More boosts to Hong Kong’s image

Who would have thought it? Shutting down parks, playgrounds, gyms and beaches makes people fatter. On the NatSec front, police arrest martial arts trainers for ‘seditious intent’ (including possession of a photo of dead protester Chow Tsz-lok), and the trial of Stand News editors for ‘seditious publications’ is set for October.

Meanwhile, incoming Chief Executive John Lee makes another pledge to fight overseas ‘fear-mongering and badmouthing’ of Hong Kong. 

Which brings us to the last few days’ international media coverage of the city (some possibly paywalled)…

The latest journalist to leave Hong Kong is Atlantic’s Timothy McLaughlin, whose parting shot is a damning critique of the Hong Kong (ie Beijing) government’s revisionist version of what happened in 2019…

The narrative of the 2019 prodemocracy movement—in which millions defended their liberties and pushed for more freedom—now recounted by Beijing and its loyalists in Hong Kong is one of paid protesters, foreign agitators, and unpatriotic internal opposition.

…This is a false and deliberate strategy, one that pins all of the blame on a few “black hands” or “hostile forces” and carries a long historical precedent. Beijing deployed the same language at the time of the Tiananmen demonstrations, and more recently during 2008 protests in Tibet. The intent is to strip Hong Kongers of their own agency and assign blame to just a few select individuals, brushing aside the many legitimate grievances of city residents in favor of a more simplistic tale. 

…[Carrie] Lam’s bid to be Hong Kong’s chief executive started, she said, five years ago, with a call from God. It ends with a flourish of lies.

(The lying and gaslighting seem to feed Hong Kong officials’ frantic insistence on ‘explaining the truth’ to overseas audiences.)

An FT piece headlined ‘She was loved for standing up to China. She may die in jail’…

Just after dawn on January 6 2021, Claudia Mo’s housekeeper heard a sharp knock at the front door. The early hour, and Mo’s profile as a prominent opposition politician, made the housekeeper wary. She opened the door a crack, leaving the safety chain in place, and saw a troop of police outside. The housekeeper rushed to wake Mo, but the officers smashed through into the living room. “It was just thuggery, sheer thuggery,” said one person with knowledge of the raid. 

Mo, who was then 64 years old, was arrested and taken to Aberdeen police station on the south side of Hong Kong island … Similar scenes were playing out across the city as hundreds of police officers pulled a dragnet over Hong Kong and arrested more than 50 pro-democracy advocates — academics, activists and politicians.

A 25th handover anniversary offering from New Statesman

Yet only halfway through the agreed term, those promises have already been broken – and Hong Kong’s vibrant civil society has been crushed.

The National Post of Canada on the interview in which former Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin was asked about her continued role on Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal…

McLachlin’s last remaining justification for remaining in her post is her contention that the Hong Kong bar wants her to remain. It is unclear if she is aware that its leadership has already been purged of all dissidents, leaving behind only pro-Beijing loyalists. In March of 2022, the former head of the Hong Kong Bar Association fled the country after he was summoned to an interview by the national security police.

(What’s the deal with these retired Western judges? Do they get such tiny pensions that they need the Hong Kong money? Are they too ashamed to admit they might have made a mistake? Don’t they know what’s happened to the local courts?)

And the Guardian on Hong Kong’s rapid decline in human-rights rankings.

Some more varied reading for the weekend…

A longish explanation of China’s claim to own Taiwan…

In their pursuit of the “One China” policy and Anschluss with Taiwan, Chinese authorities have imposed an ideological and political prism through which Chinese researchers operate…

…including a theory that Taiwan’s aborigines are descended from Guizhou inhabitants displaced by Han settlers some 4,000 years ago.

(This last claim takes some anthropological/archaeological balls. It’s like the UK claiming a chunk of Norway on the grounds it was settled by pre-Celtic inhabitants of what is now Wales – who migrated to Scandinavia via what’s now Belgium and Poland – even though no such population movement ever occurred.)

On out-of-area matters, a post from a Russian ultra-nationalist who has, let’s say, ‘issues’.

If you have an hour and a half to spare – a documentary Broken Ties by Andrei Loshak on Russians arguing with family and friends about the war in Ukraine.

No offense to the faithful, but your regular reminder of the absurdity of crypto.

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26 Responses to More boosts to Hong Kong’s image

  1. Northern Menace says:

    “What’s the deal with these retired Western judges?”

    Christ complex.

