It’s all academic

RTHK, with a straight face, reports that…

Students of a secondary school said they mourned former state leader Jiang Zemin’s death with a heavy heart on Tuesday morning.

[One student said] “We didn’t mourn in silence just for the sake of it or to comply with the Education Bureau’s guideline. We knew in our hearts the meaning and why we mourned.”

Some academic reading, or at least perusing…

From Alvin Cheung of Queen’s University, Sole and Despotic Dominion – a lengthy examination of how governments can abuse their powers as land owners. Sounds dry except exhibit number one is the case of Apple Daily’s eviction from the state-owned industrial estate at Tseung Kwan O. (Link is to abstract, pdf free to download.)

Which leads to CUHK journalism professor Francis Lee’s somewhat lighter paper on the ‘politics of legalization of press control’ in Hong Kong and the city’s ‘democratic backsliding’ in the last 10 years. Very topical.

And of course Kevin Carrico’s Two Countries, Two Systems. The (pretty short) book expands on his 2016 article.

Expect quite a lot of sociology/anthropology jargon, frequent use of the word ‘differend’, and references to obscure works on the theory of people-state relations (including at one point 1950s Algeria). But there’s also a lot of more digestible – and entertaining – analysis and anecdotes about what has been happening in Hong Kong in the last few decades. Specifically, the rise of Hong Kong ‘nationalism’ or sense of self-determination among Hongkongers who perceived that ‘One Country, Two Systems’ was failing.

Subjects broad and narrow include: the impossibility of ‘One Country, Two Systems’; the role of cross-border smuggling in alienating Hongkongers; initial disbelief at police brutality; being followed by CCP newspaper staff; eccentric genius Chin Wan’s city-state idea; Beijing’s ‘Orientalist’ view of Hong Kong; and how – according to Mainland logic – permitting pro-independence speech undermines rule of law.

Perhaps the best part is the examination of Beijing officials’ hilariously bad explanations for why Hongkongers are resentful of Mainland influence, and the psychology behind the CCP’s attitude towards a city that so vividly contradicts and disproves its ideology.

A former – quite prominent – economist I know spent the 2017-18 period writing what he hoped would be the definitive book on post-1997 Hong Kong, only for the project to be derailed as he (so far as I know) frantically amended and ultimately abandoned the near-finalized ms as 2019 unfolded. Carrico was luckier with timing. But most of all, he is able to argue that the events of 2019-21 confirmed the basic thesis in his original article.

Worth a read.

(‘Differend’.)

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Farewell, Jiang Zemin and Civic Party

Not that you’re likely to notice, but the Civic Party decides to disband. No-one wants to head up an organization likely to be targeted as unpatriotic or subversive. Besides, there is no purpose for independent groups in a system that rules out even slightly representative government or pluralism in politics.

Some background on the party from Oiwan Lam, who notes…

Currently, most pro-democracy parties and groups have become inactive as their leaders are in jail. 

That includes three CP members.

Don’t forget to honk in silence at a designated location at 10am today, to ‘express deep condolences to President Jiang’. (‘Sorry to hear you died.’) Among other acts of mourning: the stock exchange will not display the Hang Seng Index and other data on the outdoor screens at Exchange Square for three minutes; Christmas lights at malls will be switched off for the day; and public hospital staff will be expected to stand still for the three minutes – unless they have, you know, something important to do.

More patriotic performance from local sports boss Ronnie Wong, who criticizes the Dubai ‘powerlifting’ (whatever that is) association for the latest anthem mix-up. He doesn’t buy the explanation that it was a mistake – reasoning that the playing of the specific tune Glory to Hong Kong could only have been deliberate…

“If you were careless, you could have played any other song. Why was it this one?” he said.

In a way, he has a point. A purely random accidental choice of music could just have easily yielded Rwandan drums, a five-hour Wagner opera or Laibach’s The Lonely Goatherd. The problem is that an online search for ‘Hong Kong national anthem’ produces a list of tunes Internet users tend to like and link to. A search for ‘China national anthem’ would get you March of the Volunteers in an instant. But it’s unlikely that a Middle Eastern sports bureaucracy has been infiltrated by Hong Kong nationalists. (Or is it?)

Speaking of which – will do a quick review of Kevin Carrico’s book soon.

