Happy New Year from Guangdong Public Security Dept


As the New Year begins, so it will unfold. That is why everyone is scurrying to pay off debts, clean the home (ahem) and tie up loose ends in time for Monday, the first day of Monkey Year. It is also a time when people should be with their family, or – if they are absolutely unable to travel – at least get in touch. And so the Chinese authorities choose this moment to notify Hong Kong police about the ‘other three’ missing book-sellers, Lui Por, Cheung Chi Ping and Lam Wing Kee.

The Hong Kong government issues a brief release describing the contents of the long overdue notification. It does so without comment or embellishment, leaving us with this stark and clumsy statement that the three are – as everyone assumed – under investigation for some unspecified crime. The supposed crime is related to Gui Minhai, who after vanishing from Thailand was forced to make a confession on Mainland TV. The Chinese authorities thoughtfully enclose a separate note from Lee Po, in which he says he does not wish to meet Hong Kong police right now.

We can speculate that the five, incommunicado (and some not even aware that all the others are being held), are undergoing the Prisoner’s Dilemma treatment and being invited to incriminate one another, leading to some or all being framed on state secrets charges. The Hong Kong government is visibly helpless, as are Beijing’s local sympathizers. The city’s people and the international community see the Communist SCMP-FugitiveParty’s brutishness and thuggery for what it is. In short – nothing has changed.

On a lighter note, it can be tempting to make a public prediction that something you would like to see will not happen (or vice-versa). It is a win-win: if you are right, you appear smart at forecasting; if you’re wrong, you got the pleasing outcome. With this in mind, I confidently prophesize that if Hong Kong and Macau agree on an extradition system, for reasons of non-retroactivity or whatever, property tycoon Joseph Lau will not be sent over to Sleazeville’s rat-infested dungeons in leg-irons to face his bribery conviction. Nope.

I declare the glorious five-day weekend open with a little something purloined from the Foreign Correspondents Club magazine, as a public service for anyone who would otherwise have missed them – recent Harry cartoons that didn’t make it into the South China Morning Post



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12 Responses to Happy New Year from Guangdong Public Security Dept

  1. Enid Fenby says:

    Harry. Bring back Larry Feign already. Cartoonists who keep their job at the Post must be so self- censored, they could illustrate North Korean coffee table books. The reason they don’t I suppose is that no one in North Korea has a coffee table.

  2. Qian Jin says:

    @ “Enclave’ legal chief conforms that accord with Hong Kong could become retroactive”

    Well that’s good news.
    To tie up all the legal niceties though and ensure “rule of law” continues, they should preferably backdate any agreement to cover the days of the former British colonial administration.
    Then our police would just travel to Macau, scoop up wanted fugitives and bring them back on ferries wearing handcuffs. A polite phone call to contacts in the Macau police was usually made beforehand to keep relations cordial. Saved an awful lot of paperwork.

  3. @Qian Jin – do the sins of the old regime excuse the sins of the new? Or should we perhaps aim to do better, not continue in the errors of the past?

  4. Tai O Bloke says:

    @Fenby. I’m sure you appreciate that neither Harry nor Larry have nor had any say in what is or was accepted by the SCUMP editors/owners, the real self-sensors here. At least Harry has The Correspondent to air the rejected…and Larry…

  5. Qian Jin says:

    @Old Newcomer

    As far as I am concerned I was relatively happy with the way extrajudicial “rendition” worked under governors during colonial times (except when corruption got in the way) . Three thousand years of quite well-documented world history teaches us that people need to be ruled by real people and not bits of paper subject to interpretation by doddery old judges in shiny silk stockings.

    If people are so fussed over this incident and the “rule of law” the first thing to study is Article 23 of the Basic Law which Hong Kong has to date reneged on. In the real world, two wrongs frequently substitutes for a right.

    In schoolboy simplistic terms ; Hongkong started this fight.

    “Gung Hey Fat Boy” to all my detractors

  6. Knownot says:

    For the holiday.

    26 January 1841


    In the name of Her Majesty, I claim this barren rock
    And this paltry village, home for fisherfolk.
    The Imperial Gods have played a cruel joke;
    In London I shall be a laughing-stock.
    The harbour’s fine and deep, I grant you that
    But looking round, I see their rotting boats,
    A barren hill, not fit for men or goats,
    And hardly any of the land is flat.
    I wish I were in Hindoostan again,
    Away from devious, bowing Chinamen,
    In a land of marvels, elegance, and grace.
    Upon my word, this is a sorry place.
    And can we find a healthy place to camp?
    This is no tropic isle. By George, it’s damp!


