In order to stem the institutional crisis that has shaken the region since June 2019, Xi Jingping, the Chinese head of state has just appointed to head of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Xia Baolong, a former close aide and devout communist also known to be a destroyer of churches.
Xi Jingping is aware of this: the Covid-19 epidemic—the name given by the World Health Organization to the coronavirus—constitutes “a major test for the Chinese system and its capacity for governance.” To respond to this test, the master of the Middle Empire decided to use strong arm tactics: a purge campaign, as only the Marxist regimes can organize, was launched in February.
After dismissing the secretaries general of the Communist Party of Hubei Province and its capital, Wuhan—each having made his self-criticism on state television, as required—it is the head of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, who has just been removed from office.
Representing mainland China in the autonomous region, the post of head of the office is highly strategic in maintaining Beijing’s stranglehold on the place: also, Xi Jinping has appointed one of his close friends to this post, Xia Baolong.
A nomination which is not likely to reassure the Catholics of Hong Kong: in 2014, Xia Baolong distinguished himself in the province of Zhejiang, by destroying more than a thousand crosses, as well as by attacking several hundred churches.
“I am lucky to be part of the Zhejiang iron army,” said the new strong man from Hong Kong in 2017, fully assuming an anti-Christian policy, all in the spirit of his master Xi Jinping.
A disturbing signal for the Catholics of Hong Kong who do not need this at the moment: the cardinal-archbishop of the former British colony has closed the churches and suspended celebrations since February 15, in order to stem the Covid-19 epidemic.
A virus which, for many Chinese, is no worse than the “cancer” embodied by the Communist Party.