No credibility, no worries

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam does not have a lot of credibility to lose, so blankly denying police brutality in the Legislative Council probably doesn’t make much difference to her as a political liability. Her claim that out-of-control cops are not real but a smear campaign is echoed by the Police Commissioner and in a government video relaying ‘the facts’ – that the protesters are violent barbarians and the police are using minimum force. (Interesting that Brand Hong Kong is being ordered to help promote it. The film is a classic example of a PR effort designed to please the boss rather than convince the wider audience for which it is intended.)

The Independent (hmmm) Police Complaints Council is delaying its first report on early clashes in the protests because of a judicial review. We will have to wait to see how far the body will stick to the line that all the police violence you’ve seen reported didn’t happen.

To put all this in context, the Lowy Institute interprets the message from Beijing contained in the appointment of Luo Huining as director of the Liaison Office. The posting…

is about stability and steadiness, not negotiation or rapprochement … the party is not about to consider reshaping to fit Hong Kong’s demands … the moves from Beijing are intended to highlight the fact that nothing will change in Hong Kong…

Perhaps not so much that ‘nothing will change’, as the only changes will be towards greater Mainlandization.

One curious sight in LegCo yesterday was one or two pro-Beijing lawmakers showing slight signs of impatience with Carrie. Even they must realize the CE and her fantasy-land statements do not augur well at the elections later in the year.

I declare the weekend open with the usual…

How banning the Human Rights Watch boss from Hong Kong breaks the Basic Law. Or at least reminds us that the Basic Law means whatever the CCP finds expedient.

Watercolours by Kin Fan Fung, plus other protest art.

Atlantic does the Taiwan election

[Xi] saw that Tsai was politically vulnerable and sought to increase pressure, but it had the opposite effect. Xi has decades of experience in dealing with Taiwan and sees himself as the expert in chief. Now … his judgment has been revealed to be fallible…

Better late than never, and like a growing number of commentators, Foreign Policy is asking whether we should see Taiwan as (shock!) a normal country

Yet little by little, as with its internet domain, Taiwan is giving up any pretense of being Chinese. The vestigial mainland seats were removed from its legislature in 1991. Its maps and tourism posters show only the island of Taiwan … Slowly but inexorably, Taiwan is going its own way.

The SCMP reports that over on the Mainland, the middle class are hurting. These are the well-off minority in the big cities whose ability to buy fancy schooling for kids and other luxuries rests on ever-rising valuations of all their empty apartments. Cue a slowing economy (and long-term demographics) and there’s trouble coming.

Freedom House on the CCP’s growing media influence worldwide. And Lowy again on whether CGTN (CCTV’s international arm) can be effective in spreading CCP propaganda – interesting stuff on corporate culture, use of foreign staff, etc.

The CCP’s Five-Year Plan for Islam, translated into English. And they haven’t forgotten the Tibetans either.

If you have lots of empty red packets lying around, and no-one to give laisee to after next weekend – street-cleaner appreciation.

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8 Responses to No credibility, no worries

  1. Joe Blow says:

    Street cleaner appreciation ? Now that Bloody Carrie has removed all garbage cans from our streets, Hong Kong hasn’t been so filthy for decades.

  2. so says:

    1. Denial and isolation; 2. Anger; 3. Bargaining; 4. Depression; 5. Acceptance.

  3. Reactor #4 says:

    @So.

    I agree. The protesters are now in a state of deep grief – their recent lack of activity indicates that the RooT is not going to happen. Actually, I did think about re-working the “Dead Parrot” sketch, but I couldn’t be bothered.

  4. @Joe Blow – and the recycle bins.

  5. Mary Melville says:

    Yesterday EPD announced that glass recycle bin service will resume.
    What a farce in a city awash with restaurants and bars where one can pick up dozens of empties in ten minutes. Moreover because the bottles are dropped into the recycle bins with other types of glass they often smash making them a less than attractive proposal than a convenient box full of uniform beer bottles behind a bar.
    Good to note that some of the railings removed from the streets have found a new home ……… in Festival Walk. Wan Bo!

  6. YTSL says:

    @Reactor #4: Deep grief, my foot! This just last night…

    https://twitter.com/KongTsungGan/status/1218166291120308225

    @Private Beach — “just” the glass recycling bins on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon (this since last November). I still see bins for glass along with plastic, paper and metal recycling on the Outlying Islands… not sure about the rest of the New Territories.

  7. @YTSL – I haven’t done a full survey, but the ones in Taipo Market Station are covered up with white plastic and labelled “Not In Service”.

  8. YTSL says:

    Glass recycling update for interested people:-
    https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/3046603/environment-minister-cites-calmer-atmosphere-hong?fbclid=IwAR2ih9iB1nZkTSDmJWVJGvhPtRZ4egfz1BQZIb6Sx0rOirYJML6GhmTbsDo

    Now let’s see how long it takes for the glass recycling bins to be reinstalled on the streets and in housing estates, etc.

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