Back in or around Occupy in 2014, the PLA released a video showing how gritty, hunky, tough Chinese soldiers could defend the glorious motherland’s sovereignty over Hong Kong – against (you were perhaps invited to imagine) marauding teenagers. One clip featured some sort of urban warfare training site with local-looking street features like HSBC, 7-Eleven logos, etc. (Memory is a bit dim.)
Ostensibly to celebrate its anniversary, the PLA proudly presents the 2019 update, which has attracted a lot more attention. The scenes of ships, missiles and tanks are obviously stock footage from elsewhere, but the riot-suppression/counter-insurgency action could have been shot on location right here in Hong Kong.
Eagle-eyed Google Earth geeks have zeroed in on the likely spots: the urban tactics training place might be at Shek Kong, while some of the bang-bang stuff possibly took place at the moonscape/firing range up by Castle Peak.
A bigger question is the purpose of the video. It is presumably intended to persuade someone of something – but who, and what?
The next big event in the anti-extradition uprising is supposed to be a general strike on Monday. In the wake of (say) a fatal shooting by the cops, it would be different, but right now there is something improbable about this idea. Take a Number 8 typhoon signal as a benchmark: unless key transport or public-sector functions like the MTR or schools and government offices shut down, it’s hard to make a visible impact on Hong Kong’s routine hustle and bustle.
Having said that, we have had two months of non-stop previously inconceivable weirdness (up to yesterday evening’s wet bankers’ parade). As well as the PLA’s oh-so subtle PR video, the prosecutors are doing all they can to keep things stirred up, and the government is almost asking for it by issuing statements essentially saying ‘we are utterly wetting ourselves’. And, of course, the police have the whole weekend to explore new heavy-handed and dimwitted ways of massively pissing everyone off.
Which period I declare open with some links about the big wide world out there.
- A seriously unflattering look at Pakistan’s relationship with China.
- An epic thread on the late Li Peng’s family business connections.
- And Australian media go to town on Crown Casino, starring the boy Packer, Macau, gangsters, money laundering, Xi Jinping’s cousin, a brothel, etc, etc. Maybe start with the Mainland and Macau end, then look at the Australian side of it; for those who like moving pix, the Oz 60 Minutes coverage, and let’s not forget that it’s not all about money and sex – but the lure of wombat hunts.