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Return of Anthem-gate

Another overseas sporting event, and another mix-up of audio files results in Glory to Hong Kong being played instead of the Chinese national anthem – this time in Dubai. The HK Police Organized Crime and Triad Bureau are investigating what is apparently the fourth mishap of this sort, and you can almost see why they might suspect some sort of plot out there in international-athletics-stadiums-land. Unless, maybe, tournaments have been playing the wrong tune for years, and no-one noticed until now? Since most of us never watch sports, we would never know.

From the Standard

Authorities should create a designated website introducing the correct Chinese national anthem for Hong Kong and request search engines to pin the page as the top result to avoid mix-ups, an IT expert has said.

On the subject of suspecting plots, we recall Security Secretary Chris Tang’s claim last week that Hong Kong blank-paper protesters sympathizing with the Urumqi fire victims were possibly leading to a ‘colour revolution’ and threatened national security. A Ming Pao columnist questions this and asks whether it also applies to the similar gatherings in the supposedly more patriotic Mainland. 

That could have been that. But the Security Bureau has to respond with a whiny ‘deep regret’ press release that doubles down on the alarmist paranoia. I’ve added emphasis…

The writer intentionally mixed up the recent activities in Hong Kong which were called for on the Internet in the name of commemorating the event in Urumqi but in reality [evidence?] were attempting to incite against the Central Authorities, with certain incidents happened in the Mainland. The commentary is misleading and downplays the signs of instability in Hong Kong. Members of the public may be easily led to let down their guard against being incited to participate in activities suspected of endangering national security. 

But maybe they won’t be easily led to etc etc… 

Standard editorial points out that Xi Jinping says the Mainland protests were due to students’ frustration, but helpfully adds…

Critics … may like to ridicule Tang for moving ahead of Beijing to give the incidents a political definition. Yet, the critics may also consider giving Tang some kind of credit for jumping the gun because he may have prevented a “color revolution” from budding.

Something to watch: is a ban on urging a vote boycott constitutional?

Chow Hang-tung, Albert Ho and Lee Cheuk-yan won’t get a jury trial. Did anyone expect them to? Meanwhile, in Taiwan

…lay people are to be randomly selected as citizen judges who would participate in trial proceedings and adjudicate cases alongside professional judges in certain felony cases.

A must read: a former Hong Kong barrister – now living abroad – has a lot to say about the presence of foreign judges in Hong Kong and offers reasons why Beijing is determined to deny Jimmy Lai an overseas lawyer? 

Moreover, a defence lawyer from outside the jurisdiction, unburdened by the need to maintain relationships with prosecutors and judges, will be free to put forward a vigorous defence. Perhaps most damaging of all, however, is the prospect that a lawyer from outside the jurisdiction might witness the extent to which Hong Kong’s legal system has been debased — and tell the truth about it.

Tam Yiu-chung’s latest position on Jimmy Lai’s trial, if you’re trying to keep up.

A round-up of articles on problems facing Beijing…

Adam Tooze on China’s impossible Covid quandary – probably the best thing you’ll read on the subject.

The FT on the same subject – more quotes, fewer stats, and uses phrase ‘control-freakery’…

Chen Wenqing, a former state security minister who now heads the party’s internal security apparatus, vowed to “resolutely crack down on the infiltration and sabotage activities of hostile forces as well as illegal and criminal activities that disturb social order – social stability must be ensured”.

George Magnus on how the broader economic situation could add to Covid as a cause of unrest in China.

The NYT on the longer-term response to the recent protests…

…the flash flood of defiance suggests that Mr. Xi’s next years in power could be more contested and turbulent than had seemed plausible even a month ago. His hold on the party elite seems unassailable; his hold over parts of society, especially the young, seems less sure.

…Mr. Xi’s advisers are likely to be figuring out how to redouble censorship and ideological indoctrination in universities … another ideological offensive to reassert the party’s hold over minds, especially among students and young workers.

“It will be a grinding, planned-out, constant response,” said Barmé…

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Told you it would be an interesting week!

Not neurotically micromanaged or anything, just People’s Daily following the deaths of Deng Xiaoping in 19927 and Jiang Zemin three days ago (from here). Apart from the dead former leaders’ names, it’s a strict template: the headlines are the same, key phrases are the same, layout the same. Jiang gets a bolder font. (Exhaustive details at China Media Project.)

