One last spin for the old faithful ‘We Are Right, You Are Wrong’

For two decades, the Hong Kong government has relied on a default template to promote and explain its latest steaming pile of garbage: the oh-so persuasive We Are Right and You Are Too Stupid to Understand argument. After deploying it to dazzling effect with a certain Extradition Bill a year ago, they bring it out again (perhaps for the last time) for Beijing’s National Security laws.

Thus we have a swiftly orchestrated show of support from top officials whose opinions the public consider buffoonish at the best of times. Even poor Chief Health Dweeb Sophia Chan is required to cut and paste stuff about terrorism on her Facebook page, apparently at 3.56 am. (Update: here comes more.) As a kiss of death, Beijing officials add their toxic endorsement to the campaign. If all else fails, we can always have a video of Jackie Chan as Goodwill Ambassador singing the Internet-Censorship-is-Good-For-You theme song.

It seems some Mainland and local officials are slightly perturbed by the negative reaction from the markets and international community to the National Security law plans. They assumed the world would look the other way, as it always has with South China Sea grabs, Uighur prison camps or Belt and Road debt traps. Maybe Xi Jinping has miscalculated this time. If so, we can expect them to tone down the We Are Right spin, and put more effort into convincing us that the new laws will ‘only target a small group of people’. With oodles of sincerity, charm and warmth, of course. But perhaps, following the Covid pandemic, the rest of the world might finally have woken up about Xi’s China.

Hong Kong represents an impossible contradiction: a free, pluralistic society that’s part of a one-party Communist dictatorship. Leninist logic is that anything the CCP can’t control is by definition a threat to the party’s monopoly of power. (If you have an independent judiciary or free media, it follows that the party does not have a monopoly of power.) But you can’t have a vibrant international financial centre without rule of law and a free flow of information and opinion. ‘One Country Two Systems’ was supposed to accommodate this contradiction. But unless Beijing genuinely treats Hong Kong as essentially detached and insulated from the rest of the country, the two systems are incompatible – one of them has to go.

Jimmy Lai has joined Twitter; Global Times already sees grounds for prosecution…

A couple of interesting items:

A new view of Hong Kong protests – from a bicycle.

And should we in Hong Kong start thinking about VPNs?

Also some lengthy responses to the National Security clampdown…

NPC Observer explains the NPC’s decision on a NS law, how China’s legislative process would insert a law into Annex III, and the issues of overlap with the basic Law and potential conflict with Article 23 legislation (suggesting Beijing’s lack of concern or preparation). Scroll down to Section 6 for the main point – ultimately they can do what they want.

From CHRD, a long list of ways Beijing uses ‘national security’ as a tool of oppression in the mainland, and a statement demanding withdrawal of the planned laws.

Human Rights Watch’s statement.

And one from Human Rights in China.

Also, a huge report from the Progressive Scholars Group on the Hong Kong Police.

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25 Responses to One last spin for the old faithful ‘We Are Right, You Are Wrong’

  1. A Poor Man says:

    I was surprised to see Joseph Yam make his appearance. The last time I crossed paths with him was about 10-12 years ago at an awards ceremony he was being honored at. His companion/guest that evening sat at the same table as me and a few high society tai tais married to some of the other awardees. She was introduced as his “niece” and was in her late 20’s. She didn’t understand a word of Cantonese or English, and only spoke Mandarin. Overall, she seemed bubbly and bouncy, but had no clue to the fun being had at her expense. She couldn’t follow the conversation, but I guess she had other talents.

  2. asiaseen says:

    “the new laws will ‘only target a small group of people’.”
    Similar to the Extradition Bill presumably

  3. Paul Lewis says:

    Last night on TVB Pearl news, Regina Ip, in defending the national security laws said “Nowadays you can subvert the government through other means, like cyber attacks, bio-chemical attacks, the spread of fake information, disruption of financial order, there are many means”

    Amazing. China ticks all those boxes.

    China carries out cyber attacks.
    Bio-chemical attacks? The coronavirus cover-up.
    Fake information – China excels at this both internally and externally.
    Disruption of financial order? Just ask Australia who have huge tariffs imposed on some goods because they wanted an independent inquiry into the coronavirus.

  4. Mark Bradley says:

    The national security law is being inserted into Annex 3 not Annex 2. If I remember right Annex 2 is about electoral methods for the CE and legislature.

