After a couple of days of immensely hectic social activity (ie, I went somewhere), what have I missed?
Obviously under pressure from the government, RTHK is publicly intimidating one of its reporters for asking officials difficult questions. It’s amazing that the broadcaster has survived this far with editorial independence still semi-intact. Are Beijing’s enforcers or their local minions nervous about tangling with staff who are on civil-service contracts? I get the feeling that when it eventually comes, RTHK’s full rectification will be fairly sudden.
Veteran pro-dem lawmaker Claudia Mo makes a case for her camp staying on in (and arguably helping to legitimize) an unconstitutionally extended Legislative Council. A ‘not abandoning any battle line’ sort of thing. I’m sure she’s sincere – and she certainly exploits the platform for all it’s worth – but this is naive. If the CCP’s local puppets want you to stay in the Council, it should be obvious what to do. The older generation of pan-dems are so wedded to the rituals, structures and symbolism of their representative dream that they can’t let go even after the institution has been turned into an instrument for countering democracy.
Mainland authorities release some details about the 12 Hong Kong activists arrested trying to flee to Taiwan. Beijing’s instinct will be to set a harsh example with them by treating this as a national-security case. Very unfortunate for them – but good news for anyone who wants to see the CCP publicize its thuggishness to the rest of the world.
In Apple Daily – Hong Kong’s top Catholic overextends his powers by ordering his flock to obey orders and shut up about the Vatican’s kowtowing to the CCP. Also, Kevin Carrico uses my kind of international-relations-speak to explain why we should prepare for the worst over Taiwan: ‘China’s already creepy actions have escalated to truly psychotic stalker levels’.
One of the various blessings of Covid-19 has been the near-obliteration of conferences. All those drone-fests about sustainable challenges and opportunities have vanished, and of course no-one noticed. But these things are hard to kill off, and I detect a worrying sign that – like rats evolving to enjoy poison – they are adapting to what threatens them. Here is one of a series of ‘webinar’ mini-conferences (about the pandemic itself) which promise to condense all the boredom of one day into 60-minute segments that follow you around wherever you are on Zoom and YouTube…