Donald Trump signs the HK Human Rights and Democracy Act. As well as annoying all the right people (‘a slander of China to a level close to madness’), it could in theory lead to sanctions against officials involved in rights abuses here. Probably won’t. But penalties potentially include freezing of assets in the US. Mmmmmm! These people are drawing up a list of names. Suggestions welcome (provide serious evidence).
Meanwhile, leftists are struggling to get their heads round US support for the Hong Kong protest movement. (It’s all so icky bourgeois-liberal. Also, they can’t bear to be on the same side as Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, et al. This is a milder and localized version of the tankies who venerate the Chinese, Cuban, Venezuelan regimes out of blind hatred for the evil West.)
Predicted but perhaps arriving sooner than we thought: the Hong Kong government is pondering loyalty tests for civil servants. Teachers should expect similar treatment some time. A politically impartial civil service is of course incompatible with Beijing’s Leninist principles. One result will be to stir up resentment among the bureaucrats.
The CCP is also coming for the Hong Kong business community. The tycoons felt sure they had shoe-shined enough. They were wrong. After making billions from local and Mainland opportunities, number-one plutocrat Li Ka-shing has for years been adroitly ‘reweighting’ his family’s extensive assets away from this part of the world (to Western democracies). He has also failed to sufficiently demonize the protest movement/praise the administration – thus incurring the Wrath of the Panda. Reuters has managed to squeeze a few quotes out of him. The comments are on the enigmatic side, but the guy so rarely does any sort of interview that it counts as an exciting exclusive scoop. (Some interesting reminiscing about the time a young regional official called Xi Jinping groveled to Li for investment.)
A couple of worthwhile topical links…
A Hong Kong Free Press explainer on what the new-look District Councils can do with their pan-dem majorities. (No, I shouldn’t have called the newcomers ‘inexperienced’. As well as experience and skills, they will bring the creativity and idealism of the last six months with them – the contrast with their DAB predecessors could be vivid.)
And a Comparativist article on Hong Kong’s recent paranoia-driven conspiracy theories and the in-depth video and other analysis volunteers perform to get to the truth. (As Superman tells Reuters: “In the world of social media, some people are hard at work in sowing toxic doubts and disinformation to undermine trust.”)
Bloody Carrie’s latest bright idea is to make all civil servants take an oath of loyalty to the Fuhrer.
I wonder how this will affect civil service morale and if Mrs Ip Lau Suk-yee will therefore oppose the idea.
What a circus
Space archaeologists will dig this planet up one day far off in the future and just laugh. Or cry.
The paranoid obsesssion to avoid the fate of the USSR is fast showing the hallmarks of a self fulfilling prophecy.
It turns out that there is a hard-core protester who is angered at the limpness shown by the “lady-boy” protesters.
What did the dopey basket expect? A key measure of a person is how you’d rate them as a potential comrade in a bar fight. Critically, how quickly would they hoist bar stools above their heads and start cracking skulls? My experience is that Hongkongers as a whole would come in at 2/3 out of 10. In reality they are rubbish.
“Revolution of our Times” – what a crock of nonsense.
That’s why Carrie Lam sends out the signal that she doesn’t give a shit. It’s simple really. If you think otherwise, you are deluded.
I think the greatest value of the HKHRDA is that it carries the clear threat that if there is a crack-down in HK then Hong Kong’s autonomy will be considered to be over as far as the United States is concerned, and that US allies might well follow suit. As such, the value of HK for the CCP’s money laundering activities and so-forth would be at an end.
I am, like you Hemmers, sceptical that we will see visa bans or asset-freezing on Carrie Lam and her family unless there really are truly radical changes in the present situation.
The USA HK POLICY ACT in 1992 contained just the same rules as today’s law.
The difference, between now and then, is that a generation ago, HK and the PRC needed all the help they could get.
The present generation of government incumbents, in both HK and PRC, have a demanding stance of entitlement to a ton of USD and USA recognition.
The Chinese press and the phalanx of China watchers are always reporting that the CCP (or “Beijing” as the Communists are referred to euphemistically) are “angry” or “furious” about something or other.
I doubt the guys at the top are angry or furious. That’s an emotion they can’t afford. They didn’t climb to the top of that most dangerous and greasy pole by being stupid altogether. Unlike their press spokesmen, they’re not children. I don’t think.
The characterisations of the top CCP leaders’ political outlook and emotional state come from lesser lights who don’t have any direct access to the decision makers and don’t have any direct knowledge of what the top guys are really thinking.
They’re just guessing. Maybe that’s why they get so many things wrongs.
You know, like Lau Siu-kai.