Hibernation officially over

Reluctantly coming to terms with the fact that 2023 has begun.

Hong Kong is Asia’s Covid death-rate hub-zone. But first the good news:

Hong Kong, [unlike the Mainland], is still reporting covid deaths. Though Beijing has brought the city under its direct authoritarian control, Hong Kong’s official covid statistics are still widely regarded as transparent and accurate.

The bad news is that Hong Kong has six times the US – and double Botswana’s – Covid deaths per million.

In anticipation of upcoming high-profile court cases, Justice Minister Paul Lam seems to imply that overseas criticism of Hong Kong’s legal system constitutes a national security threat…

Lam warned of national security risks in the form of “escalating attacks” from the Western media and politicians.

“They have made repeated attempts to slander Hong Kong’s laws and judicial system and have even maliciously attacked court rulings,” he said, adding that the administration must strengthen its defense to “welcome” and prepare for such attacks.

“We must not think these malicious acts will peter out,” he said. “Instead, we must prepare for possible intensified attacks, especially when there will be a number of key national security cases this year.

“We must strengthen our defenses and retaliate, both internally and externally.”

Reading deeper between the lines, we have to wonder whether a bigger problem is a lack of genuine risks and dangers for the extensive NatSec bureaucracy to detect and fight. The main form of ‘retaliation’ here will be to mount more official overseas visits to tell ‘true and good’ stories about rule of law in Hong Kong. (Possible example: if you’re a cop accused of molestation and assault, you get bail; if you’re a speech therapist who produced sheep cartoons, you don’t. More cartoon panic here.)

You’d have thought the government would – out of enlightened self-interest – at least try to make accessing the tax department safe. But even at the new Inland Revenue Dept HQ, the Anti-Pedestrian Dept is at work: if you get run over crossing the road, it’s your fault for not driving there by car. 

Weekend reading…

From a couple of months ago, for fellow followers of ‘neo-Stalinist decivilization of elite politics’, something from the Royal United Services Institute.

And after archaeology, nationalism gets into Mainland sexology.

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8 Responses to Hibernation officially over

  1. donkey says:

    Is the bleating about national security risks an attempt to alter the extremely dangerous google search results for a certain anthem by overpowering them with something even more inane?

  2. Sam Clemens says:

    “…we have to wonder whether a bigger problem is a lack of genuine risks and dangers for the extensive NatSec bureaucracy to detect and fight. The main form of ‘retaliation’ here will be to mount more official overseas visits to tell ‘true and good’ stories about rule of law in Hong Kong.”

    Sorry, the main form of retaliation here will be arresting people for sedition, the definition of which is thinking, saying or doing anything the government doesn’t like.

    Just yesterday, a man was sentenced to eight months in prison for posting “seditious” messages on social media and another man was arrested for the same amorphous crime. Those are the public sanctions we learn about. The private frighteners go unreported.

    The thousands of NSL agents in Hong Kong must justify their existence to their bosses every day, so it is inevitable that they will have to dig deeper and compile ever more absurd lists of villains to bring to justice in Hong Kong.

    You have been warned.

  3. Prince Harry says:

    If I spotted 25 NatSec hardliners in a neat row, I would know how to handle them.

    (Well, know how to handle them in my mind)

  4. Mary Melville says:

    “Dy Chief Secretary Warner Cheuk said the government has a plan in place to tackle parallel trading when quarantine-free travel with the mainland resumes on Sunday.”
    Oh dear me, and we thought it was going to be chaotic………………………………………..

  5. Low Profile says:

    @Mary Melville – is that the same plan that didn’t work last time?

  6. Hamster wheel of fortune says:

    So hamsters are allowed back to Hong Kong only if they test negative, but mainlanders are allowed back to Hong Kong without any test.

    Which begs the question: what about mainland hamsters?

  7. @Hamster wheel of fortune says:

    Please. You need to ask?

    “Mainland hamsters” were genocided out of the mainland long before COVID was invented there.

  8. Hamster wheel of fortune says:

    Then cunningly replaced by Hansters?

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