  2. Knownot says:

    The loss of the Jumbo may be similar to the loss
    of another notable vessel associated with HK –
    the Queen Elizabeth, renamed Seawise University.
    More information in many places online.

    January 1972
    Fine, fine, fine lay the liner
    Under fragrant harbour skies.
    Proud, proud, proud Queen Elizabeth,
    Newly purchased, now Seawise.

    Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh went the wildfire,
    Flames high-leaping, sending thick smoke out.
    Funny how in two separate places
    People say the fire broke out.

    June 2022
    Chug, chug, chug went the tugboat,
    Churning up the China sea.
    Sad, sad, sad, came the Jumbo,
    Faded in her finery.

    Plop, plop, plop went the water
    As the poor old girl capsized.
    Pish, pish, pish say the cynics,
    I wonder why we’re not surprised.

  3. Chinese Netizen says:

    “Christ complex”

    Seems to be in surplus abundance with arrogant, disengaged twats that think an almighty being is actually listening to and advising them on decisions.

  4. so says:

    A formerly foremost, leading politico arrives at The Pearly Gates, whereupon St. Peter asks “And who are you?”. “Don’t you know who I am?” condescends the fflp. St. Peter responds “A liar! So go to a warmer clime!”. To which fflp squawks “Cock-a-doodle-doo!! Cock-a-doodle-doo!! Cock-a-doodle-doo!!” St. Peter blushes and mutters, “Alright, alright, you’ve made your point. Come on in and say no more about it.”

  5. Mjrelje says:

    What on earth is he going to do at APEC? Talk about the benefits of a Police State and vindictive persecutions? I watched Carrie make a complete idiot of herself at the last physical APEC event, she had absolutely no idea what to say or who to talk to whilst everyone ignored her. What does Droopey know about Economic Cooperation apart from arresting its development?

  6. justsayin says:

    So Droopey is the name we are going with? Am I too late with ‘Yawn’ Lee?

    He certainly does know about arresting things.

  7. Henry says:

    A documentary about Bitcoin – can’t remember which – said Bitcoin is the equivalent of sitting in a car with its engine idling, solving sudoku puzzles which you can then exchange for drugs on the dark web.

  8. Jackme Hoff says:

    We need a new model of governance. Everywhere.

    The old country is falling apart with BoJo the clown and his band of pig shagging Tory toffs. The pound is starting to look more like the ounce at this rate and the railways are all gummed up again like it’s the 1970s.

    The cousins across the pond are shooting each other’s school kid’s in record numbers all while neo Nazis in the Republikan party are trying to re-enact Kristallnacht again.

  9. Chef Wonton says:

    @Jackme Hoff

    To be frank, Jack, that’s pretty deceitful from you.

    You claim: “…America is shooting each other’s school kid’s in record numbers all while neo Nazis in the Republikan party are trying to re-enact Kristallnacht again.”

    Reality land calling why not you take a landing spot? There is not even a couple of hundred school shooting fatalities in the last decade Stateside, while there has been several THOUSANDS of urban murder depravity, nearly all of which is black-on-black barbarity.

    So how come you focus on a problem that is one tenth of the real problem?

  10. Chinese Netizen says:

    “The pound is starting to look more like the ounce at this rate and the railways are all gummed up again like it’s the 1970s.”

    Isn’t that what CONservatives usually conjure up to remind people how good, pure and lawful the “good old days” were? Contrived nostalgia for something that really wasn’t all that great if you had to live through it the first time?

    Like in the States where they try to get the tRump “base” teary eyed about when minorities (soon the majority) were “in their place”, answered with “Yassah”, used the specified water fountains and had almost no access to guns.

  11. Mark Bradley says:

    “ A documentary about Bitcoin – can’t remember which – said Bitcoin is the equivalent of sitting in a car with its engine idling, solving sudoku puzzles which you can then exchange for drugs on the dark web.”

    Sounds about right. It’s a glorified numbered bank account that is civil forfeiture proof (memorise your private key) with a massive carbon footprint.

  12. Jackme Hoff says:


    Can’t tell if you’re being serious or not mate. You do realize that school shootings of the frequency and magnitude as that which happens in the US is almost entirely a US only phenomenon right? No other major industrialized country even comes close on a per capita basis.

    I’m not giving urban crime a pass either, I’m just pointing out particularly tragic and deviant crime that shouldn’t happen in a healthy functioning society.

