HK media undergoes rectification

Widespread international attention, plus a 500%+ boost to Apple Daily’s sales – and Jimmy Lai and other NatSec arrestees are out on bail the next day anyway, feted as local heroes. Whatever the CCP’s henchmen are trying to do, it seems their Mainland methods don’t translate well to Hong Kong. It’s harder to intimidate and crush dissent out of existence in a place where people have for decades taken freedom for granted.

Things will get even more fraught when Jimmy Lai, Agnes Chow et al appear before a politically obedient NatSec judge (if not on the other side of the border). Bloomberg links the arrests to the loss of overseas confidence in Hong Kong’s courts, citing locally based Beijing officials who declare the accused guilty before there’s even a trial. (Maybe the CCP’s Han nationalists will be heartened to see that Hong Kong is upholding the noble ideals of an ancient legendary Chinese icon – the righteous magistrate. Or maybe not.)

One of Beijing’s most stolid and dependable stooges, Lau Siu-kai, explains that, in Apple Daily, the authorities are not targeting a media organization but a ‘political group’. By which he presumably means not backing the government.

The Guardian explains

“China sees the role of the media as to serve the regime … now it is imposing this view on Hong Kong,” said Mak Yin Ting, veteran journalist and former chairwoman of the Hong Kong Journalists Association.

The foreign press won’t escape. The FCC asks the Immigration Dept to clarify things after reports of Mainland-style visa delays for overseas media personnel.

New York Times staff might be waiting an especially long time for passport stamps after its latest scoop: an expose of the daughter of China’s number-three leader and her tons of luxury real estate here

“Members of the Red aristocracy in China, including the princelings, have made huge investments in Hong Kong,” said Willy Lam, an adjunct professor of China studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. “If Hong Kong suddenly loses its financial status, they cannot park their money here.”

As with some other links, this is behind a paywall. But the background on how NYT wrote the story is almost better than the piece itself – a ripping yarn of forensic journalism requiring evidence carved in stone (literally), plus of course a guest appearance by Deutsche Bank, and lots more. This is the sort of story that has also made Jimmy Lai’s Next Media so hated in Beijing, and it builds on their past investigations, and on the work that got Shirley Yam fired from the SCMP. CCP elites’ families and their offshore wealth are about as touchy as it gets.

A quick review of Jimmy Lai’s son’s Cafe Seasons in Central – a hotbed (or hotpot?) of subversive culinary activity, serving up splittist toast and similar colonial running-dog race-traitors’ fare.

And the BBC picks up the ‘Agnes Chow as true Mulan’ meme. The Twitter political correctness patrol is not happy with the ‘doe-eyed Oriental babe’ angle when profiling the 23-year-old who strikes fear into Beijing. Ditto with the ‘scrawny bespectacled’ Asian-geek stereotype used to portray Joshua Wong. Which is understandable – these young activists are not fantasy manga characters but real, smart and tough. (Why else would the SCMP’s Alex Lo and other aging blue-ribbons have such visceral loathing for them?) But while pushing such imagery is facile and even insulting, it gets clicks and convinces audiences that might not otherwise notice that the CCP are thugs. Whatever works.

We’re not done with Jimmy Lai. The Diplomat links the arrests with the government’s woefully unconvincing virus-stopped-the-elections argument…

Dispelling the myth that Hong Kong’s public health crisis is insurmountable compared to other countries reveals the postponement for the transparent ploy that it is: A desperate attempt by the chief executive to buy time for security officials to marginalize and silence pro-democracy activists within the city.

The arrests of Jimmy Lai and others were only possible because the elections were cancelled. Any election weeks after a dozen popular figures found themselves politically purged would have guaranteed a democratic landslide. But remove public accountability and the government can act with impunity.

The public will just have to find another way to express their views.

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10 Responses to HK media undergoes rectification

  1. Mark Lane says:

    So the daughter of China’s number-three leader, Li Qianxin, and her “partner” purchased homes in the tens of millions of USD, all using overseas shell companies?

    Sounds like a lot of taxes were dodged!

  2. where's my jet plane says:

    This quote from the Foreign Ministry Commissioner’s spokesperson tirade against the FCC suggests that all is not sweetness and light across the border either:
    “Eagerly justifying Jimmy Lai is nothing short of siding with the forces sowing trouble in Hong Kong and China at large.”

  3. donkey says:

    Alex Lo is indeed a piece of shit.

    And might I add, the CCP will make martyrs and heroes of all its enemies. It’s just how things go with rabid paranoid regimes. I actually get a chuckle out of how desperately horrible they seem at controlling things. Do they truly not see that they are actually the ones creating all the chaos? I mean, really. Do they actually truly not see it?

  4. Probably says:

    Apple Daily obviously missed a trick by allowingbthemselves to be raided by the Police without evidence of a search warrant. They should just have dormed some potentially coronavirus infected domestic helpers and then told the Police where to go.

  5. Chinese Netizen says:

    Love the comments from the wu mao army on how the princeling purchases of luxury HK property is a PATRIOTIC act and propping up HK’s economy!

  6. Donkey says:

    @chinese netizen of course because if money didn’t come from china Hong Kong would. Have nothing. I have heard this from mainland people living here for the longest time. I have also heard, “We saved Hong Kong after SARS.” I find it a touch weird that these mainlanders fail to see where SARS came from to begin with.

    @Probably not sure where you are getting that, maybe you are passing along hearsay. Several media reports and tweets revealed there was indeed a search warrant presented and Lai himself had even said he had seen it.

  7. steve says:

    You don’t get enough props for your music links. Today it’s Agnes Chow + Pere Ubu:

    I want to be your ray gun
    I aim to be your ray pistol
    I want to light the way across your starless lonely nights

  8. Des Espoir says:

    I wonder if PC Plod had not actually read the instructions on the packet… ?
    Remember, Auntie Carrie said it was not retroactive, yet these alleged “crimes” seems to have taken place before the NS Law. Also, the law says the police do not need a search warrant, yet they seem to have gone to great lengths to (a) get one and (b) tell everybody they had one. Also, I think the law says that people charged under the law cannot be bailed, but Plod seems to have let them out…. Something not right in all this…?

  9. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Donkey: I think it’s why the NY Times cut comments off at around 100 early the same day the story was published. They predicted a shit storm of predictably foamy mouthed wu mao “patriots” clogging their bandwidth with such tried and true, recycled bullshit.

  10. Mary Melville says:

    “13 Aug: Govt Attempts to Emasculate Dist. Councils
    The current District Council has been in operation for 8 months. There have been different incidents where officials simply walked away and secretariat refused to provide secretarial services. The government has now updated an internal guideline, which lists 5 points:
    (1) Secretariat should ensure district councilors discuss livelihood issues rationally, not politicising social incidents, casting doubts on the government and protesting in extreme ways.
    (2) HAD can directly suggest how to handle controversial or ultra vires motions or seek advice from DOJ.
    (3) District Officer and government representative(s) do not have to attend ultra vires motions, and no secretarial services will be provided for such motions.
    (4) HAD will inform [the government? on] potentially controversial issues, and interdepartmental panel(s) may be set up to handle if necessary
    (5) Officials can walk away if councillors use offensive wordings at them”
    Boo Hoo Hissy Pissy – we could not control the elections so we will do everything possible to hinder the operations of the district councils.

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