HKFP looks at ways of measuring the exodus from Hong Kong – it is impossible to gauge how many are local middle class or overseas ‘expat’ business types, or whether they are leaving because of Beijing’s political clampdown or the government’s onerous Covid restrictions. One telling statistic is departures of students from schools. (Another is perhaps the cost of sending pets overseas.) The number of Mainland immigrants on One-Way Permits has fallen because of Covid. But however you break it down, the stats are a major vote of no-confidence.
More number-crunching from David Webb: the number of people in prison has declined by over a third in the last 20 years, but those on remand have jumped from around 10% to 30% of the total. Samuel Bickett comments that…
In systems that value civil rights and due process, courts deny bail only for, say, alleged murderers and serial rapists.
…while in Hong Kong remand is used to keep political opponents in jail without trial.
The HK Police take delivery of the first of 50 experimental anti-riot buses with opaque windows and tear-gas guns attached to the roof. Is their budget ridiculously bloated, or are they expecting large-scale street protests sometime?
A (paywalled) column in the Economist describes the supposedly democratic process whereby the CCP chooses and promotes members of (mainly rubber-stamp) lower- and national-level Party congresses…
The lists are passed back and forth, up and down the ranks, for further refinement until every province, the armed forces and a handful of other “electoral units” each has its own list of delegates that satisfies the Organisation Department. Despite the party’s role in producing these lists, chosen delegates are still subjected to extensive vetting. This has involved interviews with colleagues, police checks and examination of records relating to everything from tax payments to compliance with family-planning rules. As officials put it, no one is to be selected “carrying sickness”, ie, with a blotted copybook.
If it sounds familiar, it’s the template for the multi-step screening for all-patriot ‘improved’ Hong Kong Legislative Council candidates, with nomination by a group of specially picked insiders, plus a secondary vetting mechanism – and the possibility of being kicked out on an oath-taking technicality.
A UK Daily Mail op-ed on Chinese agent Christine Lee, notably the role played by past British leaders in kowtowing to Beijing and opening the door to United Front influence operations. And an interesting thread with more analysis (fuller version here).
While it is easy for Brits to blame specific former Prime Ministers, universities or business interests, the fact is that up until around 10 years ago nearly everyone from Barack Obama to the Pope agreed sagely that closer relations with Beijing were possible and desirable – and indulged CCP attempts to infiltrate institutions and capture elites. Xi Jinping has done a great job of proving otherwise, even if the Vatican, the WHO, investment banks and some idiot politicians still cling to the ‘partnership and cooperation’ fantasy.
HKFP’s anti-Sedition law shield…