Even parts of the Hong Kong establishment are nervous after what we can call the New Year Purge, until we have a better name for it. The SCMP worries about the fate of the 53 arrested in an analysis piece and an editorial reflecting what we all know – that there is nothing to convict them for.
Of course, the NatSec Regime is more interested in crushing the individuals publicly with dawn raids, searches of premises, arrests, seizing of passports and freezing of assets. And if the courts throw the cases out, it will provide the CCP with a pretext to ‘reform’ the judiciary. That would further tarnish Hong Kong’s legal system, and the city generally. And in a way, Benny Tai’s laam chau plan will indeed be carried out.
The HK government begs to differ with skeptics, issuing one of its over-long, over-whiny tantrum-statements in response to overseas criticism of the Purge. Among the official panty-wetting is a claim that the pan-dems’ plan to win and exploit a majority in LegCo would have ‘undermined’ the government’s performance. Like we would notice.
Has the HKChronicles website been blocked? It seems there’s some other sort of problem. But we can expect the NatSec Regime to start on a local Great Firewall – before the year’s end. Seems a pretty safe bet.
On the New Year Purge: Human Rights Watch; Asia Sentinel’s column (linked to yesterday); a Bloomberg op-ed foresees long- rather than short-term decline for Hong Kong as Beijing slowly suffocates the place; and in the Spectator, the Hong Kong Watch director asks how the UK should respond.
For light relief, Transit Jam on the Alphard menace…
…there’s now an incredible 218,000 7-seaters in Hong Kong, 50 times more than the number of public minibuses, yet carrying a fraction of the 1.7 million daily minibus passengers.
The author proposes several remedies, none of them – sadly – involving streetside garrotings or explosives.