A quick wrap-up of the last 24 hours’ horrors…
Andy Li has gone missing while in custody, true banana-republic-style. Apparently, he is exercising his right not to let family know his whereabouts. Several of the HK 12 have also supposedly waived their right to a lawyer. They were in detention and virtually incommunicado in Shenzhen for over seven months. Why do I feel forced confessions coming on?
A Hong Kong court hands down a judgement on joint enterprise saying even someone clicking ‘like’ can be liable for riots and disorder (details here), while the police reportedly consider treating all participants in the siege of Poly U as terrorists. Another court declares a pan-dem district council member not duly elected owing to a microscopic technicality.
Hong Kong universities struggle to work out how to do NatSec – such as forcing students who were on the 2019 barricades to attend indoctrination classes.
‘Bordering on belligerent’, the Hong Kong government requests foreign consulates not to recognize BNO passports (issued by the UK) as valid for Hongkongers applying for visas. Sovereign states are, of course, entitled to recognize whatever travel documents they wish. Local authorities have presumably adopted this stance under orders from Beijing’s officials, for whom petty, hectoring, vindictive arrogance is standard operating procedure.
On a lighter note: a hilarious video of Regina Ip storming out of a global (online) conference because a speaker from Taiwan referred to his country as – well, a country. No theatrics are too pretentious when you are desperate to be Chief Executive. (If you ever want to push Reg’s oh-so sensitive buttons, you know how to do it.)
More details on the implications of the case against Bao Choy’s use of the public vehicle-registration database in the course of investigative journalism.
Coming soon to a billboard near you: NatSec Education Day, in three different and unrelated design themes, to catch the attention of even the most jaded ignorer of government publicity drivel.
On international issues, Globular Times thinks the phrase ‘wolf-warrior’ is racist. Whatever label you use, Beijing’s mega-hubristic-obnoxious foreign relations tactics are looking increasingly – and bewilderingly – counterproductive.
Clothing chain H&M distanced itself from Xinjiang as a cotton source some time ago to reassure consumers in Western countries. Now it is being boycotted on the Mainland with state approval. Ditto Nike. A quick clip of some of their ugly shoes on fire.
Forced labour doesn’t exist, but if you say you don’t use it, we’ll punish you.
Dreary overpriced no-brand bland/minimalist brand Muji go full ‘we-love-Xinjiang-cotton’. Guess they’ve thought this through. Or not. Cantopop star Eason Chan’s management obviously has, as have other Renminbi-dependant celebrities.
All this comes as activists start looking for ways to punish sponsors of the 2020 Winter Olympics. It also follows Beijing’s sanctions against European individuals and entities over Xinjiang, which have provoked and alienated even the wettest of cooperation-crazed Euro-weenie bureaucrats enough to possibly derail a China-EU trade and investment deal, or even shove Europe closer to the US.
(I’m more than happy to load up on Australian wine and Taiwanese pineapples, but I’m damned if I’ll be seen dead wearing tacky Burberry stuff.)
From wolf-warriors (nice work guys, by the way) on to some weekend reading…
Atlantic makes an excellent point: the purging of HK’s pan-dems has stripped the local political scene of idealism and expertise – leading proponents of environmentalism, gay rights activists, feminists, unionists, and others are in jail.
Shanghai parents go to crazy lengths to get their kid into the latest – and pricy – English-language tutoring fad.
The Guardian compares two island nations’ approaches to handling the pandemic – Britain and Taiwan. No prizes for guessing which one proves to be the better-run tech-savvy democracy.
And things you might not have known about Michael Kovrig’s grandfather. (It’s like there’s a genetic predisposition to being incarcerated by Communists.)