Many Hong Kong government websites went black-and-white. A quick Google search shows the DAB’s and HKU’s have as well, though Cheung Kong didn’t – can’t be bothered to look at any more.

A selection of pretty good weekend reading…

Even before Beijing’s ‘interpretation’, the HK Immigration Dept withholds Jimmy Lai’s would-be lawyer’s visa. The chief prosecutor in the case applies for an adjournment…

The interpretation would not only determine whether overseas counsel are allowed to represent national security defendants in courts, it may also ban foreign lawyers from giving advice to clients, said Chau.

How?

From NPC Observer, a full explainer on the Jimmy Lai ‘interpretation’…

[CE John] Lee’s failure to identify one or more specific NSL provisions that require interpretation stands in contrast to past Chief Executive requests for NPCSC interpretation of the Hong Kong Basic Law. Perhaps this was a tacit acknowledgement that, as Prof. Fu Hualing succinctly put it, the conceptual distinction between the NPCSC’s legislative interpretation and supplementation “is a distinction without differences.”

Human rights activist group Article 19 calls for the release of Jimmy Lai…

An advocate for media freedom, democracy and the right to protest, his words and actions have made him a target of those in Hong Kong and Beijing whose cowardice leads them to believe that crushing dissent is a show of strength. In reality, it is the desperate tactic of the weak. 

William Pesek in Nikkei Asia on hedge fund manager Bill Ackman’s bet against the Hong Kong Dollar peg. Basically, toppling the peg is next to impossible so long as the Hong Kong authorities are willing to withstand high interest rates and/or deflation. However, the underlying reasons hedge funds are tempted to have a go are worrying…

The lack of an independent monetary policy is exacerbating strains in Hong Kong’s economy, including chronic inequality. The need to ratchet rates higher and higher pushed Hong Kong back into its pandemic recession.

As wages flatline, the managed nature of the property market keeps living costs high as opportunity declines. If Hong Kong has a solution other than occasional cash handouts, Chief Executive Lee is not saying.

An underappreciated catalyst for the 2019-2020 protests, as well as those of 2014, was inequality. In the years between those episodes, Hong Kong’s Gini coefficient, a key wealth-gap indicator, hit a 45-year high of 0.539, where 1 indicates maximum inequality.

In Foreign Policy, Lynette H. Ong looks at China’s protests… 

Why has Xi’s seemingly unprecedented strong grip on power been met with social resistance of unparalleled scale throughout China? How has Chinese society reached this boiling point?

…When the implementers of party policy lock families up and demand that they hand over the keys to their apartments, when they send people into mandatory quarantine despite negative test results, and when people die because they cannot gain access to hospital treatment, the implementers and masses alike start questioning the policies—and disobeying them. Citizens are resisting and rebelling.

Cindy Yu has a personal take in the Spectator

I’m also afraid of the unknown: few one-party countries successfully change into happy democracies. So is it really worth agitating for? I don’t have any good answers.

Foreign Affairs begs think tanks, commentators, politicians, and everyone trying to read Beijing tea leaves: just pay attention to what China’s leaders say…

…[The CCP] congress served to codify a worldview that Xi has been developing over the past decade in carefully crafted official party communications: Chinese-language speeches, documentaries, and textbooks, many of which Beijing deliberately mistranslates for foreign audiences, when it translates them at all. These texts dispel much of the ambiguity that camouflages the regime’s aims and methods and offer a window into Xi’s ideology and motivations: a deep fear of subversion, hostility toward the United States, sympathy with Russia, a desire to unify mainland China and Taiwan, and, above all, confidence in the ultimate victory of communism over the capitalist West. The end state he is pursuing requires the remaking of global governance. His explicit objective is to replace the modern nation-state system with a new order featuring Beijing at its pinnacle.

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Float in Peace

The pre-written obits must have been gathering dust. Jiang Zemin was not a warm and cuddly liberal. Nor was he oozing charisma. It just seems that way because spoke and acted with a spontaneity unimaginable among today’s leadership, which tightly manages public image to the extent of suppressing all evidence of personality. It could be that Xi Jinping’s generation – raised during the Cultural Revolution – missed out on schooling enjoyed by older (and younger) cadres and thus lack Jiang’s panache-with-Chinese-characteristics. But we have no way of telling.

