Fearsome new Customs Commissioner Louise Ho (seems Hermes has gone) is on a mission to protect the glorious motherland from subversive lobsters. She explains…
“On the face of it, it’s just a normal smuggling case, smuggling lobsters. But actually these smuggling activities would undermine the country’s trade restrictions on Australia. Therefore, tackling lobster smuggling activities is an important task in safeguarding national security.”
This is like Security Secretary PK Tang’s confusion of 1911 Revolution commemorations with Taiwan independence. It seems disciplined services chiefs are so robotic and/or uninformed in enforcing the NatSec Law that they attack irrelevant targets. Beijing has put up barriers against Australian goods like lobsters – against WTO rules – to express frustration and rage at not being obeyed by a smaller regional state, not as a measure to protect the nation from harm.
More evidence that Commissioner Louise is taking things way too seriously…
…officers will be on the alert for people resorting to ‘soft resistance’ to spread messages endangering national security, through books, magazines or everyday items.
Can she give examples of books that threaten the PRC’s national security? Is Hong Kong going to join Saudi Arabia and a few other select places where men in uniforms flick through arriving passengers’ copies of, say, The Economist in search of offending articles to cut out? Excuse me sir – do you have any ‘soft resistance’ in your luggage?
Elsewhere in NatSec regime… How the CCP deals with free elections: overturn the result. The pan-dems won over 380 of 450 elected seats in the last district council polls; after various measures to disqualify or otherwise get rid of them, there are now just 60 left. Some of the councils themselves now have so few members that they are defunct.
The only candidates you may now vote for are people who support rigged elections in which you have no choice.
More disqualifications, because a Leninist system can never have too much control: Beijing is also tightening its grip on already-subservient Macau.
Some weekend reading…
George Magnus on China’s property-market woes.
The BBC on ‘Ziganwu’ – China’s young xenophobic patriots…
More recently, top medical expert Zhang Wenhong became a target… A suggestion that children should drink milk for breakfast was taken as a sign that he was rejecting traditional Chinese breakfast – and values. “Isn’t this too much worship of the West and fawning over foreigners?” wrote Pingminwangxiaoshi.
(This just in: Commissioner Louise orders Customs officers to intercept all boxes of cornflakes entering Hong Kong.)
How Taiwan is making itself more popular around the world, partly with China’s help.
From Taiwan Insight – the politics of Hong Kong immigration in the UK and Taiwan. Interesting comparisons.