Government joins HK Coalition in mask-inundation

Busy lining up for one of the Hong Kong government’s ultra-sexy free crony-manufactured ‘underwear masks’ (with a view to keeping in original packing for sale as historic artefact on eBay in 30 years’ time). So an early plunge into a weekend’s worth of attention-worthy links…

The Diplomat on ways Beijing might try to neuter Hong Kong without provoking the West into ending the city’s special status…

The Chinese government knows that if it can persuade the world that terrorism exists in Hong Kong, and that it is as severe as the terror threat facing many other nations today, the international community will be less critical of Beijing’s actions in Hong Kong.

On a similar theme, Just Security on the ending of One Country Two Systems

…Beijing’s latest crackdown in Hong Kong is a dramatic escalation … it represents the fruition of several gradual processes in which Hong Kong’s autonomy was undercut. Each of these processes has been visible in Hong Kong’s political landscape for years — in some cases, they predated even the Umbrella Movement. Yet, until the protests of 2019, mainstream consensus on Hong Kong among outside analysts was that there was little cause for concern.

To put these two articles in context, the HK & Macau Affairs Office issues a blood-curdling warning about the ‘political virus of black forces trying to undermine Beijing’s authority and make Hong Kong independence through bombings etc’ – violence that the SCMP thoughtfully recounts at length unquestioningly.

Wonder how the Hong Kong government’s search for a PR agency is going while the Central Government releases statements like this?

The venerable Ian Buruma in Harpers on the emerging resistance to Chinese Empire

The Chinese president, Xi Jinping, sees it as his patriotic duty to return Taiwan to the motherland, by force if necessary, under the same formula as Hong Kong: “one country, two systems.” He was foolish enough to stress this goal last October. President Tsai Ing-wen, who was lagging behind Han Kuo-yu in the polls, vowed to resist the idea. Her campaign motto was a warning: “Hong Kong today, Taiwan tomorrow.” Her poll ratings shot up, and in the end, she won the election in a landslide.

Another Geremie Barme translation – Academic Zi Zhongyun’s essay An Old Anxiety in a New Era 1900 & 2020 on…

…the disturbing echo that can be readily detected between the xenophobic extremism of late-dynastic Qing politics and recent developments occasioned by the 2019-2020 coronavirus epidemic.

Top CCP-watcher Richard McGregor having a ‘chinwag’ (you can read the transcript or listen to the recording) about what Beijing’s behaviour over the virus tells us.

The also-venerable Francisco Sisci on why China is nervous about North Korea (genuinely illuminating, with historical and US-Russia-HK-Taiwan angles).

China Digital Times compiles Chinese diplomats’ greatest hits. And a Twitter thread summarizing Beijing’s (or a Beijing think-tank’s) oh-so classy and sophisticated PR strategy to win over the world.

Via HK Free Press, the China Media Project on Chinese regimes’ fondness for ‘blood-soaked dumplings’ – or contrived tear-jerking, emotion-blackmailing, suffering-laden propaganda.

Reuters’ award-winning photos of the Hong Kong protests. And more on the Human Rights Press Awards.

A journalism student writes about his time in Hong Kong for his hometown paper in Nebraska (might help if you’ve ever been to the featureless and snooze-inducing state).

Another victory for Hong Kong soft power: the (never-seen-it TV thing) Westworld creator credits the city’s protests for inspiration.

Bitter Winter on how Uighurs became ‘terrorists’ and what it’s like to look like one.

Bloomberg looks at how Taiwan had a good pandemic. Also a plan to de-Sinicize liveries and documents. And a stunning painting of old gritty urban Taiwan – looks like Renegade Province is acquiring Hong Kong’s heritage-retro-nostalgia.

In case you missed it…

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9 Responses to Government joins HK Coalition in mask-inundation

  1. asiaseen says:

    Oh dear, Mr Buruma and Harpers need to do a little fact-checking:
    “…Anson Chan, a former legislator and head of Taiwan’s civil service;”
    Wrong on both counts!

  2. donk says:

    I once casually asked a foreign-born journalist if he was interested in some compelling business stories for a local rag he wrote for in English. After consultations with his editor, he was told to bugger off with Taiwan nonsense.

  3. Joe Blow says:

    People used to receive letters in the mail addressed to ‘Hong Kong, Japan’.

  4. Donny Almond says:

    I remember Leo Goodstadt from the Sunday morning Mass at the Cathedral in Caine Road. Sometimes I would see Kevin Egan. Sonny Sales I would see at St Theresa’s Church.

    Could attending Mass be detrimental to your health?

  5. Penny says:

    R.I.P. Leo Goodstadt – a true friend of Hong Kong who was scathing in his assessment of HK’s four Chief Exectutives:
    https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/2155841/gross-mismanagement-hong-kongs-four-chief-executives-led
    His last book, “A City Mismanaged: Hong Kong’s Struggle For Survival” was published in 2018, before Carrie Lam showed herself to be the worst of HK’s Gang of Four.

  6. Mary Melville says:

    While guys look at the Cu masks and see a 38 dd single cup, we ladies consider that with some minor adjustment they would make excellent cod pieces. Black Adder might cringe at the colour but would welcome the 6-ply protection.
    Shiu Ka-chun demonstrates the possibilities : https://www.thestandard.com.hk/section-news/section/21/218754/Masking-the-important-parts
    Size wise it is clear that they are indeed designed for ‘heavyweights’. Suggest we divert our quota to the Hong Kong Coalition.
    Note of caution however, while newly appointed Innovation and technology chief Alfred Sit says data collected will not be kept. However this cannot be the case as one can tick the box for auto registration for further supplies, and you can rely on Hong Kongers to line up for any freebie, so much data will in fact be retained. Clever eh!
    As ever Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts.

  7. asiaseen says:

    @ Donny Almond
    “Could attending Mass be detrimental to your health?”
    Given that a previous and the current CE are avid patrons, mental capacity, maybe.

  8. C.Law says:

    Mary Melville: “Alfred Sit says data collected will not be kept. However this cannot be the case as one can tick the box for auto registration for further supplies, and you can rely on Hong Kongers to line up for any freebie, so much data will in fact be retained. ”

    This collection of data by Big Brother has been the subject of adverse comment elsewhere, too. However, all the information which has to be given to register for masks is your name, HKID No., address and the number of people in your household. The Government already has this info many times over if you registered for your HKID, to vote, have a Senior Citizens Card, pay tax, have a driving licence, etc.. Why be worried about them keeping it again?

  9. Mary Melville says:

    Re C. Law: HKID data would be more sensitive to tap.
    Address and tel number already on record are not necessarily current.
    Not everyone registers to vote or has a drivers licence. Ditto Senior Citizens Card.
    Number in household? Only time been asked for this info was by Census agent and you tell them whatever. This would be good info to cross check on public housing tenants
    The issue is that they say data will not be kept but if you tick the box then you are signed up indefinitely.

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