Our Mainlandizations du jour…
It seems teachers will soon have to attend ‘professional conduct’ and National Blah-Blah courses. And Secretary of Education Kelvin Yeung is now banning songs from schools. ‘Glory to Hong Kong’ is forbidden, while ditties from Les Mis might be OK, but maybe not – it depends (he didn’t say on what). The ever-popular tune ‘Love the Basic Law’ is fine. Update: ‘Glory to Hong Kong’ is a firing offence.
So much for the Hong Kong Police being sensible on June 4 (it did seem odd). Lee Cheuk-yan, Albert Ho, Richard Tsoi and Jimmy Lai are being charged with ‘inciting unlawful assembly’ for (presumably, allegedly) luring thousands into Victoria Park.
Also, RTHK’s deputy head is leaving the public broadcaster-turning-propaganda organ, and a civil service union organizer gets demoted.
Oh, and the National Anthem law takes effect today.
Japan and Taiwan have both indicated a desire to attract Hong Kong financial professionals to their shores. I won’t wish them luck, as an absence of international bankers and fund managers is one of the two countries’ many charms. Singapore is maintaining a blissful and smug silence.
I declare the weekend open with a roundup of reading and viewing excitement…
HKPF’s expert explains the HK cops’ new space-age pepper-spray handgun. Keep deploying more sophisticated and expensive sub-lethal weapons, and Hong Kong will be returned to harmony.
Clifford Stott talks to the FCC about how he and the other overseas ornaments pulled out of the Independent Police Complaints Council’s whitewash on the police…
We were put in a difficult position. We were in the end manipulated and put in an awkward position … There is no way I could have stood by that report.
The FCC will post the whole video sometime, and Stott will soon release his own work on Hong Kong.
A good synopsis of Johannes Chan’s analysis (with link to original) of how the National Security law breaks China’s constitution and or the Basic Law, based on BL Articles 18, 19 and 23. This is basically an elegant way of showing that the CCP isn’t bound by laws.
For your audio-visual pleasure, Regina Ip gets quite agitated in an interview with DW’s Tim Sebastian. Look how much I am wetting myself on TV, now will you let me be Chief Executive?
The pro-Beijing Hong Kong Coalition launches a platform with suggestions on where to spend your HK$10,000 handout. Or maybe – if the businesses are all shoe-shining buddies of Tung Chee-hwa – where not to spend it. So quite useful!
An interview with Kong Tsung-gan on the protest movement, coronavirus, yellow economy, police, prisoners and the future – part one and part two.
In the Guardian, a long history (starting in post-war years) of the Hong Kong protests.
Lowy Interpreter sees Beijing’s policy on Hong Kong as self-defeating…
Not only does such a manoeuvre signal Xi’s willingness to place the CCP’s immediate political needs ahead of its global aspirations, but it also puts the inherent contradictions of the party’s long-term strategy for absorbing Hong Kong on full display.
Nikkei Asian Review looks at China’s imperial overstretch, which seems to be paralleling the country’s rapid economic development in its speediness – never has a major power become so obnoxious so quickly…
Can Xi make China, without any allies, the world’s leading power by relying on an open disregard of international rules and on bullying? Leadership demands more than brute might…
…with the pandemic and the move to strip Hong Kong of its autonomy, Tibet-style, Xi is courting an international backlash, underlined by a spate of actions from the U.S., EU, U.K., India and Australia.
Minxin Pei in ASPI Strategist asks why China’s diplomats are behaving badly…
So keen are China’s leaders to gain the respect they feel their country deserves that they have become highly sensitive to criticism and quick to threaten economic coercion when countries dare to defy them.
The Australians, finding their farmers being threatened and suspecting they don’t need China as much as they’re told, coin an exquisite phrase for Beijing’s ambassadors – ‘wolf wankers’.
Also from ASPI, an enormous manual on the CCP’s United Front.
Christopher Balding sets the limp, wet Panda-huggers straight with a no-nonsense look at what the CCP’s China is and wants. It’s amazing that even in mid-2020 after the Wuhan virus cover-ups, the wolf-warrior tantrums and bullying, and the Hong Kong clampdown, there are people out there (and not just grasping investment banks and German and other Euro-weenies) who still think they can do lovey-dovey cooperation and partnership. You almost dread a Biden win.
As if 2020 hasn’t brought enough – some bad news from the illustrious David Webb.
It will be a disgrace if Regina Ip doesn’t get to be the next C.E. One feisty lady she is, and guaranteed to fill Victoria Park each and every Sunday afternoon. We must also congratulate Tim Sebastian for his DW interview. Akin to a stupendously-hung porn-film actor setting about the task in hand, in the 26 minutes that were available to him he took her all the way. In doing so, he revealed a number of character quirks I hadn’t seen previously. Superb effort.
What are the odds of Regina being deposed at the forthcoming election? Anyone out there with some stats that offer hope?
