Xia Baolong. Sounds like some sort of dumpling. Looks a bit like one. But will be decidedly less pleasant. The media (eg, here, here) quote endless experts sharing profound insights into how the Liaison Office/HK and Macau Affairs Office reshuffle will create a more ‘coordinated’ (top-down) chain of command from Emperor-for-Life Xi over Hong Kong, and be more hardline – without explaining what this will mean in practice.
Why won’t people spell this out? To repeat: a more politicized legal system and courts to repress civil society and rights; censorship of the Internet; criminalization of opinions; ideological pressure on civil servants and educators; propaganda in schools; and other measures in the name of ‘national security’ – gradually, over several years. Probably some superficial attempts at improving livelihood policies, but otherwise the exact opposite of the more representative government Hong Kong must have to retain its freedoms and identity. Removing crosses from churches will be near the bottom of Xia’s list.
I feel fairly confident in predicting that the Hong Kong ‘independence movement’ – originally a scare-mongering fabrication, and subsequently a provocative slogan used by naughty teenagers – is going to become something real.
On a lighter note, Hong Kong Land are taking WuFlu very seriously. I tried to enter Exchange Square 3 at 7.45 this morning to grab
tons of free tissues a coffee from the Starbucks. A security guard said the door was for ‘exit only’. The next door I found was blocked off. The next one had another security guard saying ‘exit only’. So I gave up.
I declare the weekend temporarily closed as per the Preparedness and Response Plan for Novel Infectious Disease of Public Health Significance with a varied selection of links…
Hours of fun for all paranoids: frequent Hong Kong epidemic updates.
The SCMP’s history and heritage column gets massively bitchy about the interior décor/socialite daahlings…
A general lack of taste and genuine discrimination among a critical mass of people with large sums of money helps get people into the interior design trade.
From Asia Times, a not-too-cliched analysis of why Hong Kong is screwed as an economy…
After the handover, Hong Kong had some 20 years to reinvent itself. Not only did it fail to do so but the powers concerned even failed to recognize that such a need existed…
…barring the unexpected, it is clear that the central government has no interest in consolidating the autonomy of an appendage that, if anything, is proving troublesome.
The Smithsonian peels back Hong Kong’s Lennon Walls.
On national affairs, the Guardian looks at how the CCP puts control of information before human lives.
A scathing essay on the subject by academic/dissident Xu Zhangrun, translated by Geremie R. Barmé: Viral Alarm: When Fury Overcomes Fear…
A political culture has thereby been nurtured that, in terms of the real public good, is ethically bankrupt, for it is one that strains to vouchsafe its privatized Party-State, or what they call their “Mountains and Rivers” while abandoning the people over which it holds sway to suffer the vicissitudes of a cruel fate. It is a system that turns every natural disaster into an even greater man-made catastrophe. The coronavirus epidemic has revealed the rotten core of Chinese governance; the fragile and vacuous heart of the jittering edifice of state has thereby shown up as never before.”
Guardian synopsis of the essay here.
Less literary but just as brutal: Apple Daily’s Mark Simon…
The Chinese Communist Party is the greatest evil that currently exists in our world. It is a stone cold killer. No remorse over its actions, no regrets, just the desire to survive at the cost, if it has to be, of all others.
There is no compromise, no truce the Chinese Communists will abide that will protect the freedom of those who come into contact with the CCP. The academic, artistic, and business elites who seek to profit off trade with China are useful idiots who serve our freedoms up in exchange for profit. We cannot let these immoral elites be our front line in dealing with the Chinese Communist Party.
From China Change, a timeline of how China missed the chance to tackle WuFlu promptly.
From China File – views on the film One Child Nation.
HK Free Press – Denmark manages to ‘hurt the feelings’ again.
You say ‘cooptation’, I say ‘cooption’. SupChina looks at how big foreign companies in China like Apple have to serve the CCP.
The LA Times on why Macau’s casinos are OK with being closed for weeks (hint: licence-renewal coming up).
An entertaining account of how the ICAO’s CCP-grovelling, Taiwan-negating Twitter debacle unfolded.
The Taipei Times on Taiwan/Republic of China nomenclature.
And for music and tech-retro fans, the national anthem as early Carrie Lam ‘Virus Invaders’ computer game.