So next week can only be better, right?

I declare a well-deserved weekend open with a lot of probably-quite-depressing links, especially speculation on what Beijing thinks it’s doing.

Michael Davies in SCMP on what the national-security push means for Hong Kong’s rule of law…

…the central government is now seeking to force through a law that aims to control or intimidate its critics…

Bloomberg goes over LegCo and other events in last few months to put the national-security move in context: opportunism, panic, but perhaps most of all blind frustration that the emperor can’t do what he wants in Hong Kong…

“They’ve got two guys who are totally not familiar with Hong Kong issues, and who have governed provinces in China in a heavy-handed way and think they can do the same in Hong Kong,” said Kwok… “They want to use a new strategy of terror, fear, attacks, criticism, direct intervention.”

In the Guardian, Ilaria Maria Sala and Louisa Lim note how hasty it seems

…one measure of the speed with which these measures are being rushed through was [Carrie Lam’s] answer at a press conference to the question of who would be responsible for enforcing the law. “I am unable to give you all the details today,” she said…

Another sign that local officials had little warning is the backdrop to the presser:

The wording was cut-and-pasted from the official NPC motion. If local officials understood it, they would have thought up something at least slightly zippier. But they know no more than the rest of us – so just played safe and reproduced the Beijing jargon.

Jerome Cohen’s take:

What Beijing has done is to reverse last summer’s humiliating defeat over its failure to have Hong Kong enact extradition/rendition measures…

Similarly, from Kong Tsung-gan:

Also… the regime is doing it now to punish us for embarrassing it so badly in front of the whole world. To show the world who’s boss. This isn’t just an emotional but also a strategic response: the calculation of the hardline dictatorship is that you can never allow yourself to show weakness…

(From the same author: some anecdotal tales of resistance.)

The Jamestown Foundation’s John Dotson (before this week’s NPC meeting)…

Senior CCP officials likely believe their own propaganda about foreign subversion in Hong Kong, and are clearly concerned that unrest (and the example of open protest) could spread to other regions of China.

An extract from Jeff Wasserstrom’s Vigil: Hong Kong on the Brink

Carrie Lam’s position in the current crisis is comparable in some ways to that of leaders of East Germany and neighbouring states decades ago when they were confronted with popular protests. She claims to represent the people … but her actions have been shaped, as those proxies to Moscow were then, by signals sent from a capital hundreds of miles away. One reason there was no crackdown on protests in Leipzig and East Berlin thirty years ago was that Mikhail Gorbachev had made it clear that he was not in favour of … a ‘Chinese Solution’ to the problem … The result was an end to Communist Party rule in East Germany …  Xi Jinping, like his immediate predecessors, views Gorbachev as someone who took the wrong course of action.

In Citizen News, Regina Ip’s old MA supervisor Larry Diamond

[The CCP] never intended to allow “gradual and orderly progress” toward democratic, universal suffrage in Hong Kong, because they lack confidence in their own system, and they fear that if Hong Kong were to become a democracy that it would also become a very appealing model for the rest of China.  So what they have sought all along is “gradual and orderly progress” toward “one country, one authoritarian system.”  Now they are tired of the “gradual and orderly” part of this and are no longer willing to wait until 2047 to crush Hong Kong’s freedom and impose direct authoritarian control from the center.

In the Sydney Morning Herald, Ben Bland says the ‘national-security threat’ Beijing sees simply comes down to the way Hong Kong’s success as a free society disproves the CCP’s Leninist doctrine…

The strong sense of separate identity felt by many Hong Kongers directly undermines Xi’s claim to be uniting and rejuvenating all the Chinese people. And the fact that Hong Kong’s success has been predicated on its British-based legal system and its international way of life undercuts Beijing’s efforts to show the world that its style of governance is superior. This is the subversion, separatism and foreign interference that Beijing is trying to outlaw with its national security legislation for Hong Kong.

…The party is not acting out of malignancy but a desire for survival … How can it sustain its image of infallibility if a free press and independent NGOs are exposing its flaws from within one of its own cities?

