How many cops does it take to unroll plastic barrier tape in Hong Kong’s attempt to beat the World 100-metres Barrier Tape Frantic Unravelling record? Count them.
Note the Deputy Sub-Assistant Lockdown Ambush Commander sprinting into the sunset with the tape. His mission: to ensure no residents spot what’s happening and flee Kam Ping Street with seconds to spare. He is clearly massively chuffed – after much pleading with his boss – to have been picked for the job. His mother must be so proud. (Similar video of the cops in action here.)
Links for the weekend…
Hong Kong’s greatest living ‘innovation and governance architect’ says cycling is inconsiderate. (Selfish space-wasters on bikes do leave a mess on your Alphard when you drive into them, don’t they?)
An academic thinks Macau might not renew US casino operators’ licences when they expire next year. Obviously, it would be another way to hit back at the US right now. But Beijing has long been unhappy that foreigners were making so much profit from Mainland gamblers. And it would mirror the earlier pattern in other (infinitely less scummy) industries where overseas investors gained access to China’s market until Mainland companies acquired the expertise to do it themselves.
In Atlantic, Timothy McClaughlin looks at the arrest of activist Tam Tak-chi for sedition and sees Hong Kong going back to being a colony.
What the Hong Kong government has lacked in creativity with regard to addressing the protest movement, it has made up for in finding ways to punish those involved.
(In fairness to the CCP, the Mainland under one-party rule is arguably a colony, too.)
The US State Dept offers writers of press releases a superb lesson in causing maximum offense to the right people with the smallest number of paragraphs and words: PRC pressure on Taiwan threatens regional peace.
China Media Project on how CCP theoretical organ Seeking Truth has become Xi Monthly over the last few years.
John Pomfret in Atlantic on what Xi Jinping is doing when he clamps down on private business
Why is he messing with this golden goose? In a word, control.
National Interest compares (in a fairly non-wacky way) Xi’s China with Nazi Germany and the USSR.
Jeffrey Wasserstrom’s very readable preface for the Thai edition of his book on the Hong Kong protest movement.
Lowy Interpreter on the wolf-warriors’ own goals, with reference to the Big Kimchi War…
…unnecessary, transitory chest-thumping over fermented cabbage.
Great thread on an arrogant-going-on-delusional Xi-inspired war-mongering piece in the SCMP (link included) by Zhou Bo…
Col. Zhou concludes by saying “Biden… can save China-US relations from going into free fall.” Hope springs eternal because otherwise, you are getting into a fight too early and therefore, likely to lose.
A good basic post-pandemic economic outlook for China by George Magnus.
Magnus Fiskesjo in LARB on Racism with Chinese Characteristics.
A Western artist sneaks subversive work into a Beijing exhibition.
Did Covid-19 leak from a lab? A long deep look from New York magazine.
A review of Trade Wars are Class Wars by Klein and Pettis.
On off-topic out-of-area matters…
An extract from American Kompromat, a book on Russian influence over Donald Trump.
A digital game designer’s view of QAnon – a game that plays the players.
Hilarity of the week has been Reddit-based kids forcing hedge funds betting against GameStop into a ruinous short squeeze. David Webb explains why other, later-arriving short-sellers will, inevitably, ultimately win.
For your viewing pleasure: a hyper-in-depth analysis of Max Headroom (amazing VJ-concept wrecked by idiotic backstories. For hardcore 80s pop-culture/media geeks only).