This weekend’s horrors…

The authorities freeze the personal assets of Jimmy Lai – who has not been found guilty of anything. – with no recognizable due process or anything. At some point, local officials will surely get tired of insisting that Hong Kong remains an appealing international business hub, and admit that the old rhetoric no longer applies. (See Paul Chan juggling the ‘leading international business centre’ blather along with the ‘Western countries containing China’ stuff here.)

And the government will deregister trade unions that somehow fail to comply with the NatSec Law (ie, are pro-dem). It will be interesting to see if any moderate/agnostic unions that exist are invited to kowtow in order to continue operating. Ultimately a Leninist regime must control everything, and unions are no exception. NGOs, charities, youth groups and churches – anything that is organized – will follow. 

Some worthwhile reading…

In HKFP, Yuen Chan quotes Ching Cheong on how the CCP ambushes enemies and floats trial balloons using Wen Wei Po and Ta Kung Pao

“In the past, people wouldn’t give them a second thought. They have very few readers and what they say is totally out of step with Hong Kong values,” says Ching. “But now the CCP’s influence is everywhere and inescapable. It has comprehensive governance and … you have to listen to what its mouthpiece in Hong Kong is saying.”

There is already an established pattern in which WWP/TKP call for action against something or someone (eg the Bar Association) and officials dutifully start giving off negative vibes at the target.

From Transit Jam, a tale of a HK government multi-year, multi-million, multi-fruitlessness pedestrian signage project.

Al Jazeera on the Western ‘anti-imperialist’ lefties (aka tankies) who back Beijing on genocide in Xinjiang…

…we now have a group of Western “anti-imperialists” siding with China simply because they feel whatever the US says is suspect, and therefore what China claims is not.

An academic explains why the Mainland’s housing bubble threatens the financial system and undermines household purchasing power, entrepreneurism and willingness to have children. 

This is happening in many societies – not least Hong Kong. But it seems uniquely dangerous in China, where the middle class have few non-property investment options and have only ever seen home prices go up. Michael Pettis reckons so much debt is backed by overvalued real-estate collateral, and so much middle-class wealth tied up in it, that Beijing can’t/won’t dare bring prices down. But with younger people and migrants priced out of the market (affordability ratios in Shenzhen are reportedly around 40, compared with 20 in Hong Kong), the status quo risks social discontent. Brings to mind Tung Chee-hwa around 20 years ago saying ‘we want prices to come down but not too much’. 

And Best First Two Sentences of the Week Award goes to this Tim Hamlett piece, which starts…

There is something a little desperate about Hong Kong’s senior officials insisting that we still have an independent judiciary. It seems that other civic amenities have been written off.

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9 Responses to This weekend’s horrors…

  1. A Poor Man says:

    It’s not just Jimmy Lai that had his assets frozen. All shareholders in Next Digital are affected.

  2. Sad says:

    Where oh where is Reactor #4?
    Have his rods retracted?
    Has he sprung a leak?
    Or is he no more?

  3. Mjrelje says:

    Another cracking tune. As for the treatment of Jimmy, there are no words to describe such state controlled vindictive bullying. Just disgusting.

  4. Chris Maden says:

    Hmmm… And at the same time, Paul Chan is cheerfully saying that the barriers that protect Hong Kong Banks from those regulated under (much) weaker Macao and PRC laws are going to come down. I take it that goes two ways, especially for asset seizures?

  5. Mary Melville says:

    Re multi-fruitlessness pedestrian signage project. The objective is to keep consulting to delay implementation of measures that could improve conditions and to keep alive deeply unpopular and ridiculous plans.
    The ‘consultation’ on excavating Kowloon Park to build a shopping mall is a good example. 270 empty shops in the district would indicate that this plan is dead on arrival but demands that it be shelved and fees saved are brushed off with WIP response.
    An administration that follows the principle of accountability would ensure that consultations have a definitive timeline. But then accountability has no place in our government structure and, with a rubber stamp legislature, access to endless funding regardless of outcome is assured..

  6. Joe Blow says:

    Property owners: the CCP is coming for your flat next.

  7. so says:

    https://www.news.gov.hk/eng/2021/05/20210514/20210514_195652_748.html?type=ticker on “Freezing Orders”, has no ‘likes’.

    Actually none of the Government announcements seems to have ‘likes’.

  8. Chinese Netizen says:

    “state controlled vindictive bullying”

    That about sums up the CCP.

    The Rectum4 probably absconded to Thailand…Cebu…wherever it could continue to live its privileged (on a limited pension) status abroad, free to bloviate to anyone that might give a fuck.

  9. Low Profile says:

    @Chinese Netizen – or might not.

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