The 12 Hongkongers caught fleeing to Taiwan clearly broke Mainland law when they (reportedly) exited Hong Kong and/or Chinese territorial waters without going through immigration checks. Can’t blame them for trying. But unlike the abducted book-sellers and some other previous or current hostages, they are being detained legitimately.
If Beijing wanted to look reasonable, it could fine or briefly jail them accordingly and send them back to Hong Kong to face their protest-related or other charges (plus now jumping bail). Instead, it looks like the CCP sees an opportunity to make a far more serious political point – especially since the US government has expressed concerns over the case. Beijing will make an example of them, and they could even, as Eddie Chu Hoi-dick puts it, become ‘diplomatic bargaining chips’.
Predictably, they are being denied contact with families or access to legal representation of their choice. A foreign affairs spokesman has already declared the 12 guilty of separatism. The Hong Kong authorities are of course offering just the minimum ‘assistance’ required.
Will Beijing be able to resist televised confessions, show trials and harsh sentences? Anything to further alienate and embitter Hong Kong people.
If and when the 12 do get back to Hong Kong, they will join a very long line of people accused of riot and other offenses. Steven Vines asks an interesting question: where does the government put all these supposed dissidents? Maybe the plan is to bankrupt and blacklist everyone so they can’t get jobs. But if they want to incarcerate significant numbers, it could mean doubling prison capacity.
On other matters…
A thread on the ethnic/geographical inaccuracies in Mulan – notably that the ‘Xinjiang’ region was not ‘Chinese’ at the time. And one of the better of many hatchet jobs on Mulan (if you’re OK with such concepts as ‘chimeric’ and ‘self-Orientalism’) by Brian Hioe of New Bloom.
And a thread of Xi Jinping’s Greatest Hits – a list of all the edicts and laws turning China into a ‘totalitarian security state’ in the last seven years or so. Including the Seven Don’t Speaks, Document No 9, the 2015 National Security Law, the Five Never Allows and much more.
A state-linked Chinese company’s data on foreigners – from a project involving Christopher Balding.
“Dr” Winnie Tang sure is cranking out an inordinate number rah rah Hong Kong columns these days. At gunpoint??
These Hong Kongers heading to Taiwan, well they were leaving China, and going to China, because isn’t Taiwan an inalienable part of the PRC?
They were obviously still going to be in China, right?
What is the problem?
China will inevitably say that they are being treated according to the law, but of course no mention of how just, fair, or transparent the law is compared to the rest of the world.
@ Chinese Netizen
Well, she is a member of Grandpa Tung’s Our HK Foundation so probably not at gunpoint. Neither SCMP nor EJ Insight mention that link in their mini-bios – nor the full extent of her freelance adjunct “professorships”.
it could mean doubling prison capacity
Wonderful infrastructure spending opportunity for the administration to waste money.
The thread by Andreas Fulda was not only informative, it was a coincidence:
I happened to be listening to the The Seven Unmentionables’ greatest hits album, and just downloaded the new one by The Five Never Allows.
@Paul Lewis. Hemlock argued the problem was that the Terrified-Twelve exited Hong Kong and/or Chinese territorial waters without going through immigration checks … but exited to where? If we look at CCP’s claim over the majority of the South China Sea, aka their nine-dashed line, it encompasses all the waters between here and Taiwan. So to say that the Terrified-Twelve exited Chinese waters is to deny China’s no-doubt historic claim on the South China Sea. Be careful you don’t hurt the feelings of the Chinese people or besmirch their 5 million years of history by expressing such incorrect views!
@jet plane: New HK industry/hub/zone initiative: Asia’s World Prison Facilities? Let’s see “Dr” Winnie address the potential in that!
Until I had my erroneous thoughts rectified, I had always thought that the Seven Unmentionables were:
The thong, the camisole, the G string, the liberty bodice, the suspender belt, the mankini, and the bra.
Just goes to show, eh?
@Red Dragon- what is unmentionable changes over time When I was young, unmentionable subjects included cancer (no one ever died from that, only “after a long illness”), divorce, and homosexuality.
What is homosexuality?