From HKFP, the latest from the Stand News trial. With prosecutors obsessively questioning why the outlet’s editors covered particular subjects (why shouldn’t they?), it almost seems the aim is to criminalize opinions – and independent journalism itself.
Ted Hui gets the ‘Hello Hong Kong’, ‘please visit’ treatment.
Foreign Affairs on the aftermath of Beijing’s Covid U-turn…
…as the years wore on, the zero-COVID strategy, sustained at enormous social and economic cost, seemed to have more to do with tightening the government’s grip on society than with effective pandemic mitigation.
…Reuters has reported that Chinese provinces spent more than $50 billion on COVID containment measures in 2022; over the three years that zero-COVID was in effect, the government is estimated to have spent as much as 200 billion yuan—$29.2 billion on PCR testing alone, according to data compiled by Hua Chuang Securities and Goldman Sachs. These immensely costly and invasive programs came at the expense of more efficacious policies such as full vaccination programs for the elderly.
From an observer of CCTV, an interesting article on how Russian propaganda is driving Chinese state TV news coverage of Ukraine…
Volodymyr Zelensky almost never gets airtime … On most days, Kiev is denied even the pretense of sovereign respect, Although the state media is a notorious stickler for exactitude in nine-dash maps that shore up contested claims of sovereignty, its studio map of Ukraine is tellingly borderless. Ukraine is depicted as a land open to contest, up for grabs. The Donbas, Luhansk, Donetsk bleed imperceptibly into Russia.
…China’s coverage of its place in the world is right out of the technicolor wizardry of the Wizard of Oz. The promised land is blooming and pristine, full of vivid hues, flowers in blossom and a landscape undergoing magical transformation, while the US-led West is cinematic Kansas; a stark, gritty, storm-blown land of suffering rendered in black and gray.
From the Lowy Interpreter – the Philippines’ reset to the US as another failure of Chinese diplomacy.
On other matters: for amateur artists and/or Studio Ghibli fans – how to paint like Hayao Miyazaki.