‘Telling good HK stories’ to become harder

Today’s must read: Atlantic on Beijing’s obsessive pursuit of Jimmy Lai, which involves crafting an extensive narrative to describe and explain the 2019 uprising as someone else’s fault…

The prosecutors paint him as the “mastermind” of a fundraising-and-lobbying effort that, in reality, was largely a crowdsourced undertaking by activists that began on a popular message board.

The court documents also almost exclusively blame Lai for pushing the U.S. government to pass legislation aimed at punishing Hong Kong for its loss of autonomy from the mainland, and later to sanction government officials both in the city and in Beijing. The Hong Kong authorities described Lai in court documents as representing “the highest level of the syndicate” – as though he were a triad boss.

Plus, of course, personal score-settling. The word is that Lai has told his former colleagues to – in effect – save themselves and give evidence against him; the CCP want him to die in prison, so how much more can they punish him? In theory, this might bolster the authorities’ line. In practice, it will probably confirm to many what Lai has long said about the CCP.

From the weekend…

Chinese U student paper Varsity examines why productive industrial operations have to make way for public housing…

‘…the government tends to avoid underutilised plots controlled by village gentries and land banks of property developers when it tries to resume lands for urban development.’

The Committee for the Protection of Journalists calls for the release of two reporters imprisoned after covering the 2019 protests.

From HKFP: an op-ed on Beijing’s ‘interpretation’, an update on the Stand News sedition trial, and a look at Hong Kong’s embarrassing Covid U-turns.

The Diplomat on Beijing’s Covid reversal

Had Xi planned all along to wait until after the Congress to ditch zero COVID? If so, one would have expected a more orderly process, with Xi in command and claiming victory, as he has done all along. What we see looks more like hasty policy decisions – possibly not made by the central government – coming in response to resistance. Meanwhile, Xi has remained on the sidelines, and it is not clear there is any overall program. This suggests that Xi is either laying low to avoid responsibility until the worst passes or is unable to make policy and has left his nation rudderless in a storm.

ProPublica interview with journalist Sam Cooper on ties between United Front and criminal groups in Canada.

Completely out-of-area and off-subject, for quiz fans: a grainy 1999 University Challenge special between two teams of journalists, one captained by then-columnist Boris Johnson.

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9 Responses to ‘Telling good HK stories’ to become harder

  1. Natasha Fatale says:

    Anne Stevenson-Yang posits there has been a “quiet internal revolt” against XJP rule. She is the new Gordon Chang.

    https://themarket.ch/english/i-think-there-has-been-some-kind-of-quiet-internal-revolt-against-xi-jinpings-personal-rule-ld.8148

  2. donkey says:

    “This suggests that Xi is either laying low to avoid responsibility until the worst passes or is unable to make policy and has left his nation rudderless in a storm.”

    I’m confused by this statement, because both options seem like they are the same thing. Any leader who ducks out of view when massive changes of policy and politik happen is surely not someone who is leading. That person would just be someone who seeks benefit or adulation, or to be tasked with seeming like they are the leader.
    If there was ever a case of emperor has no clothes…

  3. Kwun Tong Bypass says:

    The triad bosses accuse their opponent of being a triad boss!
    Straight from the book of the KGB: Always accuse your enemy to be what you are!

  4. Red Dragon says:

    Donkey

    And more to the point, it should be “lying low” not “laying low”.

    Unless, that is, Xi is laying a table or, indeed, an egg.

  5. @donkey says:

    “This suggests that Xi is either laying low to avoid responsibility until the worst passes or is unable to make policy and has left his nation rudderless in a storm.”
    and
    “I’m confused by this statement, because both options seem like they are the same thing…”

    Seem pretty different.

    First suggestion is at the wheel actively steering the cock-up-a-thon

    Second suggestion is at the wheel but making no decisions, a la rabbit in the headlights.

    Of course they missed the third option, the real one, that it is actually BOTH. But it is The Diplomat so allowances are needed

  6. justsayin says:

    Waiting til after the party congress to ditch Zero Covid on the mainland? I think it was having to censor the world cup broadcasts that got the ball rolling, pun intended

  7. Joe Blow says:

    Has the Alibaba Yawn dumped Alex Lo?

  8. Mark Bradley says:

    “ Has the Alibaba Yawn dumped Alex Lo?”

    Nope. New article published 2 hours ago by that Canadian blow hard

  9. Chinese Netizen says:

    The bit about Canada being too slow or reluctant to go after foreign black money in their political system (versus the Aussie model) was a good read.
    I love how everything is now tied to “AAPI Hate” as an instant go-to now to feign offense at an action deemed against Asians.
    Laughable that you have triads, their complicit “tycoons” and the CCP hinting at laws to prevent foreign influence in domestic politics as “AAPI hate” and racist.

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