So far in the Year of the Tiger…

A property agent gets an eight-month sentence for sedition for putting up posters saying ‘corrupt Hong Kong communist officials buried their conscience, their families must die’, and possessing more in digital form describing the HK Police as a criminal organization and Chief Executive Carrie Lam as a ‘wicked woman’. 

You may wonder whether these are particularly misleading statements, especially for a property agent. I couldn’t possibly comment.

It is the first prison sentence for sedition since the 1967 riots. Another person was given 13 months (thread on judge’s reasoning here). The Article 23 NatSec law will no doubt attach heavier sentences to this crime. 

A must-read: Samuel Bickett not pulling any punches about his experience with Hong Kong’s courts: ‘Magistrate Lam lied – repeatedly…’.

It is not possible that Magistrate Lam believed his characterizations of the facts were accurate. He was not simply mistaken – he was lying. He was committing serious, criminal misconduct from the bench. He betrayed his oath to the law. And he sent me, an innocent person, to prison.

An HKFP op-ed asks whether Hong Kong still has an independent judiciary.

An American legal scholar who had previously worked for Human Rights Watch was offered a post at HKU, but has been refused a visa. Perhaps the real story is that he thought the government might grant him one.

Provoke Media on Consulum’s apparently hasty exit from its Relaunch HK job. The office has closed, the staff have moved onto other careers, and the government contract hasn’t been renewed. In the NatSec/Covid-era, a PR campaign now looks naive.

From Transit Jam, transport psychopath-bureaucrats convert a West Kowloon lawn popular with picnickers into a car park for Culture Hub-Zone visitors who presumably don’t plan on having picnics.

Al Jazeera on Hong Kong’s gloomy new year holidays

For ordinary citizens, Beijing’s demands of zero COVID have turned what was one of the world’s most dazzling, cosmopolitan, and eclectic cities into an isolated, anxious island of pique.

Weekend reading…

A UK Daily Telegraph story on Hong Kong immigrants. Other than misusing the ‘grassroots’ label, it paints a positive picture of the newcomers as hard-working, wealthy, educated, church-going, child-rearing, property-buying potential Conservative voters, deserving of help in operating central heating…

For many, the lifestyle here is a pleasant surprise. “It’s less crowded, less of a headache, less claustrophobic both physically and mentally, less materialistic. You spend more time with [your] family…”

(A reminder of how Hong Kong’s pro-democracy demographic overlaps with the less wealth- and status-obsessed parts of the population.)

Could stories like this change the minds of those Brits who have been in Hong Kong for decades and laugh/cry at the idea of ever returning to a place they remember as a grimy hellhole with bad food and horrible weather? (Asking for a friend.)

More on the Hong Kong emigres in Britain from Nikkei Asia. Politico looks at those who are former protesters keeping the flame alive in exile.

SCMP reports that 96% won’t be coming back to Hong Kong. (For those with kids, in particular, the massive improvement in living space and housing affordability surely makes a move to the UK virtually irreversible.) 

And more on that ever-popular subject: people leaving Hong Kong hiring private jets for their pets.

The Spectator lists British universities that have given honorary degrees and awards to the CCP’s useful Hong Kong idiots.

Benedict Rogers on the CCP’s looming clampdown on religion in Hong Kong.

Louisa Lim’s new book.

HKFP op-ed on the Hong Kong government’s hang-up about kids playing.

In Dissent – Peng Shuai as a victim of China’s ‘violent power structure’.

Chinafile looks at China’s New Era Civilization Centres – day care, evening classes and community voluntarism, all wrapped up in Xi Jinping Thought. And at the disappearance of verdicts from the courts’ website.

From the Conversation – what could happen if Xi Jinping does not appoint a successor.

In case you’ve been away the last five years or so, a quick intro to China’s declining international image from Council on Foreign Relations.

Bob Davis in Politico on how the US’s Asia trade policies hamper efforts to counter China.

Geremie Barme in a quick aside on Beijing’s Winter Olympics…

…the second time that Xi Jinping has demonstrated an unrivalled talent for overseeing China’s security state in its stage-management of an international event at which patria is the tenebrous doppelgänger of individual excellence. Collective displays and martial precision of the kind vaunted by the Beijing games of 2008 and 2022 remind us of Clive James’s caution about ‘that feeling of having one’s identity strengthened by being absorbed into a mass’. This, James observes is what lies ‘at the heart of fascism’s appeal in all of its varieties.’

George Soros on CNN takes note of China’s property market woes. Any contrarians willing to bet that the aging investor-sage’s attention indicates an imminent rebound in the market? 

An inspiration to any ‘man in a T-shirt, pajama pants, and slippers, sitting in his living room night after night, watching Alien movies and eating spicy corn snacks’ – American guy takes North Korea off the Internet from his living room.

And if you missed it – Knownot does William Blake right down to the annoying/archaic non-rhyme in the first verse…

Tiger! Tiger! burning bright

In the festive New Year night,

What redeeming hand or eye

Can re-awake autonomy?

The latest time-waster: Dordle – two Wordles side by side. Judging by my first attempt, not too demanding once both your brain cells kick in…

(Wordle apparently has its uses.)

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3 Responses to So far in the Year of the Tiger…

  1. Chinese Netizen says:

    “An American legal scholar who had previously worked for Human Rights Watch was offered a post at HKU, but has been refused a visa. Perhaps the real story is that he thought the government might grant him one.”

    I’m sure he just accepted the posting to test (knowingly) whether or not human rights in HK was truly dead. He was right.

  2. Stanley Lieber says:

    “A reminder of how Hong Kong’s pro-democracy demographic overlaps with the less wealth- and status-obsessed parts of the population.”

    An excellent observation.

  3. steve says:

    Guilherme Marcondes’ animation “Tyger” from 2009 is based on Blake, but it certainly seems appropriate for this particular Year of the Tiger.

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