Happy Press Freedom Day from RTHK’s new management

Hong Kong’s public-turned-CCP-service broadcaster celebrates World Press Freedom Day by firing a reporter who asked Carrie Lam to speak like a human and removing its on-line archives. (If everyone who wanted Carrie to speak like a human got fired, Hong Kong’s offices would be empty.) An illustrated thread on Nabela Qoser. A HKFP interview with journalist Bao Choy. 

Writing in Foreign Policy, PEN America’s CEO argues that the muzzling of the press will undermine the city’s economy. If that sounds melodramatic, it’s probably better to see the clampdown on the press, plus the politicization of police/prosecution services, plus the creeping meekness of the courts, plus ideological enforcement in education as all much the same thing – a transition from a pluralist to a Leninist system. Many businesses that once valued Hong Kong for the quality of its institutions will ask why they are paying such high rents to stay in what is now a sub-premium location.

Speaking of the bigger picture, is this piece naive or visionary? Some excellent observations of the emperor’s lack of clothes by a former diplomat arguing that regime-change in China is thinkable. Under the CCP, China is stuck in mid-reform because the party-state cannot countenance independent institutions necessary to a more productive and trust-based economy and society. At the same time, Beijing’s structural inability to understand open, pluralist societies has provoked a once-benign West into hostility – while the CCP convinces itself that the West’s own fear of China’s might is the reason for Western disillusionment and mistrust. 

…the U.S. and its allies must make regime change in China the highest goal of their strategy toward that country. 

If that article is too long, try this delightful Tweet from Philippine Secretary for Foreign Affairs Teddy Locsin…

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7 Responses to Happy Press Freedom Day from RTHK’s new management

  1. Toph says:

    “Many businesses that once valued Hong Kong for the quality of its institutions will ask why they are paying such high rents to stay in what is now a sub-premium location.”
    Money laundering. What else? Why do you think they let directors obscure their identities on the companies registry? Hong Kong will continue to attract the sort of company willing to overlook the quality of the institutions as long as there’s enough questionable money to be made, and the sort of expat content to bounce between bars in SoHo and weekend junk trips. A Dubai with alcohol, if you will.

  2. Goatboy says:

    Excellent comment, Toph. Maybe the HK Tourism Board could run with this.

  3. reductio says:

    Where can I get a “Go Teddy!” T shirt?

  4. Justsayin says:

    I feel like Mr. Diplomat made an interesting point in the CCP betting the farm on winning the ‘Artificial Intelligence Race’ to save themeselves

  5. tim hamlett says:

    Who, I wonder, was responsible for RTHK’s own headline on the Nabela Qoser story, which was – I quote – “RTHK gets rid of reporter Nabela Qoser”. That’s not the way non-renewals of contract are usually reported. Indeed when CY Leung announced he was not seeking a second term “Hong Kong gets rid of CY Leung” might have prompted dancing in the streets, but things were done differently in those days

  6. where's my jet plane says:

    “RTHK gets rid of reporter Nabela Qoser”
    I wondered about that headline, one can read it tywo ways. I think there may be enough people not under control in that section to still be a bit subversive. Long may it last though I suspect the skids are being greased.

  7. Mary Melville says:

    Some RTHK staff probably know their days are numbered anyway so have adopted the WTF attitude, like Teddy.

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