  5. Cassowary says:

    The rest of the world hasn’t so much woken up as realized that their interest now lies in, variously, using Hong Kong as a pawn in their trade wars, blaming China for the pandemic to draw attention away from their own incompetence, maintaining trade relations with anyone left still around after self-inflicted Brexit, flailing to prop up their own battered economies, appeasing multinational corporations, and spouting tough guy rhetoric in election campaigns. There will be some sternly worded statements maybe followed by some minor piecemeal sanctions, before selling Hong Kong out in exchange for several million tonnes of soybeans.

    China will proceed, less popular, more bellicose, maybe a little poorer, but just as repressive as before.

  6. asiaseen says:

    The NPC Observer link is interesting re the various constitutional law arguments. However, it would appear that the whole exercise is negated by the quote in Section 2; “article 62 [of the National Constitution] allows the NPC to “oversee the implementation of the Constitution” and to exercise any unenumerated functions and powers that it thought it should exercise.”
    In short, the NPC can do whatever it wants to do.

  7. Kwun Tong Bypass says:

    My dear wife went ‘shopping’ in the SOGO.
    She came back, and said she had a lot of fun, and felt like she was taking part at the Pamplona Bull run!
    I am not making this up!
    Good woman!

  8. Wakedafugup says:

    Mainland agents have seen fit to enter HK to abduct tabloid booksellers who upset Xi’s frail sensibilities… high value targets indeed. Then there was the occasional tycoon abduction for ostensibly crossing paths with some Shenzhen potentate.

    Now they get to do it legally.

    From an entry on Regina Ip:

    [I]Regina Ip thinks that Hong Kong has to deal with acts of subversion, acts of secession, and the use of Hong Kong as an open society by foreign powers to spread the idea of secession in different sectors, universities, secondary schools, non-governmental organisations or funding institutions provided by foreign parliaments, and to infiltrate different areas, so as to form a threat to the territorial integrity of the country through the so-called promotion of democracy.[/I]

    The point isn’t the old cur is recycling commie trash. The point is she’s openly accusing “foreign influences” of crimes before the new National Security Law. Westerns who somehow keep entertaining fanciful ideas that HK is not in full blown collapse or that they or their businesses will not be impacted by this directly are fools.

    Any lecturer, writer, journalist, teacher can be summarily booted out of the territory or worse for any suspicion of anything. Business people operating in HK will be subjected to the same dirty practices that mainland competitors routinely employ on the mainland, hurling false accusations to seize assets, win court cases or smear reputations.

    In a few days, HK will be deader than most realize.

  9. Mary Melville says:

    CY summed it up ‘Peaceful, Kind and OBEDIENT Citizens’ will not be affected by the legislation. Next up the hapless Sophia will announce the launching of a universal lobotomy programme, sign up and you get a lifetime delivery of Cumasks.

  10. Joe Blow says:

    We are all that ‘small group of people’ once that law comes into force.

  11. Chinese Netizen says:

    Poor Tom Grundy must realize he’s in the crosshairs and his days are numbered? Hope he develops a taste for delicious stinky toufu in the free, democratic nation of Taiwan!

  12. Reactor #4 says:

    I am sure that everything will be fine. Since the year dot, HK-based people have been lathering themselves into a frenzy about some impending political disaster: 1941, 1949, 1958, 1967, 1984, 1989, 1997, 2003, 2014, 2019. Of the lot, I reckon 1941 would have been a right shit-storm. In comparison, the present situation hardly merits mention. Relax.

  13. Stanley Lieber says:

    Media accounts are incapable of relating the depth and breadth of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. One must witness the protests first-hand to fully appreciate the power of the movement.

    Participants are young and old, rich and poor, singles and people with families. They are numerous, determined, clever and unafraid of the police. On the ground, it’s evident the protesters are winning.

    The new national security laws are a sign of weakness, not a sign of strength.

    The “crush, crush, crush” strategy isn’t working. By persisting with it and adding the force of the national security laws, the likely result will be to push the resistance underground and hasten its spread.

    Foreign countries that wish to moderate CCP behaviour are foolish to think that economic sanctions will have any effect. They will have no impact whatsoever on the comfort and lifestyle of the senior Party leaders (and their HK minions) who are indifferent to the sufferings of average citizens.

    The only international sanctions that have a chance of success must target CCP leaders personally at their weakest points: their money and their families. Preventing them from stashing their money or their families in the West (especially in English-speaking countries) will get their attention far more readily than raising tariffs or rescinding the HK Policy Act.

    The CCP is rightly worried about the September Legco elections being a re-run of the November 2019 DC elections. It is critically important that the pro-dem camp coordinate its candidates early on so that none will run against another in a given constituency so as to avoid diluting the pro-democracy vote.