From the Australian Financial Review

Xi Jinping’s bulldozing of Hong Kong’s autonomy is actually humiliating for China. For all its superpower pretensions, the Chinese state has proved completely unable to manage the people of a sophisticated and free global city that is also a major world financial centre.

Ching Kwan Lee writing in the LA Times says…

One inadvertent consequence of Beijing’s latest action is that it further liberates people’s political imagination from the confines of the “one country, two systems” structure … freeing people to find their own paths out of the woods, perhaps ending up in a new destination. To Beijing’s utter dismay, the resounding new slogan in recent street and mall protests has become “Hong Kong independence, the only way out”…

We also now hear “Hong Kong people build a country” (using the same word as in Tung Chee-hwa’s given name, “build China”). It’s not just that Beijing’s move liberates the political imagination as leaves people with few alternatives. For the first time ever in Hong Kong, a genuine independence movement seems almost certain to form.

My other prediction is that, as other forms of protest are squeezed, satire, mockery, art and guerrilla theatre will take on a new significance as a tool of resistance. Here are some highlights of an interview (via Tsui Lok-man) with RTHK’s satirical talent Ng Chi-sum.

Wilfred Chan in The Nation offers a lament for Hong Kong.

If you can get through the paywall, the WSJ on the Kadoories – a Hong Kong tycoon-family who are ‘a barometer of Chinese openness to the world’. How long before China Light and Power passes to more Beijing-linked hands?

I’ve just rearranged my (at one time a joke) collection of ‘Hong Kong is doomed’ books…

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29 Responses to So next week can only be better, right?

  1. Ho Ma Fan says:

    Whilst I am still able to express my opinion freely, what an odious cunt CY “Lufsig” Leung is. Telling everyone to take their money out of HSBC accounts because they make most of their money in China but is a British company, or some such horse shit. Fuck him for enjoying the fruits of liberal capitalism when it suits him. Doesn’t he realise that his money isn’t safe, no matter where he tries to hide it?

  2. asiaseen says:

    The SCMP’s new comment moderation policy has worked a miracle of fawning assent to Grovelling Cross’s piece on why it’s all our fault Article 23 wasn’t enacted. The article itself is a vomit-inducing masterpiece of Cross Think

  3. Chinese Netizen says:

    Can Stanford revoke Vagina’s degree (like so many other HK “heavyweights”) based on utter retroactive failure in the spirit of the subject matter??

  4. asiaseen says:

    @Ho Ma Fan
    Probably more accurate to say that HSBC makes most of its money from laundering for the Chinese.
    CY does seem to have made a good stab at obfuscating that notorious $50million…

  5. Mark Bradley says:

    SCMP’s comment moderation policy is complete infuriating horseshit. Blue ribbons, little pink pukes, stooges, and paid idiots can say whatever they please as long as it’s pro CCP. And at such perfect timing, almost as if directed by the liaison office, enacted on the day that CCP announces its national security law. If Cross manages to have his skull cracked opened, I won’t feel bad.

  6. Knownot says:

    They ask

    They ask,
    Did you ever think that this would happen?
    I pause
    And answer firmly and decisively.
    I always thought it was uncertain here.
    I feared and didn’t fear.

    They ask,
    Didn’t you know about the PRC?
    I pause
    And answer, hiding my embarrassment.
    It was a place where I’d no need to go.
    I knew and didn’t know.

    They ask,
    Did you think that you’d be staying for ever?
    I pause
    And answer with mature authority.
    I always thought that I might leave one day.
    I’ll leave and also stay.

  7. Hong Kong Hibernian says:

    Here is another Catholic perspective on the National Insecurity Law that the Disciples of Xi are planning to impose on HK:

    I joked a few weeks ago on this forum about plans for religious oppression and suppression; Cardinal Joseph Zen and Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Ha may find themselves in more than a bit of trouble by year’s end.

