…so probably not much going on here until the New Year (barring unforeseen etc).
Main horror of the weekend, according to Apple Daily, is a Hong Kong government plan to amend immigration law and entitle itself to bar people – without any other legal process – from leaving the city. This is presumably to plug a loophole where the authorities want to persecute someone but haven’t confiscated their travel documents, let alone jailed them. Can’t have people just wandering off whenever they feel like it.
An SCMP op-ed takes the new Bauhinia Party’s sort-of counter-establishment platform at face value, saying ‘they should be given a chance’. Which is obviously what you’re supposed to think. For a more skeptical view, try Ching Cheong (former prisoner of the CCP) at RFA.
Some interesting statistics: 722 (12%) of all local Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong came out of the recent ‘dancing/singing’ socialite cluster. That’s over 9% of all cases included imported ones. They account for nearly 40% of the current fourth wave. To a great extent, they are the fourth wave. Pie charts here.
Some other things…
Jeffrey Wasserstrom in Nikkei Asia likens Hong Kong today to post 6-4 Beijing.
The Diplomat on Apple Daily as a symbol of what is happening to Hong Kong, including some good background on the paper’s ups and downs over the years.
HKFP op-ed on the persecution of Hong Kong’s moderate pan-dems. Worth remembering that in many cases the older traditional pro-dem figures were openly proud to be Chinese, pro-1997 handover, and – in essence – willing to be co-opted into the system had Beijing been flexible enough to tolerate a dash of pluralism.
The US extends its Mainland travel warnings (against detention for political views, etc) to Hong Kong. Not unreasonable, so expect a high-powered mouth-frothing press statement any minute (they’ve been busy churning out this one).
A summary of an NYT story on how Beijing has micromanaged information from the beginning of the pandemic…
Videos that showed hospitals overrun, corpses in the streets, angry residents in lockdown were purged. Media was ordered not to call the virus fatal. Terms like lockdown were downplayed. The heroism of party officials was emphasized.
Hmmm of the Week Prize goes to the ‘Brits to Stamp Out CCP Menace’ stories. The Guardian presents the background on the UK’s move away from lovey-dovey win-win cooperation…
Overall, it represents as swift and complete a reversal in foreign policy as the UK’s shift from treating Russia as an ally in 1945 to cold war foe in 1946.
And the Spectator on how the UK will get tougher with Beijing, oh yes.
As well as Hong Kong and the Uighurs and obnoxious diplomats’ Tweets and Covid and much else, this change in the UK has been influenced by the CCP’s obsessive thing about Australia – explained in detail here by news.com.au. And ASPI Strategist looks into how Beijing has hijacked Australia’s Chinese-language media.
In the next day or two, some special recommended festive season links.