Rolling up the ‘International Hub’ mat

More stories in the FT and Wall Street Journal about international businesses and expatriates moving away from Hong Kong because of the National Security Law.

The NatSec ‘Law’ is in practice a new regime: the imposition of direct rule by Beijing. The new bosses in the HK & Macau Affairs/Liaison Office and National Security Office do not know or understand Hong Kong – and they don’t wish to. All they see is institutions, people and ideas that are out of CCP control and are therefore threats. 

They aim to turn Hong Kong into something they do recognize – something ‘normal’ that the CCP can feel comfortable with, absorbed into a Greater Bay Area, etc. The possibility that they might damage Hong Kong as an ‘international hub’ doesn’t register. Indeed, the features that make an international hub are the very things that make the CCP insecure. To them, dismantling rule of law and freedom of expression is vital repair work, to rid the territory of dangerous alien forces that obstruct the Party’s rule. We already see the signs in politicized or compliant police, public prosecutions and judicial functions, in the new patriots-only election system, patriotic lessons for school kids and elsewhere. 

One soft target is universities, which depend on the government for funds and fat staff salaries. Atlantic reports on the clampdown on dissent as it spreads across campuses…

The marching orders to suppress freedoms are being dutifully carried out not by police or the authorities, but by fellow colleagues, and even students. One postgraduate student at HKU has reported at least two faculty members to the tip line…

And Chief Executive Carrie Lam warns that the city’s universities have been infiltrated by ‘external forces’ aiming to undermine the nation and brainwash students – and university administrators must be on the lookout for them. (As the HKFP report explains, pro-Beijing media have pounced on a research study on protest crowd sizes. Students were ‘paid’ to participate, and the work involved overseas-based academics, and thus an evil foreign plot is unveiled.)

Foreign students and academics can only feel nervous about this. For decades, local officials have celebrated Hong Kong’s cosmopolitan character, but now they spout lines that might give outsiders the impression they are not particularly welcome. In time, especially as China’s relations with the West deteriorate, foreigners in the private sector will start to get the same feeling that they are seen as part of a hostile presence.

The rectification of Hong Kong to suit the CCP’s Leninist/paranoid outlook must, by definition, involve removing things that are ‘foreign’. Beijing demands a CCP-run city, not an international ‘hub’, or international anything. If it’s any help, it’s nothing personal.

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13 Responses to Rolling up the ‘International Hub’ mat

  1. Low Profile says:

    Does Carrie Lam actually believe the crap she spouts, or is she just a good actress who’s learned her lines and delivers them with apparent conviction?

  2. Mark Bradley says:

    “ One postgraduate student at HKU has reported at least two faculty members to the tip line”

    I bet this student is either a mainland with Party member parents or an offspring of the civil servant parasite class

  3. Gooddog says:

    Farewell my concubine…

  4. Hamantha says:


    Today’s was a great post, even moreso than your usual stuff. Spot-on bigger picture thinking.

  5. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Low Profile: OF course she doesn’t but in order to keep her fat salary and pension secure, she has to. She’s not even a good actress! She is, however, the perfect sycophant toady which makes her head of the class in Hong Kong sycophant toadies, which is a crowded and talented field.

    Always amazes me how those that have benefited from supposedly enlightened, open education and pretty much a free society upbringing with no fears of thought police around the corner are so easy and eager to deny the same for others.

    But it ALL comes down to $$$. The CCP has the sources of wealth of the toady class dangling on a thread, easily cut if need be. Those with foresight started divesting from HK years ago (at the risk of being called “unpatriotic”) and look at them now. A helluva lot better off (and possibly smug at that)!

  6. Chinese Netizen says:

    Pretty good link hinting at the inadmissible failures of the OCD, control freak regime in Peking…

  7. Carrie Lame's blame game says:

    @Low Profile
    Carrie’s choices are either:
    a) Blame invisible evil foreign forces for attacking Hong Kong; or
    b) Admit the truth that she royally screwed the pooch, dealing the city a fatal blow in under two years of her incompetence and stupidity, alienating opponents and supporters alike and being bypassed completely by the Politburo, saved from sacking only by the fact that the CCP would lose face by looking conciliatory if they did so.

    Let’s just say neither 777 or 689 or anyone in the administration or it’s entourage of sponging useless toadies look like they’re inclined to sport Harry Truman’s famous desk ornament. They’re more inclined to have a BMW hood ornament.

    689 went for “foreign forces” over “annoying the populace through my own tone deaf stupidity”. He doubled down saying he had proof that he would reveal “at the appropriate time” all though seven years on, it is apparently still not time.

  8. Stanley Lieber says:

    I miss the innocent days of old Hong Kong when a privately-published pamphlet alleging financial malfeasance at a well-known Mid Levels recreation club would hit the headlines and capture the attention of the chattering classes for at least a day or two.

    Nowadays, alas, it’s crickets.

  9. Simplicissimus says:

    … and yet lychee continues to wax lyrical and power to the lead in your pencil Sir, when you are enjoying the sunlit uplands of Mongolia in mid-winter – then I might raise an eyebrow…Avanti!

  10. Joe Blow says:

    Vagina Ip’s New People’s Party has jumped on the vaccine tombola bandwagon. How original. Alas, only party members (there are 12) can enter the lucky draw. Vagina herself has donated a ‘luxury watch’ as a first prize. It is unclear, at this early moment, if the watch was recently purchased or if it had been lingering in a drawer in her boudoir for the past few decades. Other party members (numbers 2 to 12, inclusive) have also donated jewelry, SaSa vouchers and samples of cold cream from Wing On.

  11. dimuendo says:

    Have just been told by a large firm of removers that they cannot survey before 17 July; all slots are full.

  12. Gromit says:

    @dimuendo: that’s not unusual at this time of year, mind you, as people with school-aged kids on fixed-term contracts leave at the end of the school year. So in itself it can’t be taken as a sign of a larger-than-normal exodus. It would be good to get another indicator to back it up.

  13. Dickson says:

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out you overpaid, entitled, feeble immigrants workers from the west!

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