    Ditto for attemped armed coups against a duly elected government

  13. A. A. Milne says:

    Droopy is a good one.

    Also after seeing that shot in the scmp… Pooh Bear and Eeyore?


  14. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Wonton: “Black on black barbarity”! The perfect trope and well said, my neo Confederate sympathizer! IF “Black on black barbarity” (in inner cities, of course) is the biggest source of consternation for the “law & order” and “Guns for all from (forced) birth” types, then why is it mainly the rural/suburban, non inner city, over represented WHITE lads that make $25~$35k/year but have gun (and assorted accessories) collections in the HUNDREDS under the guise of “self defense”??? I want to know what all the little Kyle Rittenhouses are so fucking afraid of???

  15. Low Profile says:

    @Chef Wonton – I’m not sure why you think hundreds of dead schoolkids and thousands more traumatised is not a “real” problem – or do you only count murder as “depravity” and “barbarity” when it is committed by black people against other blacks?

  16. Frances Gumm says:

    If Hong Kong had an armed populace, the CCP would have never taken over.

    So there’s that.

  17. dimuendo says:


    You are clearly delusional.

    The synchronised hand wavers of 1st July 1997 could have “taken over” Hong Kong any time they wanted. Ignoring everything else, they still have not.

  18. reductio says:


    Er …I don’t think an armed populace would have lasted too long against think the 3rd armoured shock division or whoever they had stationed just over the border in Shenzen. Alternatively, the CCP could’ve just turned off the water. I think you’ve been watching too much “Red Dawn”.

  19. Chef Wonton says:

    @ Jackme Hoff
    @ Chinese Netizen
    @ Low Profile

    Missing the point made like a whoosh over your heads. All of y’all.

    Taking this chance to mark what a poor show for Hemlock’s commentariat; it continues its southerly trend.

    In the halcyon days it was a safe bet Hemlock was the place for a choice mix of over-promoted Plod and under-promoted gweilos and and narcissist academics, among whom some went to proper universities and all had time to speak for and about Hong Kong people and Hong Kong causes. Now? Hemlock’s commentariat is almost entirely down to uppity woke retreads that never held, nor never will, any big office and arrived via third rate “polytechnics” (renamed as “universities”, okay if you must),

  20. Pope Innocent says:

    @ dimuendo
    You clearly have no understanding of what is involved in taking and holding a large city as opposed to sacking one. Perhaps you could read up on the many examples of failures across the world throughout history before making such outlandish claims.

  21. Mark Bradley says:

    Gonna have to agree with the pope on this one. Urban warfare is brutal for invading armies that wish to occupy and then have to deal with a hostile and armed population.

    But yeah USA is a sick society with a mental health crisis. Switzerland has liberal gun ownership too for defence plus sport and it doesn’t have school shootings nor the over the top gun culture

  22. Low Profile says:

    @Chef Wonton – as one of those you singled out for attack (presumably because we called you out on your original post), I could refute your unfounded – indeed deliberately insulting – assumptions about my IQ, education and attitudes, but when one party in a discussion resorts to ad hominem arguments and trumpeting his own supposedly superior intellect in lieu of serious debate, it is seldom profitable to continue the exchange.

  23. Chinese Netizen says:

    “Now? Hemlock’s commentariat is almost entirely down to uppity woke retreads that never held, nor never will, any big office and arrived via third rate “polytechnics” (renamed as “universities”, okay if you must),”

    Ending with a comma? Speak for yourself. Twat.

  24. Din Dan Che says:

    @Low Profile – Phew! I’ve just come up for air!
    That was a 68-word sentence, including the “@Chef Wonton”. You could’ve used just two.

  25. Ho Ma Fan says:

    @Chef Wonton/Reactor #4 stand-in – Just seen your insightful additions, and although somewhat after the fact, feel the urge to pipe up.
    Yes you do have a point regarding former polytechnics and other institutes of higher education (Wallisdown Polytechnic was not called Wally Poly for no reason), but I would argue that the “quality” of a degree award is as much proof of means as it is of ability. With the exception of the odd Rhodes scholar Oxbridge, for example, is dominated by the offspring of affluent parents for a reason. Which preparatory schools did they attend? Comprehensives are underrepresented. This pattern can also be found closer to home, right here in Hong Kong.
    I know that these words will not fall on fertile ground, but I am certain that there is a great deal of care and affection for the people of this place on evidence in this comments section, on a daily basis. These comments are a collective way of coping with the trauma.

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