Just a few days before I officially retire. Given his existing low workload, the Company Gwailo will have no more time in the day to be idle – so whatever I do, I am likely to be busier. This website will probably be updated less frequently, but rest assured there will be no obvious increase in quality.
People are understandably shocked at the thought that I am throwing out lots of books. Trust me – you don’t want them. Random examples: a volume of speeches by a tycoon, published and given to friends to celebrate his honorary doctorate; a visionary new-age business guru’s thoughts on saving the planet through sustainable mutual lovey-dovey; and pro-Beijing think-tank booklets on Belt and Road. The world will be a better place once they are recycled into toilet paper. To put them in perspective, ones I am leaving in case they are of interest to my successor (yes, we found one) include 500 years of Italians in Hong Kong and Macau, Regina Ip’s 2002-3 Public Consultation on Article 23, and Carrie Lam’s ‘election’ manifesto.
For the last time – from the orifice, at least – I declare the weekend open with some recommended reading…
More thoughts from Jerome Cohen on Beijing’s plan to choose special judges to try National Security cases in Hong Kong, complete with nice dig at Grenville Cross in the opening sentence.
HK Free Press on Beijing’s thinking on the NatSec Law, starting from a little-noticed CCP meeting last October, and how to explain the contradiction in the idea that this radical and elaborate law will target only a tiny number of people.
The FCC writes an open letter requesting assurance that the Hong Kong government will not take a long list of specific actions against journalists. Foreign Policy fears the worst and anticipates the jailing of journalists, Internet censorship and regulation, and clampdowns on academia, media, culture and religion. If it sounds extreme, The Guardian looks at how China extends censorship and propaganda in independent developing countries.
The US Senate passes a HK Autonomy Bill, which we are assured is merely symbolic. It’s hard to imagine really serious North Korea-style measures against Hong Kong or Mainland officials or regime-connected companies. Our local tycoons, bureaucrats and other collaborators are not so far visibly wetting themselves. But we have yet to see what nastiness the NatSec law will bring – how will the world react to the jailing of Martin Lee, for example? More to the point, this is not about Hong Kong, but the South China Sea, the Indian border, the taking of Canadian hostages, wolf-warrior diplomacy and so on. The Diplomat speculates what the US could do…
U.S. financial sanctions on Hong Kong will break the financial lifeline for China … More plausibly the United States will resort to selective financial decoupling to contain the spillover to its own economy. A potent weapon could be a threat to impose financial sanctions on the Bank of China (Hong Kong), or BOCHK.
National Interest on how Xi Jinping is messing everything up…
…the problem with Xi and his entourage is that they perceive China’s history and future trajectory from a Han-nationalist point of view … Success is “payback” for the two centuries of “humiliation” that China, the rightful leader of the world, and the Han people have suffered at the hands of the West.
…it is likely that history will remember Xi not as the man who restored China to greatness, as he so desperately seems to desire, but as a sort of Kaiser Wilhelm II, who instead of waiting patiently for the inevitable triumph of his own country, felt compelled to aggressively push that triumph down everybody else’s throat, and in the process brought ruin to his country.
Over the last few years, Beijing has tightened its grip on Hong Kong and progressively eliminated the possibility of a peaceful or constitutional way of accommodating public demands for better governance. HKFP on the parallel evolution of Hong Kong’s protest slogans.
And China Daily’s clunky and idiotic graphic on the NatSec Law suddenly becomes elegant and profound, courtesy of LIHKG forum.