Leftover weekend links…

…while we wait to hear if the outdoor mask mandate will be scrapped tomorrow ‘at the earliest’ (whatever that means).

On the NatSec front: an ex-cop is tried for ‘sedition’ (posting comments about the death of a serving police officer); and prosecutors use the co-conspirators rule in the NatSec 47 case (trying to win an election)…

Legal disputes concerning the application of the co-conspirators’ rule should be dealt with at a later stage, High Court judge Alex Lee said. He predicted that there may be arguments on whether the rule could be applied on a conspiracy that predated the enactment of the security law in June 2020. The prosecution argued that an agreement had been formed by February 15, 2020, at least by former law professor Benny Tai and ex-legislator Au Nok-hin.

Potential arguments may also arise from whether the co-conspirators rule could be applied to defendants who were yet to become part of the conspiracy.

The recommended reading…

An interesting thread on why Beijing will hold China back on ChatGPT and other AI development.

Swiss Broadcasting Corp article on the relocation of Beijing correspondents to Taipei and the feasibility of reporting on China from the outside…

“Ten years ago [Neue Zürcher Zeitung] would certainly have gone to Beijing, five years ago Hong Kong would have been our first choice, but now we opted for Taipei,” says Patrick Zoll, former Asia Editor in Zurich who opened the newspaper’s bureau in Taipei a few months ago.

From the Conversation, a measured analysis of Beijing’s position paper on ending the war in Ukraine…

Whether, when, and how China will [use its leverage over Russia to push for meaningful negotiations] will depend on what role Beijing sees for itself in the future of European security. What the Chinese plan indicates are ambitions for a greater and more pivotal role – their vagueness at this stage perhaps reflecting China’s own uncertainties more than anything else.

The paper is also mentioned by Chinese researcher Hu Wei – disciplined for warning against Beijing’s alignment with Russia – in his thoughts on the first year of the Ukraine war…

At this time, the battlefield momentum and the moral advantages are both in the hands of Ukrainians. To call for negotiation under this circumstance holds no realistic foundation. The publication of this document will not bring about any real impact on the progress of the Russo-Ukraine War, but it will have a huge impact on how China is going to position itself in the international community. As the prospect of the war gets clearer, China is in a dilemma with not much room to maneuver politically. 

National Interest on Beijing’s contrived framing of Taiwan’s history…

The CCP’s amnesic narrative about Taiwan’s history traps it in a circular argument. The government cannot abide Taiwanese independence because this would cause a loss of domestic legitimacy. PRC citizens would consider the “loss” of Taiwan a profound failure by the leadership. But PRC citizens feel this way because the CCP leadership has taught China’s people for decades that the party must and will annex Taiwan. Xi has even said China cannot achieve “rejuvenation” without unifying with Taiwan.

…Beijing’s argument that the past is determinative is unpersuasive, even setting aside the issue of Beijing describing a fake past. This is the twenty-first century, not the nineteenth. The wishes of the people who inhabit a de facto state should matter more than another state’s indirect claim to ownership of the land.

Interview with a leftist Brit who would probably be a tankie – but he lived in Taiwan

…advocating for Taiwan has made me an outlier certainly because much of the Left is critical of empire and particularly the U.S. empire, and by extension often reduces Taiwan to a U.S. proxy containing China.

… I am under no illusions when it comes to Taiwan about which empire it most benefits from aligning itself with, and it’s not the PRC.

Off-topic but strangely fascinating (if increasingly dense) paper on cats in the Anthropocene – the role of domesticated felines in present-day ecology…

…the cat–human relationship has endured, developed, and diversified over thousands of years and is best understood as a dynamic, mutualistic symbiosis, rather than an incidental or residual commensalism.

In postindustrial societies … their hunting habits are increasingly perceived more as a nuisance than a service.

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4 Responses to Leftover weekend links…

  1. Mjrelje says:

    As always, conflicting stories if masks mandatory on public transport or not.

  2. Editor-at-Large says:

    Hong Kong’s mask mandate will be completely scrapped on Wednesday, Chief Executive John Lee has announced, bringing an end to the final anti-Covid measure that had been imposed on the city since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic three years ago.

    Punishment of public officials responsible for the waste-of-time mask idiocy will be removed from their posts within this month.

  3. HKJC Irregular says:

    Thankyou Macau

  4. Macau says:

    You’re welcome, Hong Kong

    Try to keep up next time.

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