  14. Paul Lewis says:

    Legco? September?
    Will the election even take place?
    Imagine how many potential candidates will be disqualified in the run up.
    The protests will only intensify with the crackdown on candidates.
    The actual election is only 4 months away!
    People have a choice. Roll over, or stand up.
    I tell people, that the young in the protests have to live in Hong Kong for the next 30, 40, 50, 60 years.
    It’s their future, so they have the right to voice out and protest.

  15. @Reactoe #4 – I have known a couple of men (both dead now) who each spent 4 years in horrendous conditions as a PoW for defending Hong Kong’s freedom against the Japanese in 1941. You, by contrast, give the impression that if your grandmother was being raped by the PLA you would just tell her to relax, nothing can be done. I’m surprised you haven’t joined the DAB if you love being oppressed so much.

  16. Cassowary says:

    Stanley Lieber: You appear to be under the impression that we’re still going to have a fair election in September.

  17. asiaseen says:

    @ Private Beach
    He probably doesn’t need the DAB, he will be a Party member already.

  18. caractacus says:

    Hong Kong’s Article 23 is the 1933 Enabling Act: “Law to Remedy the Distress of People and Reich” which gave the executive power to enact laws without the involvement of the legislature and to override the constitution.

  19. Paul says:

    Re Tom Grundy, as I understand it he is a HK Permanent Resident, so the Immigration Ordinance would need “reinterpreting” before he could be ejected.

  20. steve says:

    An occupied city is never a stable environment.

  21. Stanley Lieber says:


    I think the Legco elections in September present an opportunity for the pro-democracy forces to produce a seismic electoral result of similar impact to that achieved by the DC elections, or they will provoke the CCP into resorting to such blatant skullduggery as to have a similar effect.

  22. Reactor #4 says:

    @Steve: “An occupied city is never a stable environment.”

    You mean like when the Brits “rented” the place?

    All of the present-day nonsense wouldn’t now be happening if some aggressive 19th C British colonials hadn’t gun-pointed the Chinese into “letting” prime bits of their territory.

  23. Prisoner Cell Block HK says:

    @Stanley Lieber
    The circumvention of the entire legislative system by the national insecurity “law”, importing secret police and abandoning the two systems veneer is an admission by the CCP that even they accept they can’t win the next LegCo election despite all their vote rigging, buying, multiple parties and rotten boroughs. That’s contingent on it being held: it probably won’t be until all non-CCP parties are made illegal under the special “laws”.

    @Mary Melville
    689’s criteria makes a person wonder if he’s ever even visited Hong Kong: but of course it doesn’t really matter. The laws will affect everyone as they turn the whole territory into a prison, where if you do exactly what you’re told and don’t make a fuss, they’ll let you live in your cage a bit longer, and if you don’t you leave the prison earlier in a box.

    Next stop: Overt censorship of the outside world and the great firewall.

  24. Stanley Lieber says:

    @Prisoner Cell Block HK

    Yes, agreed. It certainly is an admission that they believe they have lost irretrievably the support of a large section of the Hong Kong people (perhaps a majority) and that under present conditions the city is ungovernable from their perspective.

    If censorship, surveillance or the great firewall is imposed overtly, international financial houses will scale back their presence in the city and shift assets offshore, but they won’t actually call time on Hong Kong until the courts are seen to be fatally compromised.

    The pro-democracy forces don’t need violent protests or mass marches to cripple the government. Economic boycotts, vilification of CCP supporters and their institutions, global shunning of CCP malefactors and their local minions, and widespread guerilla-type mischief making will make the city far more ungovernable for the CCP than it is today.

    The CCP can’t beat and arrest and prosecute their way out of the pickle they’re in. They will have to talk to the pro-democracy leaders eventually or lose the whole ball of wax. Talks will be made easier to convene because all the democracy leaders will soon be living together on Hong Kong’s version of Robben Island in Clearwater Bay.

  25. Ho Ma Fan says:

    Excellent whataboutery by Reactor #4. Despite the objections of other contributors, I do enjoy his/her/its leavings because it’s always important to get a sense of balance, and this blog is always skewed so in favour of all that is not CCP. I’m fairly convinced that Reactor #4 is either more than a single individual, or just a lonely schizophrenic. However, if the DC election is anything to go by, 40% of society shares similar views. To this end I would ask Reactor #1, 2 and 3 to add their tuppence worth. All in the name of achieving harmonious balance of course.

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