Elizabeth Tang does ‘Hello Hong Kong’

The latest in the Stand News case – ex-editor Chung responds to prosecutor’s question on whether a piece by journalist Allan Au on imprisoned campaigner Liu Xiaobo was misleading and thus potentially seditious…

“You can say [Au’s] judgements are wrong, or go as far as saying that the universal values he has been upholding must give way to national security or other interests under Hong Kong’s new circumstances, but I think you cannot slander his intention as being to excite hatred, or people’s disaffection of the government,” Chung said.

NatSec cops arrest Lee Lee Cheuk-yan’s wife Elizabeth Tang Yin-ngor – outside the prison where she was visiting him.

HKFP report

Tang was the target of reports by Beijing-controlled local media outlet Ta Kung Pao in September 2021, when the newspaper accused her of receiving funding from foreign organisations as a board member of labour rights advocacy group Asia Monitor Resource Centre.

Thread on her background here

The alleged offence is “colluding with foreign forces to endanger national security”, a police source said. The offence carries up to life in jail under #NSL. So far the offence has only been used in the #JimmyLai and #AppleDaily case.

More on her background in the Standard report

Pro-Beijing newspaper Ta Kung Pao reported in September 2021 that Tang served as director of Asia Monitor Resource Centre, a group that has received HK$118 million funding from institutions in the United States, Germany and Norway to sponsor the labor movement in Asia.

…In response, the center said it was not a subsidiary unit of any of the organizations.

It said: “AMRC started its mission in 1968. We have been working for the labor rights of grassroots workers across Asia, particularly on occupational health and safety since then.

After the above, this is probably superfluous, but anyway – Bloomberg op-ed on Hong Kong’s not-fooling-anyone new normal…

The [Hello HK] marketing push — which celebrates colonial-era historic attractions such as the Peak Tram and features Cantopop stars who were popular before the 1997 return to Chinese sovereignty — resembles what you might expect if you had engaged China’s state broadcaster to make a promotional video about Hong Kong as it was before the Communist Party decided to erase the city’s autonomy. That place no longer exists.

In a similar vein, though in the format of a think tank paper, an Atlantic Council report on how or whether overseas businesses can reduce the risks of operating in NatSec/international sanctions-era Hong Kong… 

The National Security Law created a parallel system of authority operating both behind and above Hong Kong’s system of government established by the Basic Law and the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984. This new structure permits a broad interpretation of the definition of “national security,” leaving individuals and businesses with few options to challenge the law’s reach.

The (long but interesting) paper concludes with recommendations on mitigating risk – including that overseas companies improve collective lobbying efforts…

The business community should speak collectively, and approach outreach to Hong Kong authorities as a political campaign, rather than a more traditional government relations effort. One of the most significant elements of leverage foreign businesses hold over Hong Kong authorities and Beijing is the fact that Hong Kong must protect its own public image as a major global financial center.  

Nice idea – but that is not Beijing’s priority.

Some weekend reading…

A link to Singapore’s white paper on its Covid response (‘What we did well’, ‘What we could have done better’), plus comment from Dr Owens, who points out that some aspects of Hong Kong’s response were quite good – but officialdom would rather undermine that by insisting everything was scientific and perfect.

Which brings us rather neatly to China Media Project’s examination of how Mainland expert opinion on Covid was dragged by politics…

But as controls were suddenly eliminated in December, even as the government seemed to have neglected the most basic preparations, Zhong Nanshan changed his tune — and set off marching in the opposite direction.

…In a clear reversal of the government’s previous fear-mongering over the dangers of infection, he added that “Omicron infection is not scary, and 99 percent [of people] can fully recover within 7-10 days.” 

This dramatic about-face in the official messaging was for many Chinese a tacit admission of how ill-considered the policies applied over the previous year had been. It also sapped public confidence in the reliability of the knowledge and advice offered by experts

The Diplomat on China’s new-look wolf-warrior foreign policy

Deng’s mantra of “hide and bide” has long since been shelved in favor of Xi’s exhortation to “strive for achievements.” Now that has been upgraded to the still more urgent “dare to struggle” amid what Beijing sees as a mounting threat to its continued development.

Foreign Policy on the same subject – blaming everything on the US serves Beijing’s domestic political leadership…

What is striking is how both officials leaned on a recent theme in Chinese politics: Everything is the fault of the United States. Washington has become a convenient scapegoat for anything that doesn’t go Beijing’s way. Economy faltering? Xi claimed in his speech that Western countries, led by the United States, “implemented all-round containment, encirclement, and suppression against us.” Pushback in the South China Sea? Washington has stirred up trouble. Is the public revolting against the elite? The United States must be behind so-called color revolutions.

This mentality is dangerous, not only for international relations but also if China is to have any chance of solving its domestic issues. 

Also from Foreign Policy, what China’s Ukraine peace proposal is really about

…China’s dead-on-arrival missive has little to do with ending the war in Ukraine and everything to do with setting the conditions to win a future war over Taiwan. Put differently, China recognizes the causes of Russia’s failure in Ukraine are the same that threaten its eventual reunification plans.

Chatham House’s Wu Jie on China’s almost-impossible balancing act

If China senses that it is increasingly at odds with the entire West, not just with the Americans, it ought to avoid moving any closer to Russia. But wisdom may not prevail. The war in Ukraine continues to test China’s ability to navigate a briar patch of conflicting interests and rapidly changing sentiments. This may be one of its last good chances to gain global recognition and praise for helping to resolve a major international crisis. But Xi will need to be explicit about limits with his “no-limits” friend in the Kremlin.

George Magnus – Is China turning Japanese?

Part of the reason that Japan got into its economic mess and was slow to get out of it, in spite of corporate titans like Sony and Toyota was that it suffered from high levels of institutional rigidity centred around the close interlocking of the vested interests of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, the state, banks, and corporations—the latter grouped as the so-called ‘Keiretsu’ conglomerates. Again, this is very familiar in China, where the Chinese Communist Party state, the state-owned financial system and state-owned enterprises are similarly intertwined and feature significant conflicts of interest as they function as owners, participants, and regulators subject to laws, of course, but not the rule of law or independent scrutiny and adjudication

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4 Responses to Elizabeth Tang does ‘Hello Hong Kong’

  1. Chinese Netizen says:

    So are HKCCPSAR Gov’t officials technically “colluding with foreign forces” when they use English names? Have property overseas? Bank accounts? Children living overseas? Diplomas from overseas institutions? Go overseas for junkets? Watch Japanese porn?

    Asking for a NatSec P.I. acquaintance.

  2. Natasha Fatale says:

    “…Hong Kong must protect its own public image as a major global financial centre.”

    As long as the wholesale hard-currency money laundry remains open, Beijing wouldn’t care if Hong Kong fell off the face of the earth. In fact, they’d probably prefer it.

  3. Load Toad says:

    @Chinese Netizen,
    – The whole point of NSL is it is vague and can be interpreted how they want when they want; everyone is guilty of it when they want you to be guilty of it.

    Foucault probably said it much better than I ever could but I use better swear words and am briefer.

  4. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Load Toad: “…but I use better swear words and am briefer.”

    Much appreciated as always. Yes, so basically EVERYONE in HK not in the upper echelons of government is already GUILTY of something. It just takes time until your number is called and you have to prove yourself innocent. Noted.

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