Just when you thought Hong Kong’s Covid measures couldn’t get any more unscientific or oppressive – they decide to put recovered patients in 14 days of de-facto quarantine. Not remotely sustainable if there’s ever a surge in cases. Simply a theatrical gesture to impress Mainland officials who have no incentive to open the border with Hong Kong. Won’t this also possibly give people an incentive to avoid diagnosis if their symptoms are mild?
And the NatSec film-censorship law gets the rubber stamp. Loyalists eager to impress their masters are calling (logically) for the law to apply to online videos. The Commerce minister says that would involve ‘technological and enforcement considerations’, but we will at some stage find such considerations melt away when Beijing’s officials get round to imposing a Great Firewall in Hong Kong.
An early start to the weekend, with some recommended reading and viewing…
Lots of interesting observations on the NatSec regime in Hong Kong from Scott Veitch, law professor at HKU.
NPR interview with former SCMP editor and Next Media board member Mark Clifford on the media under threat in Hong Kong…
…we have seven journalists from Apple Daily and its parent company in jail right now being held without – essentially without bail. And it’ll probably be years until their trial comes up. And they’re effectively serving a life sentence because they’re presumed guilty rather than innocent before a trial, and the trial can take place whenever the authorities want it.
Also from NPR – Hongkongers settling in the UK. Including, from the (maybe paywalled) Economist, Blackpool.
Francesco Sisci in Asia Times on Beijing’s mishandled foreign policy…
In the last 15 years ‘…China grew complacent and arrogant with its two crucial neighbors, Japan and India; it mothballed planned political reforms at home and in Hong Kong.’
What is it doing now?
The action most consistent with its system and the internal balance of power is “nothing,” a modern-day wuwei 无为, or “inaction.” It would mean: Close itself off and strengthen internal cohesion to avoid coups or rebellions. Therefore, draconian anti-epidemic measures are also helpful to keep external political pollution out, wait for the US to fall apart and for China’s rivals to come begging on their knees for mercy.
Former State Dept official Ortagus Stilwell tells CNN of the risks to US citizens of visiting China.
Is it goodbye Tibet, hello Xizang? Global Times seems to think so, and Bill Bishop in his newsletter writes…
My understanding is that the ministry of propaganda issued a directive last month to gradually start replacing “Tibet” with “Xizang” in external propaganda. I assume this comes after the August Tibet work conference, is part of a more encompassing “sinicization” strategy?
John Oliver explaining Taiwan – surprisingly well.
There are fuck all local cases of COVID19 in Hong Kong. I suggest we all start wearing our mandatory masks as ‘chin hammocks’ and only pull them over our faces when ordered to do so by the police; thus not getting arrested but the entire population could become a fucking pain in the arse to the authorities.
The government’s actions are now pathetic pandering to the machinations of the CCP; defying logic, sense and reason.
‘The action most consistent with its system and the internal balance of power is “nothing,” a modern-day wuwei 无为, or “inaction.” It would mean: Close itself off and strengthen internal cohesion to avoid coups or rebellions. Therefore, draconian anti-epidemic measures are also helpful to keep external political pollution out, wait for the US to fall apart and for China’s rivals to come begging on their knees for mercy.’
– Absolutely the intention is to revert to the Bamboo Curtain and create internal and external enemies to give justification for State Power (especially as the Tofu Economic Ponzi Scheme collapses)
The comparison is somewhat unfair to 無為, which I would translate to English more as ‘chilling out and going with the flow’ than ‘not doing anything’. Still not exactly a Type A go-getting philosophy, but certainly not the mode of thought in Zhongnanhai.
By way of example:
“Chuang Tzu was one day fishing, when the Prince of Ch’u sent two high officials to interview him, saying that his Highness would be glad of Chuang Tzu’s assistance in the administration of his government. The latter quietly fished on, and without looking round, replied, “I have heard that in the State of Ch’u there is a sacred tortoise, which has been dead three thousand years, and which the prince keeps packed up in a box on the altar in his ancestral shrine. Now do you think that tortoise would rather be dead and have its remains thus honoured, or be alive and wagging its tail in the mud?” The two officials answered that no doubt it would rather be alive and wagging its tail in the mud; whereupon Chuang Tzu cried out “Begone! I too elect to remain wagging my tail in the mud.” “
Sounds like Chuang Tzu was an early proponent of lying flat.
Load Toad: great idea and many already doing this. It needs to become a civil disobedience symbol to this fucked up unelected so-called administration.
I haven’t worn a mask outdoors for months.