Welcome, President Xi

It’s official: Xi Jinping is coming to town.

Here’s an early and famous photo of Chris Patten’s early days in Hong Kong:

Patten Tart

He wasn’t surrounded by security goons, the police didn’t have to glue the bricks to the ground to prevent people from picking them up and throwing them at him, and although this may have been staged, it didn’t have that feel to it.

A couple of years later I was out for a hike and came across him, a retired dignitary and their wives. There was no security. Perhaps the two drivers were armed – I don’t know – but I wasn’t stopped, frisked or the like: Patten gave me a friendly nod, which I returned, and we went on our respective ways.

President Xi, by contrast, will be staying at the Grand Hyatt where “For security reasons, hotel rooms in several floors will be vacated and people will have to receive a security check before being allowed to enter the hotel” and will be too busy on the Great Hong Kong White Elephant tour to sample egg tarts.

So here’s a little ditty to welcome him (by the way, “X” is pronounced “Sh” in Chinese, and Jin would rhyme with “bean”, so “She Jean-ping” is about as close as I can get in spelling that a native English speaker would recognize):

You’d better watch out

You’d better not cry

You’d better watch out

I’m telling you why

Xi Jinping is coming to town

Well he’s bringing lots of tanks and guns

And a great big army too

And when he brings them to Hong Kong

He’s gonna drive them over you (splat)


He knows which books you’re selling

He knows when they’re taboo

He’ll get that filmed confession

And that’s the end of you (oo)


He don’t like independence

He knows just what’s at stake

So he will change the Basic Law

And a pyre of freedoms make (yeah!)


There’s National Education

And we are all Chinese

And if you’re not on board with that,

Well, get down on your knees.


And if that doesn’t earn me a knock on the door at 4 a.m., I take it all back.