Beijing’s latest HK hearts-and-minds stunt has impact

Another image that won’t be forgotten soon – Jimmy Lai in manacles for allegedly Tweeting his opinions. Simply using trumped-up charges to keep him in jail isn’t good enough. Will they also send him to the Mainland for trial? 

The CCP seems obsessed with the idea that Lai is a mastermind/funder/leader of Hong Kong’s protest movement, and the sight of him in chains will cow everyone into silence and submission. They have a big shock coming.

More from the weekend: 19-year-old Tony Chung is convicted of insulting the Chinese flag, and activist Baggio Leung seeks asylum in the US, where he advises officials to block Chinese banks from using the SWIFT settlements network. 

Banks are in danger of retaliation for freezing dissidents’ accounts. But can we expect companies – with their duty to shareholders – to invite business-wrecking retribution from Beijing by acting otherwise?

Which leads us to the Hong Kong government’s Employment Support Scheme. Which companies claimed the most Covid non-layoffs handouts? David Webb has compiled (no thanks to the government’s opaque and clunky approach to making data public) a list of the beneficiaries. The top 5,000 are here. Top recipient is Dairy Farm (ie Wellcome, 7-Eleven, etc); other supermarkets are prominent, as are private hospitals (Baptist came 31st by claiming HK$129mn) and cake shops.

Elsewhere, while we wait for this week’s horrors to unfold, former Governor Chris Patten again accuses Beijing of breaking its handover promises to Hong Kong.

“They’ve broken their word to Hong Kong and internationally and they’re destroying a great city,” he said.

And the Chickeeduck security grille gets a paint job.

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8 Responses to Beijing’s latest HK hearts-and-minds stunt has impact

  1. donkey says:

    Considering that the trial is for show and for enforcement of the belief that Hong Kong people should accept coercion as a way of life, he won’t go to the Mainland for the trial or any sentencing. The point being, CCP has to make Hong Kong look managed and ordered. And it must show that the CCP ideology is firmly in play in Hong Kong’s justice system. It’s not good. It will get worse. But I will remind you all that I had said over a year ago, the route that CCP will take to take over will be a “legal” one. It is all about subverting the real law and order inherent in a civilised society and supplanting it with one that is manufactured and managed. Basically, the CCP is a group of fascist middle managers that must constantly preen and cloy for their master, and that means the “help” has to suffer.

  2. Stanley Lieber says:

    The ESS subsidy scheme saved one employee from the bread line by paying his $2.4 million salary at Ye Shanghai Kowloon Limited.

    Meanwhile, normal people are shuttering their businesses, selling their flats to cover debts and jumping off buildings in unrecorded numbers.

    That’s your HKSAR government at work.

  3. Conference says:

    In Hong Kong it will be all about the laws. As we saw earlier this year in Wuhan, the powers that be decided people who were ill or had the potential to get ill or make others ill were quarantined inside their buildings and so they simply welded the door shut. In Hong Kong we pass a law which enables the government to restrict people to a building if there are enough cases or risks identified therein. You don’t have to weld the door shut, as the law will have penalties to enforce compliance. In addition, there is a requirement to demonstrate to the outside world that Hong Kong remains a society based on laws, just like before.

  4. Penny says:

    donkey & Conference – Outspoken academic Xu Zhangrun calls it Legalistic-Fascist-Stalinism
    https://www.chinafile.com/reporting-opinion/viewpoint/viral-alarm-when-fury-overcomes-fear

  5. where's my jet plane says:

    When are HK’s banks going to freeze the accounts of the Police Welfare Fund under suspicion of money laundering? If only…
    https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-and-crime/article/3113910/hong-kong-police-raked-hk180-million-donations-last

  6. Mary Melville says:

    Re the Webb data on the latest irrational disbursement to vested interests and companies, like supermarket operators, that not only did not lose business due to Covid but actually enjoyed a sharp increase in revenue, does anyone know anyone who had their building management fees reduced? 63 hits with ‘property management’ listed among the top 5,000 alone.

  7. Casira says:

    Mary Melville: My estate reduced the fees by 0.3% (clubhouse activities of course reduced by 100%).

  8. Ho Ma Fan says:

    @Mary Melville, likewise I was surprised to see just how much was claimed by main contractor Gammon, who have won an unprecedented amount of work recently, particularly up at the airport. Those projects have neve stopped, and layoffs not necessary. Similarly Hip Hing, and the like, claiming significant sums. Contractors know, more than anyone, just how important it is to make hay whilst the sun is shining.

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