Carrie Lam explains that cop-turned-Chief Secretary John Lee will not really be a Chief Secretary who coordinates all the non-security policy areas in which he has zero experience. In other words, he will serve mainly as another layer of NatSec in the hierarchy. We had guessed as much.
As befits that appointment, she also indicates that her Policy Address in October will be a drab list of vague banalities. They always are, of course, but you would have thought someone somewhere might propose some slightly bold quality-of-life or social-welfare initiatives to try to divert attention from the relentless NatSec awfulness of Hong Kong today. (One of the justifications for the new regime, remember, is that now all the evil foreign-backed elements are jailed and crushed, we can have better governance and address those ‘deep-rooted problems’.)
The fact that there will be no carrot to go with the stick suggests that the grim Beijing officials now running the city behind the scenes see suppressing and punishing Hong Kong as their sole task. They see no point in trying to persuade any wavering silent middle-ground in the population (or ultra-moderate Democratic Party politicians) that the CCP can be benign. We don’t need no stinking ‘hearts and minds’ strategy.
Some reading from the weekend…
A Harvard Kennedy School paper co-written by former lawmaker Dennis Kwok on what the NatSec Law means for business…
The HK NSL does not define “national security,” nor do the implementing regulations made under Article 43 of the HK NSL. The definition currently being applied by Hong Kong police and prosecutors is sufficiently broad as to encompass participation in journalistic activities and democratic primary elections.
Jerome Cohen’s thoughts on Prof Johannes Chan, recently demoted by HK University.
From CSIS, how Beijing’s hubris – buying its own ‘decline of Western democracy’ idea – is throwing its international relations off course.
Interesting BBC report on the foreign vloggers pushing Xinjiang denialism on YouTube and elsewhere, often with Beijing state media help.
From RFA, Beijing cracks down on karaoke – banning songs by Cui Jian and Beyond…
Zhejiang current affairs commentator Sun Jialin said the move is part of an ongoing bid by the CCP to control every aspect of cultural life, including people’s inner thoughts and feelings.
And HKFP reports that Hong Kong could double the amount of land it has under cultivation (which isn’t much, obviously) if it grew veg on rooftops.
Or in spare rooms: curry plants, Thai basil and (still in infancy) chilis are thriving just up from the Central business district…
Lots of “deep rooting” going on in HK these days.
The link to the Jerome Cohen twitter postings is unavailable.
Link to Jerome Cohen’s thoughts on Prof Johannes Chan – tweet is now unavailable. Here is a link to Cohen’s blog on the same topic:
Tweet censored by Twitter?
Jeromecohen.net seems to not be available from HK (for me, on netvigator, at least). I’ve been noticing this more and more with Squarespace (the hosting company) websites, many of which aren’t political at all.
Cohen blog available to me in HK – without VPN. Maybe netvigator is the problem.
Johannes Chan was not “demoted”. He was essentially fired.
He was subjected to very selective and unfair enforcement of the 60 year retirement age policy that HKU has. Normally someone of his rank would either retire at 60, or if he/she successfully applied beginning at age 55, be given a 5 year contract that could be renewed. It seems that he knew for a long time that this day was coming, and his recent comments most likely had nothing to do with his contract being allowed to end. It is highly unusual that he was given a 2 year contract to serve after he turned 60. The standard for ca. 10 years or so has been 5 years.
Hong Kong is a grift for these guys. All they’re doing is changing up the grifters. Insofar as they cared about welfare and policy, it was only to the extent that dissatisfaction threatened their impression of tranquility. If you can bust heads directly, who gives a shit?
If they (the universities) want you after age 60, they will find a way. The contracts will be of more limited duration.