Beijing’s shopping list for this summer in Hong Kong: the National Anthem (Compulsory Adoration) Bill; perhaps moves towards licensing of news reporters; some sort of disqualifications/ballot-rigging/plain cancellation for Legislative Council elections; extra-stern no-nonsense huffing and puffing about Article 23 National Security laws; and more patriotic education in public schools, including an attack on evil Liberal Studies – a syllabus that somehow leaves students imagining the government is garbage. (So pernicious is this course that it even has this effect on older generations who never took these classes.)
The pro-CCP DAB will make a show of raising some or all of these (plus a ban on eating cats and dogs) at the ‘two meetings’ in Beijing later this month. Dozens of Hong Kong’s great and good have been rearranging their diaries to fit the two-week NPC/CPPCC charade into their busy schedules after it was postponed from March due to the coronavirus.
Not only will the shoe-shiners, tycoons and ‘heavyweights’ have to undergo virus tests upon arrival and departure – they will be confined to their hotels when not doing the daily choreographed snoozing/hand-raising/study sessions thing in and around the Great Hall of the People. For two weeks. (They are normally free to dine and hobnob in the evenings, have a massage, and even discreetly sneak back to Hong Kong for a half-day.) For the Beijing-co-opted businessmen, in particular, this will be a torment.
That’s a pretty good list of likely atrocities to be committed by the CCP in the lead up to the September elections. They’re going to do their worst.
At first glance, one might suppose that the coronavirus has helped the government forces by tamping down street protests, but upon examination it begins to look like the virus has also helped run out the clock on the pro-CCP’s attempts to change the narrative that drove millions to vote for pro-democracy candidates in the November DC elections.
Has anything changed in recent months to improve the government’s image or prospects for electoral victory in September? Not at all.
And the democracy forces remain unafraid.
The pro-government forces are going to need extra-strength skullduggery to snatch victory from the jaws of impending defeat, and even that will only fuel greater discontent.
If they’re not shitting their pants at the HKMAO, they should be.
The SCCCPMP bit on child press reporters was mind-boggling. First, “the boy … was accused by an officer of taking part in “illegal child labour””. Ahem, it’s the employer who is at fault, not the child. Second, “Police warned him that … his mother would be prosecuted for not knowing how to protect him.” A spanking-new crime with no common law basis whatsoever.
As to an official press accreditation system, where does it stop? Would it extend to opinion-writers like me (hence today’s anonymous comment as I don’t want to use this site as a vehicle for self-publicity) who have the occasional rant published? Those who write to the letters page? Bloggers?
Probably more important is the first trial of accused rioters https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-and-crime/article/3083900/first-hong-kong-protest-trial-invoke-riot-charges. I wonder how long before journalists get thrown into that category…
I agree with Stanley Lieber: the pro-Beijing crowd will need to be nastier and sleazier than usual. Average HKers have contempt for the thugs.
The Liberal Studies issue reminds us of the selective and comical arguments that the CCP loves so much. Initially, Liberal Studies was blamed and derided for bringing politics into classrooms. Now, Disciples of Xi want to introduce more ‘Patriotic Education’ because…err…they want to bring politics into classrooms.
All happening as international reactions to the CCP get stronger (and more realistic?). Indonesians, for some strange reason, aren’t so happy about their countrymen being treated like slaves by chinese employers and then having their corpse thrown into the sea:
It seems that the Indonesians need more Patriotic Education.
That SCMP piece on young reporters includes a quote that “… young student reporters, they should be mindful of their emotions … “. From the clip I saw of this young man surrounded by at least a dozen cops shouting and pointing at him, he seemed to be the one in control of his emotions. The cops on the other hand… one of them even had to be pulled away and calmed down by colleagues.
Could it be the popo are truly that stupid about the “laws and regulations” they’re allegedly enforcing or have the Wujing/PAP truly infiltrated enough personnel in the goon squads to subsume the force past a critical juncture??
@Anonymous (again)… sorry I was quoting your first para on what the popo were yelling at a child but my lack of expertise on a computer I’ve had for years blew out what I quoted when pushed the post button.
Would it extend to opinion-writers like Aloex lo and Bernard Chan? Ah! An outcome greatly to be desired.
I’m always slightly amused by Lo’s “foreign influence” tirades given his personal circumstances.
Oh dear, dyslexic fingers: Alex Lo
The Hong Kong Education Bureau’s description of Liberal Studies includes “independent thinking skills”…
Can someone explain the Ronnie Tong / 13yo comment please? What is the context?
perhaps something to do with why his view has morphed from trenchant Democrat previously to what it now supposedly is.
Any influence that Liberal Studies and/or HK teachers may have on students pales in comparison to influences from an open internet, social networks and fellow students. So, how are the HKCCP government going to fix that?
And then watch this.
Now look at Ronny’s sudden switches from pro-democracy godfather to fence sitting non-entity and then he’s suddenly an ExCo member and Communist Cheerleader.