Man, Beijing just can’t do anything right when it comes to its ex-British stepchild. Hong Kong
running dogs residents are outraged just because some shadowy Chinese official was controlling accompanying Chief Executive CY Leung at a press conference about the Lamma Island Ferry Disaster. It’s like they think they’re a democracy or something.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying is under fire for allowing a mainland Chinese official to play a high-profile role at a press briefing just hours after Monday night’s accident, which killed 38 people and injured more than 100.
The appearance by Li Gang, deputy director of Beijing’s Central Liaison Office in Hong Kong, is the latest in a string of incidents adding to unease over the mainland’s growing influence over the city.
Hong Kong’s leader was accompanied by Li on a visit to some of the injured at a hospital. After Leung made some remarks to reporters, Li spoke for about two minutes, offering condolences and discussing what neighboring Guangdong province could do to help.
It’s unusual for Hong Kong officials to let their counterparts from mainland China play such a high-profile role in events they’re not involved in. Li does not have any role in the Hong Kong government.
One Internet user Photoshopped a traditional Chinese headpiece onto Mr. Li, likening him to the Qing dynasty’s Empress Dowager Cixi. Mr. Leung, meanwhile, was depicted wearing a nondescript hat and given the nickname “little wolf.” Mr. Leung in the run-up to being chosen as chief executive earlier this year was nicknamed “wolf” by critics who said his ties to Beijing were too close. Mr. Leung, who was chosen as the city’s top leader in a process controlled by Beijing, said in response, “People who know me know that I’m definitely not a wolf.”
Online critics also point out that Mr. Li shares a name with another Chinese official who has become synonymous with abuses of power by the privileged in China. In October 2010, a senior police officer’s son in the province of Hebei gave birth to the catchphrase “My dad is Li Gang!” when he tried to escape the scene of a fatal car accident.
Hong Kong online wags captioned the photo, “Leung Chun-ying: My dad is Li Gang.”