Week ends on banana-republic and shoe-burning notes

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.)

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12 Responses to Week ends on banana-republic and shoe-burning notes

  1. wicket sticky says:

    I have just stormed out of my office after reading your blog post and its bourgeois content. But then I came back to comment on this. And I am glad I did. More people need to hear the voices of the downtrodden.

  2. Chinese Netizen says:

    Ugh…I’d rather not think about Vag’s oh-so sensitive buttons…

  3. Chinese Netizen says:

    I’m sure the Nikes being burned are the fakes anyway. Silly Chicoms.

  4. HKJC Irregular says:

    Wikipedia informs us that Eason Chan had to have one of his balls surgically removed after falling off a stage in Taiwan. Less hilarious is his self-diagnosis (or otherwise) of a bipolar disorder. Both misfortunes – and his gusto for enslaved cotton-picking – seem cries for attention.
    I call on Knownot or another with poetic verve to help Eason with his next record by offering some tear-tugging lines about “My Lonely Bollock” or some other ditty.
    This will cheer HK no end.

  5. Low Profile says:

    @HKJC Irregular – perhaps an adaptation of an old WW2 favourite will do the trick:
    has only got one ball…

    Though when it comes to standing up for human rights, he apparently has no balls at all.

  6. Chinese Netizen says:

    Little ditty ’bout Eason Chaa-an
    Sacrificed a bullock
    For the Han

    Eason wanted to be
    A Chay-na staaa-ar
    Sold his soul to Winnie
    In return for fuck all

    (Apologies to John Cougar Mellencamp)

  7. reductio says:

    Love that performative art piece ‘Shoes on Fire’- a searing indictment of late-stage capitalism with Derridean overtones. Can I buy a GIF of it using blockchain?

  8. where's my jet plane says:

    has only got one ball…

    And poor old Carrie
    Has no balls at all

  9. Justsayin says:

    ‘Excuse me but I have to leave this forum now to collect my wu mao qian’ would have been more accurate from Regina.

  10. Mary Melville says:

    Yesterday Chinachem spent thousands on a half page SCMP Sponsored Feature to let us know that it has donated $3.8m for spinal cord relief. This matched public donations re the attempt in January on the part of a paraplegic to ascend the exterior of its Nina Tower in a wheelchair.
    Why such a piddly sum? At the very least one would expect this ‘charitable foundation’ to fund a state of the art facility catering for persons with disabilities
    As at September 30, 2020, the Chinachem Group has a net asset value of about HK$141 billion.
    During the period from 2018 to 2020 (up till November 30, 2020), the Chinachem Group has in each year made donations for charitable purposes to different charities and other entities at the aggregate sum of over HK$26.6 million. During the aforesaid period, the annual donations made were about HK$5.5 million, HK$11.65 million and HK$9.45 million respectively. Strewth, generous huh????? Operation Santa Claus disburses more than twice those sums.
    The administrative fees are said to be around $60m per annum.
    Control of the foundation was granted to DoJ but it has taken no steps to ensure that generous disbursements, particularly in these trying times. Read the pathetic excuses:
    But of course DoJ is so busy trying to put thousands of citizens behind bars it has no interest in forcing Chinachem to donate its profits to alleviate the burden of the needy in Hong Kong and China.

  11. Northern Menace says:

    God bless Regina Ip. The RTHK picture of her staring lovingly at her Burberry scarves made my day.

  12. HillnotPeak says:

    It’s a real pleasure to hear Ms Ip’s soothing voice not once, but twice in that video.
    Facial expression of the Taiwanese dude is priceless.

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