Countdown to July 1

Will Hong Kong’s National Security law be retroactive? Will Anson Chan, Joshua Wong, Martin Lee and Jimmy Lai be arrested on Day 1? Will you be jailed for waving a foreign flag? Will the maximum sentence be life? Not even the Chief Executive knows. To be safe, read the government Gazette carefully before you open your mouth or even get out of bed on Wednesday morning.

Whether the law’s chaotic presentation is skillfully planned expectations-management or Beijing-style last-minute chabuduo, you are obviously supposed to feel ‘shock and awe’. The CCP thinks it is showing everyone how tough and decisive it is, while the Hong Kong public perceive only primitive thuggery.

I can’t think of a precedent in modern (say post-WW2) times (this?) for a free and pluralist society with a developed economy to have authoritarianism forced upon it. Can China’s leaders comprehend that the more superficially effective their clampdown is, the greater the broad underlying hatred of the CCP will be? They haven’t thought this through – but then, it’s a Xi Jinping policy.

No-one is spared. The NY Times notes that in assuming direct control, Beijing is sidelining Hong Kong’s ‘elites’, who are reduced to publicly cheerleading a law they know nothing about. The amount of humiliation the shoe-shiners will take never ceases to amaze.

An Apple Daily column makes a sort-of case for Hong Kong independence…

If the joint declaration was void, or, as China contended, no longer valid, then there would not be any legal basis for China to continue to rule over Hong Kong, given that the Treaty of Nanking and the First Convention of Peking – which the Joint Declaration superseded – stated very clearly that Hong Kong and Kowloon were ceded to Britain in perpetuity. This will be a good place to start the construction of a theoretical framework for Hong Kong independence.

[Above links not working – but the articles are out there somewhere.]

Sebastian Veg on the “neo-statist” academics and officials who see the NatSec law as a restructuring of Hong Kong (including its governance and its relationship with the nation) in which the PRC assumes genuine sovereignty, in line with the Xi-era’s drive for full CCP control of the state. The coming repression… 

…should undoubtedly be viewed within the same political, legal, and philosophical framework, in which sovereignty and party ideology (friend/enemy distinction) take precedence over liberal definitions of legality…

(With reference to this guy, if you’re keen.)

For a taste of what’s in store in the education world: the LA Times on the silencing of academics in China, and Bitter Winter on how Mainland students must hero-study Xi to get ahead.

Quick answer to a little cascade of questions: yes, this website will continue. Meanwhile, time to rip a few DVDs (which seems harder to do these days) before I finally abandon the Company Gwailo’s PC with its CD drive. My Life as McDull (2001) – a founding work of Hong Kong localism? And the Scorsese Dylan bio. Four months after this photo was taken, I, as a little kid, was at this exact spot. My father wanted to drive through the place one last time before it closed. Memory is hazy, but I think the weather was better.

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20 Responses to Countdown to July 1

  1. Mark Bradley says:

    “Quick answer to a little cascade of questions: yes, this website will continue.”

    Yes!

  2. Reactor #4 says:

    I struggle to name a democratic country I’d like to live in. The reality is that the great post-WW2 project to “free the world, but as long as you are aligned to the USA” has failed. Yeah, I wouldn’t mind visiting many of them for a week or two, but to live there, nah. In reality, I’m partial to bossy government – you know where you stand and it saves having to think. Also, it stops the dimwits, particularly the young ones, having much of a say. Moreover, it largely eliminates the egomaniacal BoJos and Trumps of this world getting their chubby little wanking mitts on the reins of power.

  3. asiaseen says:

    The NY Times and the Apple Daily links are broken.

  4. Stephen says:

    Last autumn (was it?) Reuters boldly reported Carrie Lam to be gone by March. Many thought Paul Chan was being looked at as a replacement but obviously our
    new leaders considered him too inept. So they decided on direct control. So in a sense Reuters was right.

    The spectacle of our local “leaders” and “shoeshiners” queuing up to support something they know nothing about is beyond farce. Personally I think Xi Ji Ping is over reaching globally and will be eventually replaced by wiser, calmer factions within the CCP, However too late I fear for dear Big Lychee. Finance has already started to move to Singapore. What were those other pillar industries ?

    Have fun and be careful on Wednesday – Remember the police are now led. By real mans man who has a mighty big cock and an even longer tongue …

  5. Big Al says:

    Tam Yiu Chung was quoted in the SCMP as saying ““Some people are concerned that there will be no deterrent effect if [the law] is not retroactive …”. Maybe I’m being a bit thick, or possibly something was lost in translation, but how does making a new law retroactive act as a deterrent? Sounds like the sort of thing that Trump would tweet.
    Obviously all the NPCSC toadies from Hong Kong, even if they are sitting right at the back, are trying to out-do each other in vindictiveness and outright malevolence with regard to the punishments under the new law. They do this not only because they are utter cunts, but to demonstrate their revolutionary zeal to Emperor Xi, and so hopefully get a pat on the head (i.e. BBM or better) or at least get to hang on to their grubby little Mainland investments for a bit longer before the CCP kicks their snouts out of the trough.
    I can only hope that they reap what they sow.

  6. Mark Bradley says:

    “I struggle to name a democratic country I’d like to live in. The reality is that the great post-WW2 project to “free the world, but as long as you are aligned to the USA” has failed. Yeah, I wouldn’t mind visiting many of them for a week or two, but to live there, nah. In reality, I’m partial to bossy government – you know where you stand and it saves having to think. Also, it stops the dimwits, particularly the young ones, having much of a say. Moreover, it largely eliminates the egomaniacal BoJos and Trumps of this world getting their chubby little wanking mitts on the reins of power.”