  8. Joe Blow says:

    If Xi Jinping’s ruling faction within the CCP destroys the Goose with the Golden Eggs (HK) through sheer incompetence, the rival factions may/will use that as ammo. They may even rally around the issue, combine forces and instigate regime change.

    Around lunchtime I wandered through APM in Kwun Tong and there was a protest sing-along while the PTU popo stood outside with heavy guns. One banner inside, hanging from the first floor, read: Hong Kong Independence. And I wondered: how much longer?

  9. Reactor #4 says:

    It will be interesting seeing how the “Land of the Free” deals with the protests/riots in Minneapolis and other big population centres. Triggered by some cops appearing to have killed a person while arresting them, the public has kicked off, mainly by setting stuff on fire and breaking into high-value-goods shops and nicking humongous flat-screen tellies. In response, President Trumpetty-Fart is now threatening to exterminate them: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts”.

    Could you imagine what would happen if Carrie Lam said: “If this weekend you chose come out and make mischief I have instructed the Police to shoot dead as many as they deem necessary?” You can guarantee that there would be a shit storm in all of those Western Liberal Democracies.

    Actually, I’d love to hear what Chris Pattern makes of what is going on in the good old US of A.

    Have a nice weekend.

  10. Penny says:

    Yes, let’s talk about what happened in Minneapolis – police thug kneels on kneck of man he has apprehended for nine minutes until he expires.

    I have seen the very same tactic employed by HK’s uniformed thugs on numerous occasions over the past year – thankfully, as far as we are allowed to know, with no loss of life. I have even seeen one particularly sadistic uniformed thug let the full weight of his body drop down onto a protester’s neck, with what consequence we do not know.

    How many protesters – many of them non-vioent – have been maimed over the past year by these fascist thugs acting as judge, jury and executioner ? I hope someone is keeping a running visual record of every disproportional action committed by members of HKPF.

  11. steve says:

    Reactionary #4: Resorting to whataboutism with regard to Trump, the state of governance in the US, and the country’s systemic racism is only the most freaking obvious, and therefore banal, observation you could possibly have. Are you aspiring to be some kind of trollish CCP-symp Thomas Friedman or something?

  12. @Redneck #4 – there is one big difference – Hong Kong’s protesters have not taken advantage of chaos to indulge in looting and other such activities.

  13. Bloody Well Right says:

    The incident happened earlier this week and the Minneapolis police officers involved were fired straight away while the mayor, governor and president all condemned the police use of force. The mayor has requested the county attorney to prosecute the now-former officers and there’s also an expedited Federal Department of Justice Civil Rights Division investigation underway. How many Hong Kong officers have been fired? Has Carrie Lam said anything to condemn the police use of force here? Is Beijing conducting a civil rights investigation? Civil rights? Beijing?

  14. Chef Wonton says:

    To be fair, Hong Kong protestors pushed their luck in 2019 and 2020 because they knew the Hong Kong police still had the British “softly, softly” imprint.

    Now, in 2020 and going forward, Hong Kong protestors will have to confront Communist Chinese “bring it on” no bollocks discipline. British “softly softly” is good and dead. Obvious prediction: we’re going to see Hong Kong protestors aint that brave, all along.

    Their parents ran away from Communists in China in the 1950s and 1960s; their kids are about to run away from Communists in Hong Kong in the 2020s.

    We all know it.

  15. Pacified Observer says:

    Re: The tireless goading and whataboutism of the usual suspect

    Current headline – Derek Chauvin charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in death of George Floyd

  16. Pubic Prosecutor says:

    Time to properly out Pervert#4?

    Simon? Fat bloke from Sai Kung?

  17. Feilo says:

    @Chef Wonton:

    Now, in 2020 and going forward, Hong Kong protestors will have to confront Communist Chinese “bring it on” no bollocks discipline. British “softly softly” is good and dead. Obvious prediction: we’re going to see Hong Kong protestors aint that brave, all along.

    in Mainland when “no bollocks” PAP, PSB and plain vanilla police were sent to confront an angry populace, they had the sense to back off quickly if they wanted to come back to their families unharmed. There is a reason why the government has not called again PLA after 89, because next time it won’t be that easy on them too.

