Hong Kong’s Security Secretary warns that a nightmarish horde of evils – anti-China disruptors, destructive forces and lurking foreigners – are deliberately obstructing the holding of a successful election. Putting previous winning candidates in jail has nothing to do with it.
Even lurking foreigners who are lurking overseas are not safe. Hong Kong trade bureaucrats based in London, who used to focus on deepening economic ties with the UK, now threaten the Sunday Times with legal penalties for incitement to boycott the election.
Back in Hong Kong, officials remind schools to traumatize six-year-olds with care when making them patriotic.
Lawyer Samuel Bickett critiques the guilty verdict against Jimmy Lai for June 4 vigil ‘incitement’…
It is often the case that seasoned activists commit offenses to highlight the injustice of the law they are breaking. That may have been the case with Chow and Ho, two long-time activists who I admire deeply. But with Lai, there is no evidence whatsoever that he incited anyone to attend the assembly. Instead, Judge Woodcock appears to have convicted him simply for being a famous political opponent of the government. And in her written Reasons for Verdict, she did little to hide it…
…The ruling is plainly, insidiously wrong as a matter of law.
Maybe at least the Court of Final Appeal will help protect citizens from abuses of power, right? Or maybe not. The Court refuses to overturn a refusal of bail for five speech therapists accused of sedition – ‘bringing into hatred or contempt or to exciting disaffection’ against the government – by publishing kids’ picture books about sheep.
Some apologists for the NatSec regime imply that the dismantling of Hong Kong’s freedoms and rule of law are worth it because we will get better governance. Which brings us to a nasty accident in Central’s Staunton Street that leaves one dead. As with many parts of Hong Kong, if you go through this crowded area with its lack of sidewalk space, you might wonder why cars are allowed in it at all – let alone to go up and park in steep cul-de-sacs. Anyway, the key thing: the government has apparently disappeared a proposal to pedestrianize parts of Soho.
(Prediction: the Anti-Pedestrian Dept will erect signage throughout the area saying ‘Engage handbrake when parking illegally’.)
Some links to get us through to mid-week…
HKFP op-ed on the Hong Kong government’s fear that overseas domestic workers might get paid half-decently.
‘How the West invited China to eat its lunch’ – the BBC’s economics editor looks at the (with hindsight) naive decision 20 years ago to let China into the WTO.
The Economist (paywalled) columnist Chaguan on the CCP’s claims to have a more perfect and effective democracy than the West’s version…
If controlling covid gives Mr Xi a mandate, were his predecessors illegitimate when officials spent months mishandling an earlier deadly disease, sars? If the economy slows will the party, by its own logic, still deserve to rule?
Glossy magazines for adolescent girls aren’t what they used to be:Teen Vogue looks at the women around the world urging a boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
History Today on the creation of a national language for China…
To imagine the process of creating a Chinese national language as a close vote and a regional power struggle is to ignore how these men actually conceived of a ‘Chinese language’: not as one language among many, but a linguistic representative of the nation’s soul. The question these reformers were asking was not ‘which fangyan do we choose?’ but ‘how do we encapsulate what it means to be Chinese in a spoken language?’