Among the weekend’s horrors…
Not to be outdone by Regina Ip looking forlornly at her Burberry scarves, the usual bunch of sad-looking losers assemble outside H&M in Tsimshatsui to demand an apology for blah blah.
(In an interesting side-effect of the patriotic ‘struggle session’ against these brands, some Chinese citizens start wondering why Western companies distanced themselves from Xinjiang in the first place.)
Less amusingly, RTHK might start fining staff who produce ideologically incorrect programming that the new CCP-authorized management has to censor, to compensate the station for the ‘waste’ of resources. Hey – it’s better than being dragged out in public and made to kneel on broken glass and confess to being a capitalist roader.
And it gets grimmer. Although Andy Li is still missing, you might think the most sinister dictatorship-persecuting-dissident scenarios are too grotesque to imagine – they wouldn’t chuck him out of a helicopter or put him in a mental hospital, surely. Except Apple Daily says authorities have indeed put him in a secure unit at Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre ‘to prevent him from “speaking out of turn” and revealing details about his treatment in mainland China’.
When it’s not carrying out this Stalin/1984 re-enactment nightmare, the NatSec regime is managing to screw up fairly basic public-health policy. The government is in a dilemma. On the one hand, it wants to get the population vaccinated asap, so commercial landlords can jack their rents back up and ‘Mainland integration’ can resume. On the other hand, it is (some believe) using clumsy tactics, like hinting at safety scares, to make the better (foreign) vaccine on offer less popular in order to encourage use of the patriotic Chinese-made one. To make things more awkward, the administration has no credibility – legitimacy, even – and much of the public will assume it is lying even if it tells the truth.
Here’s an interesting thread explaining how the Hong Kong authorities have changed the presentation of statistics in such a way as to minimize the impression that the public are trying to avoid Sinovac. Who is going to trust these slimeballs?
Reading between the lines with somewhat cynical eyes, the latest government statement seems to indicate that officials realize many people will avoid any jabs unless they can have the foreign one – so there is no glory for the CCP or relief for landlords to be had by trying to drive people into the arms of Sinovac (or Sinovac into the arms of people, whatever). (Reuters report here.) Therefore, the ‘packaging defect’ alarm might be over soon, in a face-saving way, so we can boost the so-far dismal vaccination rate. But maybe not. Who knows? ‘Somewhat cynical’ isn’t good enough these days.
Bearing all the above in mind, is it a huge surprise that capital outflows to Canada are at a record high?
Ans a couple of things from HKFP: How you can help Hong Kong’s political prisoners through Patreon, and an interview with Steven Vines, author of Defying the Dragon: Hong Kong and the World’s Largest Dictatorship.