Hong Kong’s first NatSec trial, for ‘terrorism’ and ‘secession’, starts, with the defendant to find out whether he can have a jury. Let’s stick our necks out and predict ‘no’. The prosecution get a Lingnan U history professor as a better-red-than-expert witness to say that Tong Ying-kit – who allegedly drove a motorbike with a ‘Liberate HK’ flag into or among a group of cops – was ‘akin to an ancient warrior bearing a war flag, riding a horse to a battle’. The NatSec judges were not especially impressed with Prof Lau’s condescending evidence. More on the historian here.
In ASPI Strategist Keith Richburg goes over the CCP’s suppression of arts and culture in Hong Kong. It’s quite a little list – and they’re just getting started.
On the subject of lists, Hong Kong Watch has updated its record of imprisoned protesters. (How many of these people have you ever met in person? I count at least half a dozen – and I’m not a great socializer.)
What would Lingnan’s historians make of this? The weekend’s Big Read: from China Journal, basically a small-book-size history of Hong Kong from early colonial times, by Aris Teon. It proposes that the CCP takeover has abandoned the popular consensus and liberal values achieved (eventually) by the British. (The piece is 20,000 words, but seems angled towards a global audience and draws on familiar sources – so if you know your Opium Wars to MacLehose, you might want to skip to Chapter 5, or just go straight to the conclusion. Illustrated!)
Thank you for your continued incisive and splendid blog
[ palimpsest : writing material used one or more times
after earlier writing has been erased ]
The walls of this subway under the railway line
Have been repainted. They give no sign
Of the jumbled notices and photos they used to show
To passers-by two years ago.
It was a Lennon wall, a local free press,
A scrappy, spontaneous mess.
But now – surprise! – everyone happily sees
An elegant painting of bamboo trees.
The walls have been repainted, or painted twice,
And they look, they really look, at least they look
This footbridge was the same, the paint worn off
By notices stuck on, torn off:
Calls for actions, demonstrations, meetings,
Photos of police and beatings.
People posted here to show or express
Anger or hope . . . it was a mess.
The bridge has been repainted, in manner formal,
And it seems, it really seems, at least it seems
Things are normal.
We start afresh in 2021;
Soon all repainting will be done.
The true return to China has been made;
Old words, written over, fade.
Farewell the past, and hail the palimpsest.
No doubt at all, no shadow of a doubt, it is
For the best.
Mind blown by that Aris Teon link; an object lesson in clear writing. Long, but well worth the full read. For those on a tight time budget the conclusion is tight and thought provoking.
I would buy a book of Knownot’s poetry.
Unfortunately those documented facts won’t change the general perception of Hong Kong’s colonial era as simple imperialism and adventure capitalism. Very few things in the world are black and white, except of course in the Vatican where the difference is clear-cut and incontrovertible. Why, in theory there might even be nice members of the CCP, though under the precautionary principle it’s probably not worth worrying about that when the revolution comes.
“16:17 9 Apr: C&ED’s Double Standard in Law Enforcement? Targeting Pro-Movement “AbouThai” but Not Japan Home, BestMart 360 even Latter w/o Bilingual Goods Labels
The Customs and Excise Department yesterday deployed more than 100 people (!!!!!!!! remember this when filling in your tax return) to search a number of outlets of AbouThai, a chain outlet selling Thai products, alleging that the company’s products such as shower gel and detergent did not carry bilingual warnings, allegedly violating the Consumer Goods Safety Regulation. A reporter from Stand News inspected a number of chain shops such as Japan Home (JHC) and BestMart 360, which are said to be owned by pro-Beijing merchants, and found that the labels of some products such as detergents were not labelled with bilingual warnings. At least 26 “problematic items” were found in 2 outlets of Japan Home in Kwun Tong and Lam Tin.”
And in a store near you……. including those of our duopoly, I see additional label free products frequently. For most folk these labels are a pain in the arse, they cover up the data you want to read, like country of origin, and make it difficult to prepare containers for recycling.
Consumers have of course retaliated via long queues at “AbouThai” outlets.
But includes several errors of fact eg Tung was not replaced by “another politician”, or if he was it is the first time I have heard Donald Bowtie so described.
Seconded (or ditto) as to know not.
Autocorrect does not always correct!
“Revolution Of Our Times” certainly seems to have been an apt slogan. Instagram and insrant messaging based, utterly ineffectual, and quickly abandoned for other pursuits when the enemy comes up with new rules. Rules? A revolution doesn’t care about rules. A hundred randomly selected (as they’re hard to tell apart these days) customs officers violently deprived of the use of their kneecaps would soon see the communists’ bully base fade away.
As a great proponent of blind obedience, I, of course, am glad no one is contemplating such behaviour.
dimuendo – Donald Bowtie himself claimed to be a politician and his Wikipedia entry lists him as such: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Tsang
But everyone knows that only clowns wear bowties…
@justsayin: agreed, but perhaps difficult to get it published/distributed in today’s climate? Online might be the way to go.
justsayin, dimuendo, Gromit –
Thank you. I’m only an online poet, I think.
Chinese Netizen – Thank you for recommending the article by Raffi Khatchadourian in the New Yorker. Very depressing stuff…