From Al Jazeera, a general overview of how courts are operating in Hong Kong. HKFP explainer on the recently-lifted reporting restrictions in NatSec trials. Thread by Xinqi Su on the same subject.
These serve as a backdrop to some high-profile cases, notably the prosecution of politicians for subversion via primary elections. All have life sentences hanging over them. Many have spent nearly a year and a half in detention. Reporting restrictions have kept pre-trial procedures out of the public eye. There will be no jury (as with Jimmy Lai). The authorities have managed to turn some of the accused against the others. The 29 pleading guilty are following cold logic, assuming that a NatSec court will automatically accept that the primaries were a plot to undermine the government. Many of those pleading not guilty are among the minority who actually got bail. This is ugly.
A few weekend links…
From Matthew Brooker, a thread illustrating the importance of the ‘important speech’.
For economics wonks, Michael Pettis looks at China’s mortgage crisis.
Willy Wo-lap Lam on how the 20th Party Congress will consolidate Xi Jinping’s power…
Xi is not known as a brilliant or skilled policy-maker in either the economic or diplomatic arenas, but the supreme leader is a master of personal empire-building, particularly in enlarging the influence of the so-called Xi Jinping Faction in CCP politics.
From Politico, China’s ambassador to the US on how everything is the West’s fault, plus other ambitious/delusional claims.
Andrew Batson on China’s fixation about surpassing the US…
…some Chinese politicians have realized it does not actually display great self-confidence to obsess about your country’s standing relative to other countries
China Media Monitor investigates weird fake pro-China documentary films winning awards at fake film festivals. Two things going on here. First, various bodies feel a need to obey instructions to ‘tell China’s story’ overseas, so they produce junk propaganda as a performative, box-ticking display of obedience. Second, there are budgets for these projects – so someone’s making some money out of it. I’m inclined to say good for them!
A commenter writes:
I’ve never experienced or heard about a hospital bill totting up to 20% of a flat deposit. Even if the flat was purchased a couple of decades ago that’s still a couple of million.
It was 30 years ago, and apartments (small, old, out of the way) for under HK$1 million were a real thing. Sounds crazy, but true. (According to the title deeds, if I recall, the original price of that place around 1970 had been HK$35,000.)
Break an existing electoral law – no worries, no penalty.
“Break” a non-existant electoral law – naughty, naughty, life in prison.
You’d think that the Chief Enforcer would be not quite so stupid as to let himself off (OK, he wasn’t the mouthpiece, but…). Then, I guess it figures, he is a policeman.
Back in the 70s, flats were cheap enough in HK that they were frequently given away as raffle prizes (second prize was usually a car). Those were the days! – though the biggest thing I ever won in one of those lucky draws was a bottle of whisky.
John Lee broke the Electoral Law but his absolution of negligence application was granted yesterday in the High Court, at a price of HKD64,289 in costs, to which he had no objection.
In the judgment of 2,777 words, the word “inadvertence” appears 15 times. It is the basis for absolution of negligence by John Lee, but that type that is not the same as the other type of negligence.
“It was 30 years ago, and apartments (small, old, out of the way) for under HK$1 million were a real thing. Sounds crazy, but true. (According to the title deeds, if I recall, the original price of that place around 1970 had been HK$35,000.)”
Hell even in 2008 you could find some amazing deals. I bought a HOS scheme flat (land fee fully paid) for 1.28 million and yes the deposit was like a huge hospital bill so it all checks out.
From the article of democrats pleading guilty:
“Activist Tam Tak-chi said he “agreed with the plot,” while former district councillor Henry Wong said “this fact is really fact,” referring to a 139-page-long summary of facts read out by senior prosecutor Andy Lo, which detailed the roles allegedly played by different defendants.”
Are these activists saying this sarcastically??? This was a fucking primary not high treason. It only promised to follow constitutional procedures! This would be perfectly in western countries and it was lawful before nsl.
@Mark Bradley…..”It only promised to follow constitutional procedures! This would be perfectly in western countries and it was lawful before nsl.”
As I recall the whole exercise was carried out prior to the introduction of the NSL. Next they will be retroactively arresting me for not wearing a cycle helmet 20 years ago.
Hope your recovery continues 🙂
Following is only for curiosity, but does sound over egged to frame a 2022 surgery bill as a 1992 flat deposit.
USD/HKD peg kicked in the early 1980s (before Tiananmen 1984, nice timing) confirms, broad strokes, inflation over three decades has doubled-and-a-bit @ +111%. Meaning:
= = =
Purchase: HKD1,000,000 = USD129,000
Deposit: HKD200,000 = USD26,000
= = =
Purchase: HKD2,134,000 = USD272,000
Deposit: HKD440,000 = USD56,000
Leaving aside, as us Old Hands well know, property inflation over these three decades was way, WAY, higher. Deposit on even a modest Hong Kong jewel in 1992 prices = well, well, north of half-a-million in 2022 prices.
Uber-greedy as hospitals are they won’t run patients half-a-million for minor surgeries home in 48 hours.
(Advance “Bugger!” if these numbers are wrong!)
Mark Bradley – just calling it a “plot” instead of a plan is a prosecutorial trick to put a sinister complexion on something that wasn’t sinister. Plots are usually hatched in secret, but this plan was open, transparent, and (at the time) legal.
“As I recall the whole exercise was carried out prior to the introduction of the NSL. Next they will be retroactively arresting me for not wearing a cycle helmet 20 years ago.”
Was it? I recall the primary happening right after NSL was promulgated in July 2020. Authorities warned that primary might violate NSL and the public ignored the government warnings.