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Posts Tagged ‘National Education’


National Education | Hong Kong is not ready

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

CY Leung must have witnessed the immensely-difficult line that his predecessors had to tread trying to keep both (i) the people of Hong Kong and (ii) Beijing happy. Unfortunately, these parties are so diametrically-opposite in virtually every way that any policy that favours one will invariably displease the other. National Education is but one of these policies. It will be important for the administration to assess properly the political calculus of trying to bulldoze through National Education and conduct necessary cost/benefit analysis.

If I had to identify the single cause of the current fiasco it would be China’s reputation management problem. Each time a bridge collapses, each time we are told that a blind activist committed suicide, each time a princeling crashes a Ferrari, each time milk is tainted, each time journalists are roughed up; China’s reputation is damaged. The less reputation China has the harder it will be to get policies like National Education through.

It would be churlish for the administration to try to bulldoze through National Education because of the political repercussions that will ensue. Instead the administration should go back to Beijing and say “We are trying our best to get National Education through but it is met with great resistance due entirely to your terrible brand/reputation management. You have made this an impossible task for us. This is how you can help - if you can dramatically improve your reputation over the next 3 years we will be able to get National Education through no problems. Can you help?”. Politics is ultimately a trade - let us not be cornered into an unfavourable deal.

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