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.)