The jailing of primary-election participants; the conviction of sheep-cartoon publishers; the arrest of erhu- and harmonica-players; the trial of a 90-year-old retired Catholic bishop. And now, another great moment in the thwarting of mortal threats to the security of the nation: a court sentences kids who were 15 or 16 at the time of arrest to juvenile detention for ‘conspiracy to incite subversion’…
Even though there was no evidence to show the defendants had succeeded in inciting others to act, [Judge] Kwok said it could have been a possibility if the group had met someone who shared the same ideology. People’s minds could be changed quickly, the judge said.
(Would someone who shared the same ideology need to be incited or have their minds changed?)
The defendants cited the French Revolution and Ukraine’s struggle for democratisation over the past decade to support their cause, the court heard.
Flyers handed out by the group also quoted the Chinese Communist Party’s Mao Zedong saying that “revolution is not a dinner party” and is instead “an act of violence by which one class overthrows another…”
To repeat: Hong Kong now hosts a massive NatSec establishment that must justify its existence by finding local plots to overthrow the government of the world’s nuclear-armed second-biggest economy. Either they move next onto subversive toddlers and triangle-players, or declare ‘mission accomplished’ and downsize.
CNN on how – more to the point, why – Hong Kong has been inching away from Beijing’s zero-Covid policy. Essentially, China’s policy makers see the collapsing property market, rising youth unemployment and other problems and feel desperate (though not desperate enough to extricate the Mainland from the zero-Covid mess)…
Chinese authorities “see a role for Hong Kong in helping to restore the mainland economy,” said John Burns, Emeritus Professor at HKU. “This would be another reason why the central government gave the green light to Hong Kong authorities to open the border – and I think that’s what happened. Hong Kong has no autonomy to decide things like this on its own.”
Seems about right. The only other explanation is that local officials and/or sympathetic Mainland ones are craftily disobeying commands from higher up. Still, the idea that Hong Kong will serve as an ‘experiment’ for the Mainland sounds more like an excuse than anything else.
BBC on the effects of zero-Covid on China’s people…
China has successfully minimised the impact of the virus – and if it re-opened tomorrow, the disease would spread like wildfire.
But, at the moment, it feels like the government is just kicking the can down the road. Remaining cut off from the outside world is coming at a cost.
There are no easy options, but China can’t go on like this forever.