Even before Jiang’s death – and chatter about parallels with Hu Yaobang/Tiananmen – Beijing’s propaganda machine had been scrambling last week to counter nationwide protests against Zero-Covid. It must be foreign forces. Asia Times reports

Chinese columnists have launched a propaganda campaign calling on the public to trust the ruling Chinese Communist Party and government while urging them not to be used by foreign powers to undermine stability. They also criticized some Covid testing firms for providing fake data to local governments in a bid to get profitable mass test contracts.

An interesting look at the conspiracy theory that the US has a $500 million budget to create unrest in China.

Maybe Hong Kong gets a slice of that? Security Secretary Chris Tang sees local gatherings commemorating the victims of the Urumqi fire as a fledgling ‘colour revolution’… 

The city must take “preventive measures” to avoid returning to the “chaotic state” of 2019, he said.

“Later they will occupy the streets, use violence, throw petrol bombs and ravage our university campuses again. And after that, there will be large-scale riots and plunge the society into chaos,” he said.

…phrases such as “power abuse,” “leaders, step down,” “dictatorship” and “revolution,” which had appeared at demonstrations over the past few days, could be seen as endangering national security and thus violating the law.

If you think that’s a bit wild, try pro-Beijing lawmakers demanding that the government rearrange Google’s algorithms…

…e-books on Hong Kong independence have been published on online platforms, and a song on Hong Kong independence which is claimed as the “national anthem of Hong Kong” has even appeared among the search results of Internet search engines. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

 …whether the Government has studied ways to regulate online platforms (e.g. the Google e-books platform) to prevent such platforms from selling books that violate the Hong Kong National Security Law…

[and] use technologies to review the search results of Internet search engines, as well as inform the relevant operators about any false information (including false information concerning national sovereignty) and request their removal of such false information…?

Which leads us to the latest censorship directives from the Mainland, courtesy of China Digital Times

…all search engines should continue implementing a clean-up of search results related to bypassing the Firewall, and limit the spread of keywords such as “Firewall circumvention,” “accessing the Internet scientifically,” etc.

To prove that even patriots can make honest mistakes. Former Justice Secretary Elsie Leung finds herself backing the wrong side after defending the courts for rejecting government attempts to ban an overseas lawyer from defending Jimmy Lai. 

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More on ‘interpretation’

The Bar Association politely hints at mild semi-discomfort over NPCSC ‘interpretation’ in the Jimmy Lai/Timothy Owens case. An SCMP article raises the possibility (apparently slim) that the NPCSC ruling might even lead to a special list of local lawyers permitted to handle NatSec cases. It also quotes Professor Johannes Chan Man-mun, former law dean at the University of Hong Kong, as saying…

…the seven-day adjournment was unfair to the defendant, as Lai would be unable to find an alternative lawyer in such a short time.

“No counsel would be able to take up such a big case within seven days, and further adjournments will be inevitable,” he said.

The official line that foreign lawyers somehow lack knowledge of NatSec doesn’t make much sense: that would be the client’s problem, not the government’s. Similarly, the claim that overseas counsel may be beholden to foreign powers is unconvincing: their priority is surely to protect the defendant’s interests. But no-one at press conferences or in op-eds seems to be asking why exactly the authorities are so desperate to keep Owen from defending Lai. Here are some interesting SCMP reader comments…

If the charges and evidence are robust, no matter who represents Lai, he should be convicted.  The only possibly motivation is a fear of losing both the case and face … if indeed the charges and the law is robust and Lai is convicted despite being represented by a foreign lawyer, it will show the world that the law is clear, fair and justly applied.  By denying him a choice of counsel, it actually weakens the credibility of NSL, the judiciary and the legislature.

And…

Any local lawyer who takes over this case would feel way more pressured than a foreign one.

Sesame Street is brought to you today by the phrase ‘三个坚定不移’, or ‘three unswervings’. (Maybe ‘three steadfasts’ would sound less silly. Or maybe not. Or ‘firmnesses’. All from Xinhua – translate as you see fit.) On the face of it, the three things are all about not deviating from protecting the people by fighting Covid. But they seem sufficiently overblown to suggest an underlying agenda of relaxing some extreme policies while maintaining that there’s no reversal going on.

Some more reading on the situation in the Mainland…

HKFP interviews a couple of Mainland students studying in Hong Kong on their thoughts about what’s happening back home.

