Beijing’s officials have made it clear that, after a few months of NatSec Law, they are still not happy with Hong Kong’s legal system and must ‘reform’ the courts. On cue, a judge rules that the HK Police complaints system is not independent enough to be in accord with the Bill of Rights Ordinance. Also on cue, an expert who quit the system for pretty much that reason (he says he felt manipulated) earlier this year has just issued a report on the role of the HK Police in radicalizing protestors, escalating the 2019 unrest and damaging the cops’ own legitimacy.
(What next? Obviously, insulating the now-political police from public accountability is an important element in creating the climate of fear and uncertainty the CCP wants in Hong Kong.)
Not surprisingly, journalistic genre of the month in Hong Kong is the ‘should we stay or go agonizing’ column (an example in the FT – might be paywalled – and one from SCMP). It is still early days – we are nowhere near the herd-like scramble for passports in the late 80s/early 90s. But it’s coming. A piece in World Politics Review captures the semi-panicky mood.
Some links for those with nothing better to do…
More from David Webb on the inadequacies of the Hong Kong government’s Covid response – this time the contact-tracing app.
There is almost as much excited the-world-is-changing nonsense generated by the signing of the RCEP as there was by the creation in 2016 of the AIIB, and because of many of the same confusions over the sources and consequences of global imbalances.
In Atlantic, Daniel Blumenthal on the grand ambitions of a decaying state – the threat posed by China as it stagnates under demographics, environmental problems and dictatorship. An ‘infirm colossus that will be frustrated by unmet ambitions’.
A British diplomat in China leapt into a river and rescued a drowning student, in a video clip that went viral – and we all saw it. You won’t believe what happened next. Or maybe you will.
I can’t stand podcasts. I can read 1,000 words in a few minutes, but don’t have the patience to sit and listen to talk. But this one on the influence of Xi Jinping’s father is worth a go. (Maybe I should exercise or do the washing-up while listening.)
The Diplomat looks at the causes of Beijing’s constant tantrums.
And some photos vividly showing the valiant role played by giant rubber ducks in Thailand’s protests.