Hong Kong, it says here, is ‘in the fast lane after a happy and thrilling start to 2023’. And ‘rabbits symbolize peace and prosperity’.
In the fast lane: a NatSec court tells 17 pro-democrats that they must wait until summer to be sentenced for ‘conspiracy to subversion’ – trying to win an election. By that time, they will have been in jail for two years.
Bloomberg opinion piece on China’s anger at Japan and Korea over travel restrictions, when it could have learned from them.
What Beijing seemingly can’t accept is that, particularly when it comes to Covid, it has done nothing to deserve trust. This is the regime that insisted the virus wasn’t transmitting between people, even as it hoarded supplies of swabs and masks; or to this day continues to hinder efforts to learn more about the pandemic’s origins.
…the visa suspension retaliation is a tit-for-tat reply from Beijing. Leaders are not only pinning hopes on moving quickly past the tsunami of infections but are also under pressure to pacify an angry population scrambling to find medicines.
After social media posts showed inflammatory videos of special lanes being coordinated by soldiers in uniform for Chinese travelers flying into South Korea, newly installed Foreign Minister Qin Gang had to react strongly to the unpleasant scenes.
Indeed, the tension boils down to a lack of public data that would help the outside world understand the massive outbreaks in the mainland.
…On one hand, other governments should handle arrivals from China with a scientific approach. On the other hand, China has to be scientific with its data and share the results with others.
If you can handle more analysis of Beijing’s Covid U-turn, Foreign Affairs on how the U-turn will impact governance in China…
Beijing often blames local government officials when things go wrong. Local authorities are often made the scapegoats for natural disasters, manmade accidents, and disease outbreaks. Leaders in Wuhan, for instance, were punished for “not reporting” the initial appearance of the virus in December 2019. This strategy has allowed the regime to evade responsibility for calamities that resulted in high casualties, such as the Wuhan outbreak, and to prevent any resulting erosion of its legitimacy. The COVID-19 crisis, however, may prove to be an exception.
And here’s the Spectator’s…
So it seems that, between the virus and lockdown fatigue, the CCP simply gave up. Infections were rising to an extent that were even pushing the limits of what an authoritarian regime with China’s resources could do.
Serious must-read thread on China’s true stance on Russia while it tries to improve relations with the EU/drive wedge between US and EU.