Struck by Carrie Lam’s incomprehensible blathering in its support, Jerome Cohen concludes that Hong Kong’s National Security law is being drafted in a rush. Maybe it will be delayed. Maybe it will be a mess. Maybe both!
One glimpse of detail emerges today, as Security Secretary John Lee suggests that the law could target local figures if they say the wrong thing when meeting overseas politicians. This sounds ridiculously banana-republic. Use some words – outside Hong Kong – and you’ll be fine; use others and you’re under arrest? What if you say the words to a Washington DC cab driver rather than a Congressman?
Curiously, Lee seems particularly miffed that government opponents have been able to get face-time with foreign politicians whom our own officials can’t get to see. If we pointed out that – unlike members of the Hong Kong administration – some of these activists have actually won elections, would that make him feel better?
The Bar Association head says that if Beijing exercises jurisdiction over national-security cases it’s tantamount to extradition – except the Mainland comes to you rather than vice-versa.
The Justice Secretary considers barring private prosecutions if they are based on improper motives – otherwise known as ‘holding the police to account’.
Over in the Creepiness Department, the Education Bureau is asking schools to report on how they will rectify deviant-thinking students’ attitudes and put them on the path to virtue and positive values.
And the hounding of Next Media’s Jimmy Lai continues with a police raid on a secretarial services company suspected of business-licence and other desperate-sounding infringements.
Meanwhile, Beijing goes on making friends and influencing people – with its troops getting into a deadly scrap with Indian soldiers up in the Himalayas. For an idea of the extreme harshness of this territory, read this in the (aptly named) War on the Rocks.
There are two explanations for the CCP’s ever-increasing obnoxiousness. One is that Xi Jinping is seriously unaware of external reality and believes the rest of the world is so preoccupied with Covid and riots that China right now can grab grab grab with zero future consequences. The other is that Xi knows something we don’t about China’s economic state or internal power-struggles, and feels he needs overseas conflicts as a distraction.
In today’s Vindication by Gwailo – China Daily manages to find a French wine maker who says of the National Security law for Hong Kong, mais c’est formidable!
Another utterly despicable sellout sexpat on the mainland that, apparently Chinese “media” thinks, gives credibility to their spin on the nuances of all that goes on in HK. Perhaps the biannual visa runs to TST gives Pepe LePew his educated insight?
I want a Bruno Paumard pet for Christmas. They are cuter and cuddlier than one of those you know whats.
if Xi knows something we don’t regarding internal situation, how come he does? By definition he receives all his info from local government and party apparatuses and it’s been said from ages they give edulcorated accounts. Besides, there must be still trickles of informations from sympatetic individuals ending on the tables of foreign embassies and consulates.
This would suggest that he receives data from some kind of unofficial sources, perhaps a network of his friends able to speak without fear of retribution. Or the first hypotesis is completely true, and he is really believing his bs.
Really not a good time to be chinese.
The comments made by ‘Justice Gremlin’ Cheng are quite telling aren’t they? Public interest indeed.
Perhaps the Education Bureau can use some of the so-called ‘advisory teachers’ in the NET Section to guide students towards virtue and positive values? Oops – drug abusers probably shouldn’t be involved with such a thing, though the worst case is retiring this year (scary night!).
When #2 in the party Li Keqiang (Hu Jintao faction) suggested last week that the unemployed set up shop as street vendors to help jump start the economy, Xi mobilised the full weight of the state media apparatus against him. The 5000 year old great Chinese nation will never lower itself to selling nick nacks on the side of the road they said.
So absolutely there are power struggles going on. The Hu faction may be trying to stay relevant.
“For instance, he said [Lee, sec-sec], even though some people had previously suggested that the joint immigration arrangement at the West Kowloon high speed rail terminus could lead to the abduction of Hong Kong people to the mainland, that clearly didn’t happen.”
A quick prediction (I’m usually wrong but I hope I’m right on this one). Xi won’t serve a third term. China is heading into very choppy waters – enemies of every front, an assertive Taiwan, a belligerent Hong Kong and threats on its economy led by the U.S. His report card stinks and it won’t go unnoticed, including in the politburo. So to all those currently on their knees (Carrie Lam) fawning over the Great Dictator remember he won’t be in power forever and I predict this sooner rather than later.
Already happened. How quickly — and conveniently! — John Lee forgets the multi-week detention and torture of British Consulate worker Simon Cheng in late 2019, when he was detained at the West Kowloon train terminus by Mainland Chinese authorities.
@Stephen – Xi’s secured his presidency for life and has the army/party behind him. The factions/families don’t stand much of a chance, imho.
@asiaseen – wasn’t West Kowloon station used to despatch the British Consulate/Council guy back to Shenzhen; or does that not count as abduction?
“A quick prediction (I’m usually wrong but I hope I’m right on this one). Xi won’t serve a third term. China is heading into very choppy waters – enemies of every front, an assertive Taiwan, a belligerent Hong Kong and threats on its economy led by the U.S. His report card stinks and it won’t go unnoticed, including in the politburo. So to all those currently on their knees (Carrie Lam) fawning over the Great Dictator remember he won’t be in power forever and I predict this sooner rather than later.”
For the love of god please be right!
That french dude is hilarious.
Wine from Mongolia? Count me in.
@Stephen: He could still stage a coup if he thinks there might be trouble with the party organs. That wouldn’t be unheard of.
How is Secretary for Insecurity Pikachiu going to explain the sudden extension of Hong Kong’s national security law into an international extraterritoriality that explicitly contravenes Articles 27, 30 and 39 of the Basic Flaw?
Also, given article 25 “All Hong Kong residents shall be equal before the law” and article 41 (same goes for temporary residents) that would mean that anything anyone visiting HK said about HK in any other country to any politician would also be open to prosecution.
That little fact is just going to look really great on the tourism and international business hub brochures. I can see the tag line now “Hong Kong: Asia’s [redacted] city”.
Was the guy from the British Council taken back to Shenzhen from West Kowloon Station upon arrival?
The closest when an individual was spirited back was one guy arriving in WKLS that was stopped, prevented to cross the border and turned back to China because he got some pending offence
HKJC Regular: Xi has the party/ army behind him? What does that even mean? His Princelings faction is one of many within the party. Premier Li, f.i. has his power base in the Communist Youth League. The Army’s Southern Command has always been aligned with the Deng Xiao Ping family, who are clearly rivals of Xi the Pooh.
Mark Bradley – Curry Lamb is on her knees fawning over XDD? Sucking golf balls through a garden hose is my guess.