Revealing a sense of Reg’s total unwillingness to engage with the all-too-immediate future.
Very odd that she kept describing HK as it was, say, 18 months ago – and brandishing the basic law as if it was the guiding document for the political times ahead.
Surely her bosses have said that this text is history. Can’t wait for Episode 2 when she is crying on camera in HK, aologising for not ramming home this plain reality. The woman’s unhinged.
The re-education campaign needs a theme song too.
Monty Python’s I Like Chinese might be apt.
Poor old David Webb. A lot of people will he happy to hear the news, sadly. A couple of blokes or gals like that in government and we wouldn’t be in this mess.
Vagina Ip is facing a wipe-out in the September election. So now she is going all out hard-line pro Beijing in the hope that that will save her political career somehow. The woman has no principles so whatever comes out of her orifices is verbal and other diarrhoea. Maybe she should marry Simon Reactor 4.
Eugene Chan, chairman of the board monitoring RTHK, said that the public broadcaster should explore topics of wide public interest so that
“all those controversies or all those views can be fully explored, explained, and put everyone’s mind at ease.”
– from an RTHK report
Everywhere I go
It started just a year ago
And is endemic here.
Big Lychee – I expect
I am going to see here
Words of scorn and disrespect.
I really should not be here.
I turn the radio on
And hear some pro-dem liars;
My fragile peace of mind is gone,
Wrecked by radio bias.
That is not what I seek,
So RTHK, please
Let the ‘rational’ voices speak
And put my mind at ease.
Eugene was preening in front of the cameras, his 2-mins of fame, even the mask could not hide the gloating smugness. So who is going to watch/listen to these RTHK programmes? TVB wisely scheduled the yawn inducing, even with the strident American accents, China 24 news for after midnight. You can lead a horse to water …….
To be honest, I thought Tim Sebastien gave a very poor performance.
He simply asserted that the common law system would disappear and the HK side of the border would become like the China side in terms of human rights.
He didn’t develop the discussion at all.
He could have looked at specifics, like what the law on ‘foreign support’ might mean, or how the various offences that dealt with offences in which the ned for actions as not specified, and looked at the conflict between the freedom of speech promised in the BL ‘subject to law’, and the kind of offences that seem not to require action in any otherwise criminal way, but seem to imply simple things like writing or speaking ideas that are ‘seditious’ or undermine the power of the government (state power). Get Ip to give her views on what the offences mean or add to the current HK laws on illegal (violent, physical) activity.
A really wasted and useless interview.
Not that I agree with you about Tim Sebastian’s interview being useless, but…
You really think that he, or anyone for that matter, was really going to have a super nuanced and “meaningful” discussion with someone who consistently argues in bad faith like Regina Ip?
The interview was done for Deutsche Welle. I remember Sebastian in his days at BBC as normally well versed in interviewing controversial figures, i suspect his new employer has specifically asked to tone down questions, since anything out of bland can be of detriment to German interests in China. Ip is at her usual lurid standards, no big surprise, she can be interview material only for RT or CCTV International (or whatever else they are called)
Tim Sebastien isn’t particularly informed on the Hong Kong political system, which is fair enough — at the end of the day, he’s a DW news interviewer, and you can’t be minutely informed on everything.
And to be fair, it’s tough dealing with the breathtakingly idiotic doublethink of Ip’s argument: Beijing has been forced to break the Basic Law and bypass HK law to make a security law because we didn’t. But it won’t be a problem because we’re protected by the Basic Law, which not even Beijing can break.
It’s hard for a rational person to deal with this level of wilful stupidity, especially when it’s coming from someone you booked because she’s the politician who drafted the last law that had a go it (she just couldn’t resist a quick “I told them they should have taken my cackhanded attempt but they wouldn’t listen” rant).
And he made a fair crack at pointing out that all her blithe and jolly assurances of “it’ll be fine, nothing will change” are based on absolutely no actual information. Which is of course why he should have (but also probably why he didn’t) ask her to go into detail about the law. I would have loved to have seen her asked to go into detail about which bits of the law persuade her that it will all be fine, and how much of the draft law she has been allowed to see so far.
Another question I’ve wanted to ask all the “it won’t change anything” fanbois is: “If it won’t change anything, why are the CPC in such a godawful rush to do it that they’re prepared to break and effectively kill the Basic Law to do it?”
There are assumptions that we can make however:
First is that if you’re “all aboard” with the new security law, you have to break the Basic Law in multiple places — Articles 2,4,5,8,11,16,18,19,22 & 23 just to get the law in.
Secondly it’s a fairly safe bet that the law they’re forcing in will break the rest of it: you can effectively dump the whole of chapter three’s fundamental rights, chapter four is already rendered irrelevant by the law’s very existence, and for the rest it is now anyone’s guess as to it’s relevance thanks to the majority of it already being gutted, and the new national security law meaning anything goes, because anyone who objects goes (never to be seen again).