Some new interpretations of the ‘Last G7’ art are in yesterday’s comments. In particular, ‘the wolf seems to represent Italy, while the eagle on the left represents Germany.’ That makes sense: Italy (she-wolf of Romulus and Remus fame) tempted by the EU-Beijing FTA, and Germany despairing at the demise of the US/West while anticipating more car exports to China. (Germany as Judas Iscariot? Discuss.) Also, I see a rotting piece of fruit on the table – presumably representing democracy.
Or maybe the local film industry. Taking effect on the day they are announced, the Hong Kong government issues new orders for the city’s film classification authorities to consider ‘national security’ in their work. Variety carries a full explanation of the changes (the same writer discusses Hong Kong film censorship in the last year or so here).
The wording of the amended guidelines directs the censors to consider the need to safeguard China’s ‘sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity’, so any hint that Taiwan is a country or Tibet used to be could be grounds for a ban.
It also makes clear that recent film journalism about the protest movement has seriously pissed off Beijing officials, stating that censors should pay special attention to documentaries (or ‘purported’ documentaries). This suggests that the CCP wants to ban not just overtly critical works but any content that does not follow the official line. So, if a director includes comments from Regina Ip, that would be fine – but if he also includes some from Joshua Wong, that would bar the movie from screening. This is essentially where RTHK current affairs is heading. Indeed, the film guidelines probably reflect Beijing officials’ demands for restraints on Hong Kong’s overall media/speech freedoms. Perhaps they saw movies as a loophole.
To give an idea of how far-reaching the thought-police are: the government has reportedly warned district councillors that they might have threatened national security by uploading pictures of candles on June 4.
Reuters quotes the US consul-general in Hong Kong trying to get his head around the NatSec Regime…
“You can’t have it both ways,” he added. “You can’t purport to be this global hub and at the same time invoke this kind of propaganda language criticising foreigners.”
…Private investigators say demand is surging among law firms, hedge funds and other businesses for security sweeps of offices and communications for surveillance tools, while diplomats describe discreet meetings with opposition figures, academics and clergy.
A little reminder: the CCP sees no value in an ‘international hub’ in Hong Kong. It’s the local officials, out of habit and/or wishful thinking, who insist the city still is one.