AFP’s round-up of the weekend’s events.

Minxin Pei in Asia Nikkei

The Chinese police can put protesters behind bars, but omicron will still be lurking. The economic and social toll of zero COVID will keep piling up and fuel future protests. The public image of Xi would take another hit, an inauspicious beginning for his unprecedented third term.

Leaders have to make tough choices. Ending zero COVID would be by far the lesser of two evils, however unattractive it may seem to Xi and the party.

Michael Schuman in Atlantic

…after four decades of “reform and opening up,” as the Chinese call it, China’s citizens have become too connected to the world and too self-confident to be herded like obedient automatons by an unfettered state.

Hmmm.

From NPR

…the emergence of the omicron variant a year ago caught the party flat-footed, and it’s had a hard time pivoting. A never-ending string of lockdowns and travel restrictions have hurt the economy and eroded public goodwill.

But dropping the policy and letting the pandemic spread would have its own high costs…

Chinese experts estimate if Beijing was to lift lockdowns immediately, the overwhelming number of hospitalizations would collapse its medical system.

A thread on the near impossibility of protesting in China without risk of individual identification by authorities.

And Jamil Anderlini on Chinese young people’s lack of awareness of earlier protest movements.

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Case goes to Court of More Final Appeal

Weeks after Hong Kong holds a conference and sends emissaries overseas to maintain that the city still has rule of law, Beijing will overturn the Court of ‘Final’ Appeal’s rejection of the government’s attempt to bar British lawyer Timothy Owen from defending Jimmy Lai. Officially, CE John Lee is ‘requesting’ the NPC Standing Committee to ‘interpret’ the NatSec Law. In practice, Beijing will redefine the wording and amend or expand the meaning of the law.

HKFP quotes Lee as saying…

“Hong Kong residents have the right to choose their own lawyers. According to previous cases, the right of defendants to choose their legal representation refers to choosing from lawyers who are fully qualified in Hong Kong, not overseas lawyers who do not have those qualifications.”

The Standard reports

Lee’s announcement was backed by the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office…

A spokesman said on Wechat: “The decision made by the relevant court in Hong Kong in approving a British King’s Counsel handling Lai Chee-ying’s case has contradicted the rule in the NSL where the administrative, legislative and judicial authorities have to prevent, stop and punish actions and activities that endanger national security.

“The decision has also been against the purpose of legislation and logic in legal contexts.” The spokesman said the decision has raised strong discontentment among people who “love the country and Hong Kong” and “those with righteousness in the legal sector.”

“They all said some judges simply used the principles and proceedings in normal cases to regulate the application and enforcement of the national security law. The judges have insufficient knowledge on the constitutional status of the national security law, and have neglected its authoritative and overriding nature,” he said.

It quotes Lee as saying…

“There’s no effective means to ensure that a counsel from overseas will not have a conflict of interest, and there’s also no means to ensure that he has not been coerced, compromised or in any way controlled by foreign governments, associations or persons.”

Has any of this ever been an issue with any overseas lawyer? Can it be?

From the SCMP story

…legal scholar Thomas Kellogg, who studies the Hong Kong situation at Georgetown University in Washington, said Lai’s case underlined a wider issue.

“This move to block Tim Owen’s participation is part of a broader pattern of blocking due process rights in national security trials, which includes blocking the right to a jury trial and holding individuals – including Jimmy Lai himself – for extended periods in pre-trial detention, without access to bail,” he said.

Those desperate to see a bright side can at least say that the CFA displayed its independence in rejecting the government’s application. But what practical purpose is there to a purely symbolic or nominal ‘independence’ that can be overridden on a whim?

Lai’s case will presumably be postponed – which leaves more time for the authorities to pursue him for his other alleged crimes.

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Going to be an interesting week

Lots of open (and from CCP’s viewpoint, apparently coordinated) protest and defiance in China this weekend. The censors are too overworked to delete all the videos on social media. The consensus seems to be that this will be suppressed or smoothed over one way or another, and not destabilize the government. Unless rebellious elites in the power structure decide to leverage the disaffection as a way to undermine the leadership – which is probably unlikely, given all the purges and concentration of power over the last 10 years.

Good thread on what has/has not been happening in Urumqi as the Uighur/Han populations protest Covid regimes.

