Some archetypes appear to be genuinely international. Agence France Presse recently quoted a Hong Kong observer's view of Sir Ti Liang Yang, former chief justice and a candidate for the post of chief executive come next summer's handover to the Chinese: "He's ducked every challenge that has come his way . . . he's conservative, very mild mannered. But he's uninspired and frankly uninspiring. He would be much better-off as vice chancellor of a university."