Debate resolved beyond any doubt

Not a new debate: should Hong Kong voters angry at being deprived of worthwhile candidates stay away in December, or should they go to the polls only to deface ballots? While scrawling rude comments on the ballot paper may be gratifying, only a few lowly civil servants will see the spoilt paper – top officials do not sift through them. In an effort to minimize the scale of such protests, the government will possibly categorize ‘spoiled’ ballots as ‘incorrectly completed’ or something. They might even (cue creepy violins) trace the voters responsible and put the names in a special Black Book.

More to the point, everyone casting a blank or spoilt ballot counts as turnout. And it is the headline figure of what percentage of the population entered a polling station that worries Beijing and local officials. The key figure will be the difference in turnout from that of the 2019 District Council elections (a record 71%). The bigger the drop since 2019, the more resounding the public rejection of rigged elections.

Or – you can go along and vote for Holden Chow and Co. The choice, of course, is entirely yours.

More numbers are making the government nervous: an official statement loudly insists emigration accounts for just a small part of the decline in population. It might be right. But it might not be. The data are not sufficiently ‘granular’ to say either way. All we have is anecdotes of leaving parties, lines of families at the British Airways check-in, and a 27% increase in emigration-related MPF withdrawals (even though BNO holders have been barred from claiming theirs). 

Some weekend reading…

Hong Kong to outlaw desecration of the Chinese flag online. How will they enforce this? Will linking to an offending web page count? (Presumably it will.)

Long thread on how Chinese media spread disinformation about origins of Covid-19 (‘US soldiers at Wuhan military games’) overseas, then re-cycled it as quotes from overseas disinformation.

In Forbes, Anne Stevenson-Yang on the Evergrande nightmare

…as a default would be cataclysmic for China’s financial system, and the optics would be catastrophic for China’s residential property market, it is much more likely that there will be a bailout, perhaps by forcing government-connected entities to overpay for assets that the government would mandate Evergrande sell.  A default, after all, would be an unimaginable sign of weakness, kind of like Xi Jinping crying in public.

Great moments in switching-on-the-charm ‘soft power’: a Globular Times editorial on how Russia and Belarus should join China in bullying Lithuania – interesting for the condescending language about the ‘little’ Baltic state…

This European country has nearly nothing to do with the island of Taiwan…

It may not even know what it has been doing…

China and Russia [should] jointly deal a heavy blow to one or two running dogs of the US to warn other countries…

Lithuania, one of the countries that has gone the farthest in simultaneously provoking China and Russia … needs to be taught a lesson by the two… 

European countries must not think about using the Taiwan question as leverage against China. 

You may feel that ‘must not’ here means ‘really should’. but I couldn’t possibly comment.

The regulation (as in imminent re-licensing) of Macau casinos will be a national security issue. The report dates to August 2. Then

A day later, Galaxy Entertainment Chairman Lui Che-woo:

“The CCP has successfully guided China on a path of sustainable development, having achieved admirable success that has earned global respect. GEG would like to deliver our congratulations on its 100th anniversary”

That centenary was on July 23rd, and shoe-shiners should have handed their grovelling in several days beforehand, but still – better late than never.

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13 Responses to Debate resolved beyond any doubt

  1. Low Profile says:

    Lithuania “may not even know what it has been doing…” – or it may feel it knows exactly what it is like to be a small country bullied and invaded by a bigger and more powerful neighbour. I couldn’t possibly comment.

  2. Toph says:

    Re: online flag desecration – they’re trying to outlaw the Black Bauhinia, which nowadays exists mostly online. Political cartoonists using flag images would also be arrested for defilement. Would an international news organization that posts photo of a flag burning taking place in London also be prosecuted? Does a bear poo in the woods?

  3. Chinese Netizen says:

    “Hong Kong to outlaw desecration of the Chinese flag online. How will they enforce this?”

    Mandatory real name registrations connecting ISP account numbers (and monitoring of VPN usage), etc? Don’t know exactly how the HKCCPSAR works but it seems there’s already something similar in place? Great TECH jobs creation initiative!

    @Toph: I believe Winnie in Peking does, in fact, shit in the woods. So no assassin can poison the wiping leaves.

  4. Paul Lewis says:

    Just do a quick search for
    China flag rubbish bin
    You will find the aftermath of pro government rallies in Hong Kong.
    Will take down notices be issued?
    If they do not remove them, will arrest warrants be issued.
    Interpol?

  5. Knownot says:

    The Investigator

    There is a human shape in Nat Sec:
    An investigator, so they say.
    I prefer another term:
    Maggot, maybe, or worm.

    Tracking the unpatriotic,
    It wriggles through the archives,
    Reading papers, checking videos,
    Seeking crimes or peccadillos.

    An advert in the press, a song sung,
    A balloon released, a thinking sheep.
    The secret listener and watcher
    Has succeeded. Gotcha!

  6. Kwun Tong Bypass says:

    Caught with their pants down!

    “ Coronavirus: Chinese state media caught inventing a Swiss biologist who blamed America for Covid-19 origin lies”

    The Gloebbels Times should apologize for hurting the feelings of 7 Million Swiss! Or maybe the Swiss do not know what they do…?

  7. D3SH says:

    I’m having a good chuckle reading Alex Lo’s latest missive cautioning those thinking of moving to the UK about the “general irresponsibility” existent there.

  8. Wolflikeme says:

    Only patriots – doctors, nurses and teachers optional.

    https://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/component/k2/1605747-20210813.htm

  9. Mary Melville says:

    Quote of the Year Award goes to :
    Erick ‘Don’t be obsessed with competition in elections’

  10. Penny says:

    Why do they bother with elections at all? Who do they think they are convincing?

  11. where's my jet plane says:

    Borrowed from a thread on the Plymouth shooting a quote from Ayn Rand that seems apposite to our current fiasco.
    And what is there in such a situation for statist totalitarian sociopaths?

    Ayn Rand said it better in “Atlas Shrugged”:

    “Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

  12. Goatboy says:

    Thanks for reminding us why no one reads Ayn Rand

  13. Din Dan Che says:

    Thanks for pointing that out – @Goatboy; Enough nutjobs in HK without adding that freak Ayn Rand and her tribe to the mix.

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