Government blinks in HKNP-squashing

The government gives the Hong Kong National Party a modest amount of extra time to prepare its case against being banned as an imminent threat to national security. Pro-Beijing lawyer Ronny Tong is probably right in guessing the authorities don’t want to give the courts unnecessary grounds to side with the separatists.

This could get interesting (though the outcome is not in question). Communist Party officials frothing at the mouth about the need to crush splittists won’t be very happy with this sign of weakness, or the idea that the government might run into legal problems. Another reason to eradicate dangerous foreign ‘independent judiciary’ nonsense from this little part of the motherland.

Some mid-week links for those burdened with spare time…

Over in the moral-equivalence corner, a Greenpeace guy looks at the ‘narrative frames’ Western media use to portray China’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative. For a more robust view, World Affairs Journal sees Cold War II as a Chinese attempt to contain democracy.

On a lighter note…

Frank Dikotter on the myth of China’s opium plague. We were all better off when you could just buy a quarter-ounce of the stuff at Watsons.

The perils of having a ‘rare’ name in China – a tiny yet disturbing example of stubborn, humanity-crushing, individuality-denying bureaucracy for the sake of it.

And a very nicely designed (ie not-by-the-government) website on identifying Hong Kong snakes. Most large mammals are hard-wired to back off from serpents, but a quick summary if you lack this evolutionary feature: don’t mess with the vividly-coloured or stripy or for-some-reason-cobra-shaped ones, but feel free to get bitten by the duller, less-patterned ones, which are pretty harmless, apart from one or two that aren’t.

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