Parallels between Ukraine and (potentially) Taiwan are inexact, but several come to mind. First, obviously, an irredentist dictatorship is invading a free democratic country. Second, assuming they conquer the place, what will the Russians do with it and its largely hostile population? Has the aggressor thought this through? Which brings us to a third: does the dictator concerned simply have a surprising ‘risk appetite’ – or is he paranoid, surrounded by yes-men and deluded and ‘living in his own world’?
Carnegie on Beijing’s impossibly conflicting aims over Ukraine…
Beijing cannot reconcile [its] three competing objectives. And since it cannot have all three, it will have to jettison one or another, or else uncomfortably shift its position from day to day under the glare of international scrutiny. China’s almost certain choice will be to abandon its principles while prioritizing power politics and practical considerations.
Back home, former Hospital Authority head PY Leung predicts a million Covid cases in Hong Kong by late April…
…he said Hong Kong is way past the best time to execute mandatory testing and full-scale lockdown, given the severe lack of quarantine facilities, making it impossible to control the spread of Covid.
…The case numbers are expected to decline after reaching the peak, he said, adding that the priorities now for the government are to boost the vaccination rate, cure patients in critical condition, and support patients undergoing home isolation.
HKU’s Gabriel Leung meanwhile calls on the government to lift flight bans and let Hongkongers stranded overseas back into the city.
Hopefully, neither expert will be penalized for their implicit criticism. NatSec Police arrest bubble-tea vendors opposing anti-Covid measures for sedition.
More on rule-by-law… The Hong Kong government uses emergency powers to allow Mainland medics to work here. This is essentially a means to rule by decree. More on use of the Emergency Regulations Ordinance from David Webb.
Also via Webb, a government minister tries to explain the weird announcement in the Budget barring landlords from evicting small and medium businesses.
More coverage of Covid policies: Asia Times contrasts Hong Kong’s approach with those of other countries. And, as you would expect, the Diplomat puts ‘massively pissed off’ more politely…
Hong Kong residents are becoming increasingly annoyed with the administration’s insistence on sticking to China’s “zero-COVID” strategy…
Cue a protest at Penny’s Bay.
Some 40,000 people left Hong Kong in the last couple of weeks. This will partly reflect barriers against arrivals leaving people unable to fly in, and partly Mainlanders moving back over the border. But a significant proportion – over half? – must be people quitting for good. On which, the UK extends its BNO rights to over-18s born since 1997. If they’re quick they might be able to catch the forthcoming Hong Kong film festival there.
University World News on the rectification of Hong Kong’s educators…
Beijing sees the city’s education system as being behind attitudes that brought millions of people, including school children, onto the streets in 2019. Hong Kong teachers are being pressured to show open loyalty to Beijing.
Slavery and torture for Chinese migrant workers in Sihanoukville.
Possible repercussions for Russia’s economy.
only best – very funny – novel on a Ukrainian theme I’ve ever read.
For the serious hardcore food-porn fans – how to debone a pig’s head,