    Piss off and stop projecting your own dimwittedness on others you fucking cretin.

  7. Probably says:

    How can one apply law retrospectively? If I lower the speed limit or enforce seat-belts does that mean I can arrest everyone who I thought had drovin over the limit or not worn a seat belt for the past 100 years? Especially so, as it not being a law at the time how does one collect evidence?

    And yes, I do recognise that PRC does not require evidence for conviction in their so-called ‘trials’ but I am speaking from a rule of law perspective which is the major selling point for International businesses setting up and making contracts here rather than in PRC.

  8. Red Dragon says:

    Is it my imagination or did the troll, Reactor#4, first appear in these pages at almost exactly the same time as the troll, G. Adams, disappeared from view?

    Now I know that many people have averred that the two trolls in question are entirely different people, but I must say that the timing looks a bit too good (or bad) to be true.

    Obviously, if they are two distinct individuals, we can but rejoice that only one of them currently contributes. Can you imagine what it would be like in here if both were spewing out their shite and bile at the same time?

    If, on the other hand, Lonesome George has metamorphosed into Reactor#4, it would explain rather a lot.

  9. asiaseen says:

    One wonders why the troll is not living in Beijing or Pyonyang rather than HK.

  10. Penny says:

    “I’m partial to bossy government – you know where you stand and it saves having to think.”
    Now we know why the troll spouts such garbage – he does not want to have to think. That explains so much.

  11. asiaseen says:

    If I had any money, there’s one guy I would definitely not go to for advice.. He is Neil Newman is a thematic portfolio strategist focused on pan-Asian equity markets. Apart from his curious job title he writes such crap as his pre-1997 memory, “Back in Hong Kong, it was a struggle to get an authentic local meal as all the chefs had fled.”
    His post-NIL prediction is summarised by the header to an article in today’s SCMP:

    “The national security law could turn Hong Kong into Asia’s Monaco

    The city may soon say goodbye to its port and welcome posh yachts, redomiciled Chinese stocks and even more upmarket property
    Cantonese communities overseas will blossom as they did pre-1997 and BN(O) passport-holder arrivals could be a boon for the British economy”

    If you really want to laugh/cry/be sick here’s the link: https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/opinion/article/3090618/national-security-law-could-turn-hong-kong-asias-monaco

  12. Cassowary says:

    @ Big Al “Tam Yiu Chung was quoted in the SCMP as saying ““Some people are concerned that there will be no deterrent effect if [the law] is not retroactive …”. Maybe I’m being a bit thick, or possibly something was lost in translation, but how does making a new law retroactive act as a deterrent? Sounds like the sort of thing that Trump would tweet.”
    Translation: If the law isn’t retroactive, anyone who ever shitposted about Carrie Lam, the popo, or the CCP at any point in the past won’t be quaking in their boots, and we can’t be having with that.

    @Probably: “How can one apply law retrospectively? If I lower the speed limit or enforce seat-belts does that mean I can arrest everyone who I thought had driven over the limit or not worn a seat belt for the past 100 years?”
    Yes. I can arrest anyone I want at any time for any reason, whether I think they did something or not.

    “Especially so, as it not being a law at the time how does one collect evidence?”
    If they’ve been smart enough to scrub their social media pages, one recruits snitches. But snitches aren’t reliable and are probably acting out of personal vindictiveness? Why yes, exactly.

    “And yes, I do recognise that PRC does not require evidence for conviction in their so-called ‘trials’ but I am speaking from a rule of law perspective which is the major selling point for International businesses setting up and making contracts here rather than in PRC.”
    Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha. International businesses will be told that they will not be targeted by the natsec laws and they will swallow their misgivings and go along with it because OMG SO MUCH MONEY!!!!! LOOKIT ALL THIS MONEY!!!! And besides, CEOs only have to worry about the next quarter’s earnings, after that it’s golden parachutes and somebody else’s problem.

  13. Gooddog says:

    Surely someone must be considering a certain russian cocktail for the head prefect’s residence or a certain orifice of the liason? Be nice to top off July 1 with some fireworks….May as well go out with a bang….

  14. Rectum #4 tells us he doesn’t like having to think. This must explain why he believes that only leaders in democracies are egomaniacs – as opposed, presumably, to sweet, gentle, humble unassuming selfless mass murdering dictators like Xi Jinping and Kim Jong-un.

  15. Mark Bradley says:

    “Is it my imagination or did the troll, Reactor#4, first appear in these pages at almost exactly the same time as the troll, G. Adams, disappeared from view?”

    Not your imagination. It’s probably the same sack of shit and has similar writing style.

  16. Reactor #4 says:

    Can you really blame me for being a brain dead twat? I’ve been unsuccessfully trying to drink myself to death for the past decade which may have resulted in cognitive problems.

  17. Bluebottle says:

    Brubeck? Golden Brown? If the theme for today is confusion – well played.

  18. Gromit says:

    @asiaseen Regurgiter #4 doesn’t live in Beijing or Pyongyang – or even just across the border in the expat enclave of Shekhou – because if he did, he could not read such a blog as this.

  19. asiaseen says:

    @ Gromit
    Yes, I realise that the troll does not currently live in Beijing or Pyongyang. My question was, given his predilection for totalitarianism, is why is he NOT living there.
    Though in the light of various comments on his possible identity, he may well be in Hanoi.

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