saying “we have got the initiative and confidence as to when a war will break out”. My God! So, not daring to start a war has been twisted to “having the initiative”, and instead of talking about a cross-strait war, he claimed “pro-independence forces in Taiwan desperately want our military to act impulsively so that the focus of attention will be shifted away from the domestic political crisis facing Tsai Ing-wen”.
Lam is only good at crying and weeping. She doesn’t have Hu’s skill to make a powerful clearance kick to solve a problem. If only she could do what Hu can do, she would not have to worry about Leung Chun-ying running in the next chief executive election.
This article is translated from Chinese by Apple Daily.
Click here for Chinese version
We invite you to join the conversation by submitting columns to our opinion section: Opinion@appledaily.com
Apple Daily reserves the right to refuse, abridge, alter or edit guest opinion columns for accuracy, length, clarity, and style, and the right to withdraw and withhold columns based on the discretion of our editorial page editors.
The opinions of the writers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editorial board.
Apple Daily’s all-new English Edition is now available on the mobile app: bit.ly/2yMMfQE
To download the latest version,
Or search Appledaily in App Store or Google Play