Hey – maybe next week won’t be quite so bad

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.

You’ve heard that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is amazing, or at least expected to eliminate a range of tariffs on imports within, um, 20 years. Michael Pettis puts you straight.

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.

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12 Responses to Hey – maybe next week won’t be quite so bad

  1. Knownot says:

    Monday morning the sun shone bright
    As the day began
    Turned on the radio at eight o’clock
    Had a most beautiful shock
    A resolute voice urging everybody
    To do their best
    And when that injunction had been made
    The National Anthem must be played
    RT (Oh, what a change has occurred!)
    H (What thrilling music we heard!)
    K (Ever so deeply our feelings were stirred!)
    Clearly a glorious life has begun now for everyone
    Cho sun!

    – – – – –

    To the tune of ‘She’s Leaving Home’ by the Beatles.

    The National Anthem is now played on all radio stations after the 8.00 a.m. time signal.

  2. Casira says:

    I’m surprised they didn’t block a few keywords on that brit diplomat

  3. Mark Bradley says:

    “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.”

    The best part is the Judge who made this “incorrect” ruling is also an NSL appointee Judge! I guess his 1 year appointment to handle NSL cases won’t be renewed.

  4. Red Dragon says:

    Interesting article in The Diplomat.

    I wonder if anyone has kept a tally of the number of so-called “apologies” and “rectifications” resolutely demanded by the CCP from a) sovereign states, and b) private and public entities.

    It would then be illuminating to learn how many such “apologies” and “rectifications” have actually been forthcoming.

  5. Hong Kong Hibernian says:

    @Knownot: I hadn’t heard that Chee Lai! was now played each morning on RTHK. A decent way to check on your fellow passengers on the morning MTR commute might be to play the broadcast aloud to see who stands up and shows ‘sufficient respect’.

    The podcast on Xi Dada & Daddy sounds good enough to listen to this weekend!

    The tweet about porcelain wares being ‘repatriated’ made me think immediately of Taipei’s wonderful National Palace Museum, and the collection of art which would have been destroyed by Mao and his merry band…

    If I may throw in a URL, I’ll suggest the 74 page release from the U.S. Secretary of State entitled ‘The Elements of the China Challenge’, found here: https://beta.documentcloud.org/documents/20407448-elements_of_the_china_challenge-20201117

    FYI: tomorrow marks 100 years since Bloody Sunday, lest we forget, etc.

  6. Ho Ma Fan says:

    @Hong Kong Hibernian “13 gone and not forgotten, we got 18 and Mountbatten”, you mean that one? No, we shall not forget. Thank you for the reminder.

  7. Hopeful in Hell says:


    “Maybe next week won’t be so bad”

    Maybe Carrie Lam’s policy address next Wednesday won’t be so bad either.

  8. Hong Kong Hibernian says:

    @Ho Ma Fan – no, I was referring to the ‘original’ back in 1920.

    Of course, that has nothing on the Amritsar massacre of 1919, but I digress. Tragedies all around.

  9. where's my jet plane says:

    The HKPF are seeing this week out with a bang

  10. Mary Melville says:

    Soon putting a small note in a collection box will be cause for arrest. Meanwhile it is business as usual for the cartels while money laundering……….. has always been a key component of the cross border economy.

  11. Penny says:

    National anthem now being played on TVB before the English news at 7:30 p.m. Am I disrespecting it if I mute the sound?

  12. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Penny: At least it hasn’t gotten to the point yet where everyone is expected to freeze in place (if you’re driving, you stop the car and step out), stand at attention and face the general direction of the main flag (Bauhinia Sq?) during the playing of the anthem, like at U.S. military installations. Yet.

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