The US is looking forward to a fresh start, with lots of healing and lovey-dovey stuff. (The scriptwriters should be ashamed of themselves. The Four Seasons Total Landscaping saga capping the US presidential election would have been just about believable – but placing it between a sex toy store and a crematorium was stretching the audience’s credulity. Sorry.)
No such luck for Hong Kong.
HKFP counts up the number of pan-democrat legislators who have not been disqualified, expelled or arrested. Out of 29 of them, only four haven’t. ‘In some cases they have been subject to multiple arrests on top of actions to remove them from the legislature.’
In Greater Bay Area news, relatives of the HK 12 are not allowed to know the names of the lawyers that will be allowed to work on their cases. And Chinese officials are intimidating a lawyer they tried to hire.
And, not content with having a Gestapo Snitch Hotline to play with, Beijing loyalists are resorting to even cruder ways to intimidate judges who don’t take part in the CCP’s lawfare against pan-dem protesters. Hong Kong officials seem slightly embarrassed by the zealousness of the tactics – but not much. Update: CCP-owned press join in.
That’s just to start the week.
Some other links…
From Michael Pettis, a big-picture explainer on why Beijing derailed the Ant Group IPO (no gory inter-elite vendettas or dirt – just the reality of China’s state-controlled banking system).
HKFP has some photos of nocturnal Hong Kong creepy-crawlies (not the pro-CCP ones daubing threats against judges on walls).
And Asian Review of Books asks if there is such a thing as Hong Kong literature. (Not that it would qualify, but I am toying with the idea of distilling some of Hemlock’s Diary down to book-suitable size. Good idea? Bad idea? Just something to do?)