Another ‘no clampdown on civil society’ day. NatSec police raid the Tiananmen Massacre Museum, because obviously they’re going to do that straight after rounding up members of museum organizers HK Alliance. Then they charge Lee Cheuk-yan, Albert Ho and Chow Hang-tung with incitement to subversion (Chow almost welcomes the challenge). And a dozen pan-dems plead guilty to unauthorized assembly and incitement at last year’s 6-4 vigil.
Yet to be raided: Hong Kong’s M+ Museum, due to open in a couple of months. Aiming to keep themselves raid-free, the curators have pulled a work by Ai Weiwei from the online gallery to ‘await government review’. However, as Artnet News reports, some other artists’ potentially controversial pieces in the modern art collection remain on the website for now. This apparent discrepancy is easily explained: the pro-Beijing shoe-shiner-legislators and the government’s own bureaucrats have actually heard of Ai.
Some (OK, a lot) weekend reading…
Jerome Cohen on the Hong Kong crackdown on civil society.
Timothy McGlaughlin at Atlantic on the role Ta Kung Pao plays in creating the CCP’s narrative about Hong Kong and in triggering intimidation and persecution of pro-democrats ‘and others who land on Beijing’s ever-expanding list of enemies’. Stick around for the final sentence.
A week late (not good at anniversaries): a mega-thread on the 8.31 Prince Edward attack.
Yuck – the amount of vehicle tyres thrown into Hong Kong landfill every year.
A recent emigration and property exhibition in Wanchai last month attracted 28,000 registrants. Some findings.
How Hongkongers are settling down in the town of Reading, England.
A lengthy but readable paper on Hong Kong as a society stuck in a ‘late colonialism’ state. Perhaps tries too hard to wedge the city into some academic theoretical framework – but not a tanky thing.
A new Beijing-friendly lobby group in the UK is asked whether it has funding from HSBC, and responds by offering a ‘case manager’ to ‘refine the focus and framing’ of the question. Their team includes a Huawei UK board member and various investment, higher ed and other interests.
Cybersecurity company Fire Eye presents research on the expansion of Beijing-backed social-media campaigns into smaller platforms in multiple languages, and increasingly aimed at spurring protest action on issues like Covid and anti-Asian racism.
Brian Hioe at New Bloom on supposedly ‘progressive’ Western far-leftists’ obsession with being anti-American/capitalism and ‘imperialism’ leads them to support oppressive regimes like that of the CCP, rather than (say) Uighurs, Hongkongers or Taiwanese as you would expect.
(Not sure how seriously we should take these people, though recent examples from an outfit called Code Pink like this campaign against Taiwan arms sales and their webinar about the US supporting ‘color revolution’ in Hong Kong make you wonder whether they’re just really dumb tankies or funded by Beijing. Otherwise – file under the same category as Scientologists, blockchain nuts and the Ivermectin crowd.)
A thread on China’s looming or actual insolvencies and defaults – much more than just Evergrande. It looks like there are some vast holes that need to be filled in. Presumably, Beijing has some magic way (aside from letting idiot Westerners holding Mainland property corporate debt get burned) to shift it into state-run bad banks and avert a financial crisis. It really does seem the CCP has managed to rewrite the laws of economics in such a way as to make infrastructure and real estate grow on trees.
As well as private education, online games and numerous other social evils, Beijing is clamping down on ‘sissy men’ from Chinese TV. (What about masculine women?)
A look at the ‘Xi for Kids’ textbook in Chinese elementary schools. (Thread includes a link to this illustrated comparison of Soviet and Nazi propaganda portrayals of Stalin and Hitler as father-figures of children.)
It took a while for the Catholic church to accept Copernican heliocentrism, but they got there eventually. Is it finally dawning on them that the Chinese Communist Party is not going to arrive at a warm-and-cuddly ‘win-win’ agreement with the Vatican over running the faith in the Mainland?
The current version of the Vatican-China deal is set to run through 2022. But, with it increasingly clear that the pope expects neither good faith in diplomatic talks or concrete results on the ground, it’s paradoxically hard to see it not being extended, or ever judged a success.
If so, that leaves just Blackrock still deluding themselves.
Nostalgic escapism from Zolima City Mag: a look back at a time when Hong Kong was happier and optimistic, and government campaigns could be fun – Lap Sap Chung.