    Through a doorway
    For a second
    Slanting eyes
    Laughing, beckoned.
    Hair in a tail
    A snub nose.
    I’d like to know
    What she knows.
    She vanished
    In the village maze.
    Soon I’ll play
    Where she plays.
    I’ll go through
    Those lanes and byways
    And learn what it’s like
    To do it sideways.

  7. stanley 2 says:


    You speak for us all if we were truthful, despite how it may have turned out. It is the glue that keeps us stuck here. Classic, my man.

  8. RhZ says:

    @Qian Jin

    You don’t seem to understand how rule of law works at all. HK police would never be permitted to act unilaterally in Macao.

  9. @Qian Jin – as I have said here before, a reasonable Article 23 bill would have been passed years ago. The Hong Kong government (whether or not under instructions from Beijing I don’t know) started this problem by going so far beyond what was necessary in a bid to turn it into a tool of dictatorship, triggering a public backlash. As for the rule of law, the point of it is to guard against arbitrary and unjust decisions by your “real people,” who tend to become real tyrants without a framework to keep them in check. I realise you love to play devil’s advocate here, but I am sure you are smart enough to understand that it is not just about bits of paper – or silk stockings!

  10. Knownot says:

    From RTHK: At the Lunar New Year, the Chief Executive said that to maintain Hong Kong’s character as a place where eastern and western cultures meet and mingle, it was still important for people to value traditional Chinese festivals, and work to preserve Chinese arts and culture.

    So it’s been from the earliest days,
    Hong Kong can still have it both ways:
    Chinese hard work and entrepreneurial zest,
    And stable law and order from the west.
    A global city, brash and free and smart,
    With the legacy of Chinese life and art.
    Oh! The clichés come. I wish I knew:
    Were any of them ever really true?

    And, oh! The hope the nifty phrase expresses,
    So familiar now: “One C, Two Ss.”
    And yet, within, shadowy doubts would lurk;
    In practice, could it ever really work?
    One S so small, the other one so large,
    You knew which S would really be in charge.

    Everywhere, another contradiction
    Undermines the comfortable fiction.
    – Hong Kong is itself, on one hand,
    And on the other, loves the motherland,
    And like an errant child that went astray
    Must go home now and learn the parents’ way.
    – An international treaty, the Joint Declaration,
    Was signed by past and future sovereign nation.
    The Chinese firmly said they would endorse it.
    Now they don’t, there’s no way to enforce it.
    – We have our rule of law, but is it real
    With a Court of only Semi-Final Appeal?
    – Mainland officials have no power here
    And yet a publisher can disappear.
    – The language spoken here is Cantonese.
    No! It’s a dialect. The language is Chinese.
    – The royal insignia must not be seen,
    But Xi rode in a carriage with the Queen.

    It reminds me of a curious thing I saw
    On a derelict plot of land in Singapore
    Some years ago. Nothing remained
    Except some weeds and rubble, but it contained,
    Sharing it, some rather small cats
    Together with some very big rats.
    With every move, each was tensely aware
    Of the others, but pretended they weren’t there.
    It was a fluke, a paradox, and yet
    It was a place where two opposites met,
    Where, in a way, two cultures blended.
    It couldn’t last. I wonder how it ended.

  11. Don't Play With Fire says:

    Got to wonder if the brave CCP members in the PSB are also burning women witches as well as journalist.

    FUZHOU, China — The history class began with a lesson on being manly.

    Lin Wei, 27, one of a handful of male sixth-grade teachers at a primary school here, has made a habit of telling stories about warlords who threw witches into rivers and soldiers who outsmarted Japanese troops. “Men have special duties,” he said. “They have to be brave, protect women and take responsibility for wrongdoing.”

    The teacher is praising the old practice which the CCP borrowed in murdering innocent women, destroying their relatives’ reputations, and almost certainly stealing their victims’ property. He’s a perfect Xi-man.

  12. RhZ says:

    @Don’t Play With Fire

    Well, the CCP has already rehabilitated the Boxers, who murdered easily hundreds of thousands of Chinese, including huge numbers of women and children, just because they attacked the White man too. From the accounts I have read, it doesn’t seem they actually *killed* many of them, but dammit they loved China and hated foreigners so they must be ok.

    So a hardcore atheistic political party which is supposedly science-based has adopted a murderous mystical religious cult as their own, because logic.

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