This week’s compulsory read

Who is this person and why am I supposed to be interested in him? Can’t he just go away? After a recent deluge of frantic on-line shrieking about the hitherto-barely-heard-of Kanye West, I am buried by an avalanche of uncontrollably excited Twitter and other babbling on the subject of one Elon Musk, of whom I know equally little and care even less. Isn’t there a button you can push, so they just disappear? What’s the point of living in an Internet bubble when hyper-inflated inconsequential mega-bores intrude all the time? (And how do you pronounce ‘Kanye’?)

On top of that, I am preparing for an upcoming inspection visit to Japan. In short, just time for a link – a must-read…

Crime, punishment and politics: the legal suppression of opposition in Hong Kong by Kong Tsung-gan at HKFP. Not just an update, but a full survey of the post-2014 ‘lawfare’ against Hong Kong’s pro-democrats.

…Hong Kong has never seen anything like this before, so many people in the pro-democracy movement put on trial over such an extended period of time for such a wide array of crimes … prosecutions being used as a key weapon against political enemies.

Among many interesting points: the pro-dems’ helplessness in responding, and the government’s success so far in maintaining the reputation of the legal system.

The article describes a systematic campaign to intimidate and subdue opponents and critics, which seems to have come in two waves: post-Occupy, and a renewed effort after the 2016 Legislative Council elections.

Its thoroughness suggests explicit instructions and supervision from Beijing and the Liaison Office, reflecting impatience or panic up in the Chinese Communist Party (not to mention the totally obedient/petrified stance of the local administration).

Note that this is happening at the same time as mounting suppression of Xinjiang Muslims, human-rights lawyers, on-line media, and so on in the Mainland. Note also that this coincides with stepped-up United Front ‘ideological’ work in Hong Kong (the national anthem law, school curriculum revision, push for ‘Bay Area’ identity, likely curbs on opinion), which in turn is tracking strengthened propaganda efforts on the Mainland through Xi Jinping Thought, Marxism, Amazing China, and so much more CCP-BS-hype.

This is one of those times when you don’t fully see what is happening – but when you look back 10 years later you realize what you were living through.


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2 Responses to This week’s compulsory read

  1. Stephen says:

    The chronicling of this by Kong Tsung-gan is an impressive body of work. But what next ? Like the militarisation of the South China sea (and beyond) the lobotomy of Hong Kong is nearly complete. The high water mark was 2014, the British went a long time ago and the American’s don’t care.
    So we move on to soul searching in New Zealand / Australia on how far China’s money has corrupted their democracy. What next ? An orchestrated incident in Taiwan provoking a military action ?
    Our increasingly few Pro-Dem Legislative Councillors still have their pay cheques and perhaps realise it’s game over and are just going through their final moves prior to retirement in Canada.

  2. Not A Political Decision says:

    The more Beijing entices people into subversion, the faster the regime will fall so it’s not all negative.

    The regime doesn’t even have the support of the poorest (something even Venezuela does) because they don’t redistribute any wealth and brainwashing only goes so far compared to cash. They’ll be easily toppled by their own greedy bourgeoisie at the next economic downturn.

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