Main issue is how Beijing extricates itself from its zero-Covid policy from now on – interesting thread here

This raises the possibility of a faster return to normal in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, if you have family visiting – Tripperhead, tireless chronicler of Hong Kong’s Covid regulations, distills thousands of words of impenetrable government jargon into a clear, plain-language guide for anyone bold enough to travel to the city. It’s still pretty daunting.

On other matters…

The Vatican is upset that Beijing has broken a deal on appointing Bishops. Say three Hail Marys and promise not to do it again. Thread proposing that two sides are testing each other.

It’s not too soon for a preliminary round-up of 2022 in Hong Kong. (Was the hamster massacre in the last 11 months? Seems like ancient history. I guess it is in hamster years.)

The Court of Final Appeal will announce its decision today on whether to let Timothy Owen KC represent Jimmy Lai. One pro-Beijing figure is muttering about an ‘interpretation’ to overturn the court if it confirms earlier rulings that overseas counsel should be permitted (though other loyalists quoted have different opinions). Whichever way they decide, the judges are going to outrage someone.

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Some quick Jimmy Lai background

Jimmy Lai’s collusion etc NatSec trial starts next week. Meanwhile, he is convicted of using 0.1% of the Apple Daily HQ (at a public-sector business park) for non Apple Daily use. A minor breach of lease conditions sounds like a civil case – but someone decided they must pursue him for criminal fraud. 

The Court of Final Appeal today hears the government’s last (or at least latest) attempt to bar Timothy Owen KC from defending Lai in the NatSec case. State-owned media carry quotes from a pro-Beijing commentator saying use of a foreign lawyer poses a national-security threat, and the trial could be moved to the Mainland. And more. (Who wants to take bets on the CFA folding?)

Aaron Mc Nicholas on the Apple Daily content likely to be used as evidence

After listing the title and the date of publication, prosecutors use the phrase “despite its appearance as a news article,” before going on to describe how the content deviates from news reporting. In many examples, the document asserts that the offending content actually served as an appeal to the public to take part in a particular protest, served to incite hatred against the Hong Kong police or against the Chinese central government, or served to praise acts of violence during the 2019 social unrest.

…The pattern of calling into question whether Apple Daily’s news coverage was truly news continues throughout the document…

…“Lai’s Twitter account contained English content with tagging or interaction with external elements, including various political figures, representatives, agents of and/or persons affiliated with the US, UK, Japan, the Taiwan region, etc.”

From our own comments, ‘Del Boy’ makes a prediction… 

I know exactly what Jimmy Lai’s QC will be doing. He won’t even get near discussing the various charges against the man. He will simply rip into the court proceedings, pointing out how none of it is compliant with either common law or the basic law … [He] will take his report back to Europe and the United Nations … Jimmy’s going to jail anyway. He’s going to go there with the satisfaction of knowing the territory ‘elite’ will be further isolated from the global community.

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55 metric tons of NatSec wasted per day

The government’s appeal to bar an overseas lawyer from defending Jimmy Lai takes place tomorrow. Commentary in the state-owned local press rails against foreign counsel as NatSec threats and suggests sending Lai to the Mainland for trial.

Hong Kong’s NatSec enforcers have a big budget and manpower. They must find more than Jimmy Lai and pro-dem politicians to arrest and prosecute, even the obscure or pitiful. From yesterday, anthem-related ‘sedition’ (commenting and sharing posts online) cases in which an 18-year-old pleads guilty and a 42-year-old courier is denied bail. Among other things, how much are these trials and detentions costing taxpayers?

Is it more than Covid testing, or less? Weird statistic of the day: Hong Kong produces 55 tonnes of used RAT tests per day. (Trying to picture how big a pile that would be – the kits can’t weigh more than an ounce a piece. What’s the total for China? On a related matter, things getting wild at the Foxconn plant. Background here.)

With hopes of a quiet Friday so I can finish Kevin Carrico’s book – some weekend reading…

Diplomat interview with Andrew Small, author of No Limits: The Inside Story of China’s War with the West

Journal of Democracy on Xi Jinping’s move away from prioritizing the economy…

Had [Xi] chosen to continue the economy-centered program rather than introduce the “struggle for security,” he would have had no excuse to stay in power, and the Twentieth Party Congress would have witnessed his handover of power to someone else. 

CSIS paper on why invading Taiwan would be more trouble than it’s worth for Beijing.

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