Return of Anthem-gate

Another overseas sporting event, and another mix-up of audio files results in Glory to Hong Kong being played instead of the Chinese national anthem – this time in Dubai. The HK Police Organized Crime and Triad Bureau are investigating what is apparently the fourth mishap of this sort, and you can almost see why they might suspect some sort of plot out there in international-athletics-stadiums-land. Unless, maybe, tournaments have been playing the wrong tune for years, and no-one noticed until now? Since most of us never watch sports, we would never know.

From the Standard

Authorities should create a designated website introducing the correct Chinese national anthem for Hong Kong and request search engines to pin the page as the top result to avoid mix-ups, an IT expert has said.

On the subject of suspecting plots, we recall Security Secretary Chris Tang’s claim last week that Hong Kong blank-paper protesters sympathizing with the Urumqi fire victims were possibly leading to a ‘colour revolution’ and threatened national security. A Ming Pao columnist questions this and asks whether it also applies to the similar gatherings in the supposedly more patriotic Mainland. 

That could have been that. But the Security Bureau has to respond with a whiny ‘deep regret’ press release that doubles down on the alarmist paranoia. I’ve added emphasis…

The writer intentionally mixed up the recent activities in Hong Kong which were called for on the Internet in the name of commemorating the event in Urumqi but in reality [evidence?] were attempting to incite against the Central Authorities, with certain incidents happened in the Mainland. The commentary is misleading and downplays the signs of instability in Hong Kong. Members of the public may be easily led to let down their guard against being incited to participate in activities suspected of endangering national security. 

But maybe they won’t be easily led to etc etc… 

Standard editorial points out that Xi Jinping says the Mainland protests were due to students’ frustration, but helpfully adds…

Critics … may like to ridicule Tang for moving ahead of Beijing to give the incidents a political definition. Yet, the critics may also consider giving Tang some kind of credit for jumping the gun because he may have prevented a “color revolution” from budding.

Something to watch: is a ban on urging a vote boycott constitutional?

Chow Hang-tung, Albert Ho and Lee Cheuk-yan won’t get a jury trial. Did anyone expect them to? Meanwhile, in Taiwan

…lay people are to be randomly selected as citizen judges who would participate in trial proceedings and adjudicate cases alongside professional judges in certain felony cases.

A must read: a former Hong Kong barrister – now living abroad – has a lot to say about the presence of foreign judges in Hong Kong and offers reasons why Beijing is determined to deny Jimmy Lai an overseas lawyer? 

Moreover, a defence lawyer from outside the jurisdiction, unburdened by the need to maintain relationships with prosecutors and judges, will be free to put forward a vigorous defence. Perhaps most damaging of all, however, is the prospect that a lawyer from outside the jurisdiction might witness the extent to which Hong Kong’s legal system has been debased — and tell the truth about it.

Tam Yiu-chung’s latest position on Jimmy Lai’s trial, if you’re trying to keep up.

A round-up of articles on problems facing Beijing…

Adam Tooze on China’s impossible Covid quandary – probably the best thing you’ll read on the subject.

The FT on the same subject – more quotes, fewer stats, and uses phrase ‘control-freakery’…

Chen Wenqing, a former state security minister who now heads the party’s internal security apparatus, vowed to “resolutely crack down on the infiltration and sabotage activities of hostile forces as well as illegal and criminal activities that disturb social order – social stability must be ensured”.

George Magnus on how the broader economic situation could add to Covid as a cause of unrest in China.

The NYT on the longer-term response to the recent protests…

…the flash flood of defiance suggests that Mr. Xi’s next years in power could be more contested and turbulent than had seemed plausible even a month ago. His hold on the party elite seems unassailable; his hold over parts of society, especially the young, seems less sure.

…Mr. Xi’s advisers are likely to be figuring out how to redouble censorship and ideological indoctrination in universities … another ideological offensive to reassert the party’s hold over minds, especially among students and young workers.

“It will be a grinding, planned-out, constant response,” said Barmé…

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8 Responses to Return of Anthem-gate

  1. wmjp says:

    With regard to tomorrow’s mourn-fest, does anyone know just when the 3-minute silent honk will occur? It’s an important bit of information that’s so far being kept secret. I’d hate to be cught out in the open when it happens.

  2. Chinese Netizen says:

    Correction: Most of us don’t watch mostly irrelevant sports. That would be any competition in which it would even be necessary to play the CCP anthem (or Glory to Hong Kong) in the first place.

    Thanks for reminding me this scandal is still keeping certain segments of society up at night and gainfully employed. I had completely forgotten about it until now.

  3. Sam Clemens says:

    Hemlock-gate has a nice ring to it.

  4. Coops says:

    The Adam Tooze article is good but falls into the trap of taking China’s covid data at face value and then arguing from this that China has succeeded at protecting against covid where the West failed.

    The Economist estimated that many nations, not least China, have underplayed the covid death toll, which makes judging success or failure on headline numbers rather questionable. IIRC its estimate of the true China covid death toll is something like 1.7m.

  5. Low Profile says:

    @Chinese Netizen – the anthem is usually played to honour a medal winner, so presumably you only watch sports in which Hong Kong participants lose! But all this talk about the right or wrong Hong Kong national anthem is nonsense anyway – Hong Kong is not a nation, so it doesn’t have a national anthem. Perhaps (like Scotland and Wales in the UK when they compete against England) we should have a separate sporting anthem.

    Changing the subject, it must be very disappointing for Chris Tang that Hong Kong people are far too sensible to be incited to revolution. All that massive security apparatus, and nothing to deploy it against except the odd colonial flag waver or Facebook post “Like”r!

  6. Kwun Tong Bypass says:

    My kids were told that by order of the EDB tomorrow at 10 am there will be mandatory 3 minutes of silence observed at all schools ‘ celebrating’ the death of the founding member of the ‘Shanghai Gang’. Progress, at last!

    I suggest that to each and every country in the world a delegation should be sent from Hong Kong comprising at least 75 people from ‘all walks of the administration’ burdened with the dignity, pride, and natural security, of the nation, including 12 cops in full riot gear lead by Regina Ip to bring back any culprits who try to incite high blood pressure to the members of the Hong Kong government and the CCP by playing the song of the 2 Million people who demonstrated three (four times?) peacefully for a better representation of their interests by their government.
    And in the meantime, Dr. the Hon. Geoffrey Ma was on TVB’s Straight Talk talking about ….. Cricket! Glad, I tuned in….
    What’s next? Carrie Lam talking about making the perfect Yorkshire pudding?

  7. odaiwai says:

    WMJP: The official three minutes HONK! is scheduled for 10 AM on the 6th.

  8. Low Profile says:

    @Kwun Tong Bypass – if Carrie made it, it wouldn’t be perfect.

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