Beijing-owned newspaper Wen Wei Po is working on living up to its motto ‘You read it here first’. Following warnings by Chief Executive Carrie Lam to the Law Society about being ‘politicized’, the paper attacked member Jonathan Ross – who subsequently received some sort of threats against his family, and now pulls out of the Society’s council elections.
The paper is also following (or writing the screenplay for?) the Andy Li NatSec trial. Although Li is a defendant, the prosecution’s case seems to be focused on Jimmy Lai – crafting a version of events in which the crowdfunding of ads calling for sanctions becomes an international conspiracy masterminded by the publisher. Li, who was held in Shenzhen for months and has mysteriously acquired a pro-Beijing lawyer, is agreeing with this narrative in court. Description of the overblown plot here. A response from an overseas activist named by Wen Wei Po here.
Will Wen Wei Po be targeting psychologists and counsellors next? (I would have thought they’re further down the list, but who knows?)
Occasionally, Beijing runs up against reality in Hong Kong. The anti-sanctions law was due to be rushed through – then suddenly turns into something taking far longer to implement. The U-turn is not officially a U-turn. Chinese retaliation against US sanctions cannot be symmetrical: the US can kill Chinese banks by cutting them off from its financial system, while foreign institutions have no access to, or need for, equivalent RMB processes in the Mainland. And it’s nothing to do with Hong Kong’s interests: China’s CCP-guided economy needs access to the dollar system.
Something I have in common with the Hong Kong government: not realizing that Nicole Kidman is so famous that a citizen’s complaint about her car parking illegally on Queens Road Central is front-page news around the world.