  18. Chinese Netizen says:

    @steve: I do believe even Friedman’s honeymoon with the CCP has ended in heartbreak. Probably ever since Winnie The Shit declared hisself Führer for life.

  19. Penny says:

    HK’s uniformed thugs’ tactic of kneeling on a person’s neck may very well have resulted in loss of a life in at least one instance:

  20. odaiwai says:

    Penny: “I have seen the very same tactic employed by HK’s uniformed thugs on numerous occasions over the past year – thankfully, as far as we are allowed to know, with no loss of life.”

    A south Asian HKer died of that a few weeks back:

  21. Reactor #4 says:

    Yonden Lhatoo presents a similar case to mine.

    I won, though, because I did it first (by almost 24 hours)!

  22. Chinese Netizen says:

    Anyone proud to be mentioned in the same breath as Yonden Will-do-Anything-To-Keep-HK Permanent Residency Lhatoo is a sorry sack of shit.

  23. Reactor #4 says:

    UK’s Daily Mail: “A woman from upstate New York who allegedly threw a Molotov cocktail at an occupied police cruiser during protests in Brooklyn on Friday night has been charged with four counts of attempted murder”

    Very interesting. In fact the bottle did not explode, nor was anyone injured.

    Let’s bring it back to HK. I wonder how many molotov cocktails have been hurled by the HK protesters? Furthermore, how many people have be caught stock-piling associated materials? In such cases, that’s one heck of a lot “intention”. The people who set that bloke on fire would in the US be facing full-life sentences, and quite possibly the electric chair.

    It must, therefore, be a challenge to the HK protesters and their supporters to be confronted with the information that is now coming out of the so-called “Land of the Free”. Actually, perhaps it should be the “Land of the Free Unless you Bloody Well Misbehave”, which is basically what Beijing is planning for Hong Kong.

  24. asiaseen says:

    @ reactor 4
    Yonden Lhatoo was passable as a newsreader once the broom handle was inserted in his bum. As a so-called “senior editor” at the SCMP, even the broom handle doesn’t work.

  25. Fish says:

    Interesting how the pro gov stooges, trolls, and 五阴毛 love to whatabout the problems with American democracy without following the argument to its conclusion. There have been consequences arising from every major incident of social unrest in U’merica (including the current situation as noted above). While it is certainly not perfect nor often timely, people get fired, laws get changed, and the social contract is upheld to retain the consent of the governed. Show me any productive changes in Hong Kong to reflect action aligned with the will of the people….

    A more salient lesson from the land of the “free” is that even under such a relatively resilient system, people pushed into a corner eventually stop burning rubbish at street intersections and start burning buildings. People claiming that Hong Kongers are somehow more orderly or docile has not updated his or her opinion over the past few years.

  26. donkeynuts says:

    Interestingly, today SCMP features an “immigration expert” by the name of Andrew Lo, who runs a company called Anlex.. Andrew wouldn’t happen to be the brother of Alex Lo, our esteemed columnist? “The day after that proposal, we received over a hundred calls,” said Andrew Lo, chief executive at Anlex, a Hong Kong-based immigration consultancy firm. “People are restless. They ask if they can leave the next day.”

    “The day after that proposal, we received over a hundred calls,” said Andrew Lo, chief executive at Anlex, a Hong Kong-based immigration consultancy firm. “People are restless. They ask if they can leave the next day.”

  27. Mary Melville says:

    So heavyweight Maria in her TVB interview admitted she does not know what is being planned. Presumably neither did the other HK delegates. Yet they approved the decision. Glove puppets apart from the 1 who voted against and 6 who demurred. They may not all be HK reps, have they been identified? Of course their role may be to avoid a 100% approval scenario.

  28. Tam no' Banter says:

    @Mary Melville

    That’d be the interview that the heavyweight comrade stormed out of in a petulant frenzy because she hadn’t realised they’d be asking her questions.

    Comedy Gold.

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