As i-Cable ceases operations, we get yet another reason not to watch TV any more. Under new licensing conditions, on-air TV and radio stations will have to broadcast at least 30 minutes of national education and identity a week.
…questions have been raised over whether the mandated content would prove effective in getting the intended messages across, with one media expert saying the government should address the reasons behind residents’ reticence towards the state, rather than churning out propaganda.
An official examination of ‘reasons behind residents’ reticence towards the state’ must be 100 times more unlikely as an independent inquiry into government handling of Covid.
On the subject of ‘churning out propaganda’, I don’t usually look at the wearisome My Take self-parody column in the SCMP, but took a peek today. Building up to hackneyed anti-Western tankie stuff, he asks…
Why did Hong Kong enjoy more democracy and freedoms for more than two decades under Chinese communist rule than it ever did under British colonialism?
…Beijing was perfectly willing to accept democracy in Hong Kong…
First, I didn’t notice any extra ‘democracy and freedom’ in Hong Kong in 1997-2019 compared with the pre-handover 1980s-90s. But the key fact here is that since the 1950s the PRC had specifically warned the UK not to introduce representative government in Hong Kong. The Brits were more than happy to democratize 50 or so other colonies in the 1940s-70s.
Second, the CCP was absolutely not ‘willing to accept democracy in Hong Kong’, assuming we define democracy in the normal sense of having free and fair competitive elections. Beijing made it overwhelmingly clear in 2014 that the city could elect its Chief Executive only if it decided who was on the ballot. Could a Leninist one-party system do otherwise?
Is it just me or does his reference to ‘more than two decades’ seem to implicitly admit that whatever democracy and freedom we had for a while post-1997 are now in any case over?