Your Mainlandization du jour: lawmakers can’t ask questions on sensitive subjects now.
Saw a report somewhere that one of the pro-Beijing heavybores (maybe Tam Yiu-chung) is suggesting that candidates who oppose the national security law for Hong Kong should be disqualified. With so many empty spaces on the ballots, what better reason for a complete boycott by voters? Let’s see Carrie explain a 20% turnout. (Update: yes, Tam.)
After all those SCMP op-eds on how Beijing’s decision to impose national security laws is your fault – here’s some relief from HKFP:
I am not going to predict what Beijing will do with the mess it now owns, but I do think it faces a choice.
And basically a load more links, to make it feel like this dismal week is approaching an end…
A quick and highly readable user’s review of the government’s Cu-mask. And, that notwithstanding, an attempt to solve the mystery of why – if three million of the things were handed out – you never see anyone on the street wearing them. It’s not just the ‘Maria Tam’s bloomers’ aesthetic.
AP reveals (or confirms suspicions) that China stalled on providing the coronavirus genome and detailed data on patients and cases, and the unseemly WHO gobble-gobble groveling was indeed a wretchedly putrid attempt to lure Beijing into handing the data over to protect the rest of the planet…
Even then, China in fact sat on releasing the genetic map, or genome, of the virus for more than a week after three different government labs had fully decoded the information.
WHO staffers debated how to press China for gene sequences and detailed patient data without angering authorities, worried about losing access and getting Chinese scientists into trouble.
Jerome Cohen asks whether the recent Ministry of Public Security statement on ‘directing and supporting Hong Kong police’ was a pre-emptive bid for influence versus the rival Ministry of State Security. And he offers a (perhaps by his standards naïve) hope that Hong Kong’s shoe-shiners…
…who until now have been paralyzed like deer in the headlights, will finally come together with positive, concrete proposals that might begin to restore public confidence and consensus and delay or moderate the anticipated, feared [national security] legislation…
Here’s someone else thinking it would be in companies’ enlightened self-interest to side with the Hong Kong protest movement. The problem is that our bureaucrat-tycoon ‘elites’ are not so much deer frozen in the headlights as bound hostages forced on their knees at gunpoint. We don’t know what the CCP has on each one, but we can be sure none of them will resist. At most, if you use your imagination and hold the pic at the right angle, Paul Chan might shed a tear.
More on the national-security laws whose content remains such a mystery. From HKFP, a rigorous search for national security threats in Hong Kong reveals… um, sodium chloride. (Which the government is always telling us to cut down on.) An Amnesty legal advisor looks at what Mainland experience suggests the new regime law will mean here. The International Commission of Jurists adds its view. Johannes Chan of HKU lists the ways the national security law will be of doubtful legality (as if the CCP cares). And Minxin Pei is not optimistic:
The people of Hong Kong will not submit to China’s police state without resistance … As Chinese security agents begin their enforcement activities in the coming months, they will likely encounter fierce resistance from local pro-democracy activists. Spiraling violence will precipitate an economic meltdown as capital and talent flee Asia’s global financial hub … China hawks in the United States will view this looming catastrophe as a godsend.
An LIKHG post predicting a major United Front effort to crush the yellow camp prompts a response suggesting that you hide your grandparents’ IDs the day before election day in September – which I pass on merely for its curiosity value. (This plus a voters’ boycott means a turnout of 8%!)
Finally, some badly needed laughs from the comedy dept…
Beijing thinks Macau can replace Hong Kong as an international financial centre.
On which subject – Aaarrgghhh!!! Another f**cking hub-zone!
If you think you can stomach it: an anecdote about an encounter with Stanley Ho in a men’s restroom.
And Bizarreness of the Week Award goes to Beijing city health authorities, who propose making it illegal (picking quarrels and provoking trouble) to ‘defame’ traditional Chinese quack voodoo-medicine. A welcome reminder that genuine science, like genuine representative government, doesn’t need protection from questioning.