I remember when then-Chief Secretary Anson Chan referred to the Diaoyutai islands as ‘the Senkakus’. There was about 10 seconds of patriotic mouth-frothing – much of it from the anti-CCP/-Japan variety of nationalists – then it was forgotten (by most of us).
Now we have an inane Mainland-style freak-out over a history exam question asking students whether Japanese rule over China was more good than bad. The Education Bureau blasts the exam authorities for ‘seriously hurting the feelings and dignity of the Chinese people’, no less. Someone in the bureaucracy is obviously petrified that Mr Luo from the Liaison Office might march in and give them a good spanking.
(I wonder how students in Taiwan would answer the question.)
This follows Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s recent signals that Mainlandization of schools is definitely on the agenda.
The Education Bureau has a lot of catching-up to do compared with the Security branch.
There are signs that the Independent Police Complaints Council report on the cops’ behaviour in Yuen Long, Prince Edward and so on last year will be even more of a whitewash than the most-hardcore cover-up fans dared hope for. For example, the outrage over collusion with triads was due to a shortage of clarifications explaining that it didn’t happen. And you wonder why overseas advisors refused to touch this inquiry.
You would have thought someone in authority would consider the damage such a distorted account will do to official credibility and legitimacy – but presumably that doesn’t matter anymore.
The Civil Rights Observer group has compiled (and will send to the UN) evidence of torture and other human-rights violations by the HK Police. These are incidents that don’t get caught on video.
The HK Journalists Association has issued a compilation of footage of the police treatment of reporters on Sunday.
Also on media matters, the FCC is asking some simple questions about whether press people banned from China can work in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong government is essentially too scared to answer.
I declare the weekend open with some more worthwhile reading…
UK activist Benedict Rogers joins in the outrage about the HK Police on Mothers’ Day. Interesting how the cops’ (or Liaison Office’s) new tactics for 2020 – Operation Tougher Freaking-Out Over Nothing in Malls – seems to have backfired from the start.
Rogers pleads for international action, which of course won’t happen. Still, the Human Rights Foundation makes a persuasive case – a good intro for anyone overseas who has just woken up to Hong Kong.
Kong Tsung-gan’s quick brief on Hong Kong’s biggest, and then second-biggest, trial – of dozens rounded up for ‘riot’.
Not so much a thread as a multimedia documentary: Eight Hours in the Testing/Quarantine Zone at HK Airport.
HK Free Press on why the ‘Singapore solution’ to going authoritarian without scaring business away won’t work. (Essentially, the Singapore government does not report to or take orders from the CCP. We could also add that they’re not chosen by Beijing either, so tend to have a bit more in the brain-cells department.)
Rest of World on the LIHKG website – the protest movement’s forum.
Bellingcat exposes China’s Twitter and Facebook bot networks.
Andrew Batson looks at the role of Xi Zhongxun (Jinping’s dad) in trying to curb land-reform excesses in the 1950s.
And a bit of culinary history – Asian Review of Books looks at a new work on our friend the chili pepper in China.