If this guy can be ‘worn out’, so can I. I need to ramble on about something other than the NatSec horrors occasionally – probably reviews of binge-watched inane Japanese TV dramas. (It’s either that or recipes.) So be prepared. By the way, today’s music (click on pic) is a song about Hong Kong.
To (hopefully) finish the week…
Before Reuters go behind a paywall, they convince some judges and lawyers to talk to them about the insane late-night bail hearings for the 47 politicians in early March, as Mainland-style justice comes to Hong Kong…
One active judge told Reuters the bail hearings were reminiscent of “show trials” used by China and other autocracies to publicly humiliate and ultimately break political opponents.
I’d be more impressed with righteous judges if just one went on the record on this and did a high-profile resignation on principle.
You know the CCP has taken over your radio station when… RTHK rejects an award for excellence in journalism – probably the last one they’ll ever get.
In the Washington Post (possibly paywalled), thoughts on the occasion of NatSec Education Day…
Directed at children and designed to rehabilitate the image of the Hong Kong Police Force, last week’s campaign showed how the authorities are enforcing a single narrative of the protests — meddlesome foreign forces stirring up trouble — and how no expense will be spared to fully integrate the financial center into China’s authoritarian system.
…as opposition leaders are marched off to jail, memories of the 2019 protests are being erased, leaving only a narrative of violent rioters deceived by foreign forces and the imposition of laws designed to eradicate them. And, as a friend who recently left Hong Kong wrote to me, this place is now “unrecognizable.”
CNN takes the government’s ‘anti-doxxing’ excuse at face value but otherwise does a good explanation of how partially obscuring Companies Registry data will lead Hong Kong to become Asia’s Dirty Money City for CCP elites’ families.
And how the NatSec regime ends the city’s dream of being an arts/culture/creative hub.
A thread on what the CCP’s Hong Kong newspapers – now scourges of ‘fake news’ – were up to in 1967.
And one suggesting that the government is making it harder for people below age 65 to get their MPF funds out if they emigrate. You thought this was your money, taken out of your salary? Wrong – it’s the CCP’s to withhold out of spite.
On glorious motherland affairs…
Beijing is launching a hotline to allow public-spirited citizens to report people who post ‘mistaken opinions’ online.
National Interest compares Xi’s China and Kaiser Wilhelm II’s Germany.
Ultra-long read for the weekend: Minxin Pei in Journal of Democracy on China’s undemocratic future…
The biggest threat to China’s neo-Stalinist order is a succession struggle. One now looms on the horizon. Having done away with the presidential term limit, the 67-year-old Xi is set for open-ended rule. If he grooms a successor, it will probably be a weak loyalist. As happened after Stalin’s death and Mao’s, once Xi is gone a power struggle will ensue.
And an interview (maybe paywalled) with short-seller Carson Block…
Block’s team is exploring the idea of a long-biased fund that would invest in companies in emerging markets in Asia and Eastern Europe that could benefit if China’s authoritarianism leads to a loss of direct foreign investment post-Covid, which he predicts will happen.
“…obscuring Companies Registry data will lead Hong Kong to become Asia’s Dirty Money City for CCP elites’ families.”
And here we have the ultimate goal of everything done against HK since 1997. It was just all about timing and the perfect excuse that it wasn’t done sooner.
That Muddy Waters’ piece is accessible gratis; at least for me – however, 4,285 words long. Reading for the weekend, indeed.
The WP article has gone to “we can’t find the page” for me. Has anyone saved it?
Interesting music link, reminded me of The Velvet Underground on the Live In ’69 double album. Very difficult to hear the lyrics, unfortunately (at least, for me).
I’ve lost patience with Minxin Pei. He has spent decades predicting the imminent fall of the CCP through increasingly elaborate exercises in motivated reasoning. Given a long enough timescale he will eventually be correct, but that’s no use if everyone would be dead by then. And he gives thin justification that the next regime would be any better.
@Toph: isn’t that Gordon Chang that’s always prognosticating the fall of the CCP?
“And he gives thin justification that the next regime would be any better.”
This is key
Lost for words, because he has never had to defend the indefensible…
“24th April 2021 – (Hong Kong) The Kwun Tong Waterfront Musical Fountain was finally open to the public on 22nd April. Many local residents criticised the project as a white elephant. The opening of the fountain has become a target of ridicule throughout the city. The water jets were weak and the overall performance lacks grandeur. Some netizens posted on social media yesterday (23rd) that on the second day of the opening of the fountain, some of the facilities were damaged and are being cordoned off for repairs.
On-site security guard said that the interactive water area had too many children to play, so the floor became uneven and it was now fenced up and needed urgent repairs.”
This project consumed $50m district funds in the poorest district in HK that could have been spent on community services like dental care for the elderly, but loyal trash Councillors who had the majority at the time insisted on pushing forward the plan and when the young folk took over the council government depts insisted that they could not break the iron rice bowl of the contractors and stop the project.
Now that Legco has no opposition we can expect many more crony projects in coming years. Most alarming is that the media will no longer have access to public records that would identify who pockets the cash.