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.
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.