Few, if any, updates here for a while..

…I will be out of Hong Kong for the next couple of weeks, for a long overdue Hemlock family reunion. 

No such fun for Hong Kong children. The SCMP reports that primary and secondary school students will be expected to learn 62 questions and answers about NatSec and Chinese history over the summer vacation…

“The questions are quite difficult and it is impossible for kids in the lower grades to understand, let alone answer them,” Yaumati Catholic Primary School (Hoi Wang Road) Principal Polly Chan Shuk-yee said.

…One question asks students to name the Chinese leader who said during a meeting with a United States congressional delegation in 1978 that “China could not bear the imperative to not use force to solve the Taiwan problem, otherwise it would practically cut off a method to resolve the Taiwan problem, including a peaceful resolution”.

…Another question asks students to identify the duties of the Hong Kong government’s Committee for Safeguarding National Security, with more than one correct answer from a choice of four.

Other questions are about the contents of a mainland policy paper on resolving housing difficulties faced by poor urban families in 2007, the dates of Unesco World Heritage site listings of various attractions in mainland China and Macau, and matching political quotes with speakers.

Did police have legal grounds to detain people in Causeway Bay on June 4? 

Even if a police officer had good reason to believe there was a good chance of a breach of the peace occurring, it would not be “legitimate policing” for officers to require a person to submit to a spell of detention at a police station as an alternative to being arrested for the anticipated breach of the peace, according to Dykes.

“That is policing by coercion because the price paid for not being arrested is submission to a few hours of involuntary detention,” the senior counsel said.

Also from HKFP, the curious multiple inspections of a small yellow business in Sai Kung, and the interception of a car with the ‘wrong’ numbers on the (regular, not personalized) plate.

Al Jazeera looks at the government’s inability/refusal to say what is or isn’t lawful…

The Hong Kong government’s caginess about the legal status of the June 4 commemorations reflects an overall atmosphere of legal uncertainty that has descended on the territory under the NSL, which established the vaguely-defined offences of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.

Eric Lai, a non-resident fellow at Georgetown Center for Asian Law, said Hong Kong officials’ refusal to provide clarity about the law was by design.

Asia Nikkei on the broader repercussions of legal vagueness…

A lawyer working with Japanese manufacturing companies establishing joint ventures in China said his clients have started to exclude Hong Kong as a seat of arbitration in contract negotiations, citing possible bias.

“After 2020, when the national security law was enacted, many Japanese companies think that Hong Kong may not be a neutral place to arbitrate, so they go to Singapore,” he said.

Another lawyer with clients in the financial services industry said he has seen Western companies dismiss the Chinese city as an option in negotiations.

“The perception is that Hong Kong’s judiciary is now part of China, so Hong Kong is often rejected by foreign companies when writing up arbitration contracts,” the lawyer said.

Back at HKFP – how the HK government has shifted its narrative on the 2019 protests, from this…

June 16, 2019: Hundreds of thousands of people – organisers estimated a turnout of almost two million – staged another protest. Lam in an evening statement apologised to Hongkongers. “The Chief Executive admitted that the deficiencies in the government’s work had led to substantial controversies and disputes in society, causing disappointment and grief among the people.”

…to this…

May 2, 2023: Chief Executive John Lee told a reporter that the pro-democracy demonstrations and unrest of 2019 should be referred to as the “black violence,” not “protests.” He was responding to a question about how post-protest Hong Kong is set to see local elections with a proportion of democratically-elected seats lower than in colonial times.

“First of all, it is not the 2019 protests. It is the black violence. It is the attempt to make Hong Kong independent and [an] attempt to cause disaster to Hong Kong society as a whole that we need to prevent,” Lee said. “I think that has been made very clear. We lived through that, and don’t forget it. We have to bear that in mind so as to ensure that in the long run, the system will protect us from all this chaotic and harmful situation to arise again,” he said.

Western tech companies are cutting Hong Kong off from apps and content to avoid possible legal problems…

Alphabet -owned Google, San Francisco-based OpenAI and Microsoft have limited access to their artificial-intelligence chatbots in recent months in the global finance and business hub. In OpenAI’s case, the restriction puts Hong Kong and mainland China alongside North Korea, Syria and Iran.

While none of the companies have given reasons, observers say they could be exposed to risk if the chatbots spew out content that violates a national-security law imposed by China nearly three years ago. The law criminalizes many types of criticism of the government and Beijing. 

Meanwhile in the Mainland

The new Cultural Management Law Enforcement Force is responsible for cracking down on violations or frowned-upon, “uncivilized” behavior in the areas of culture, tourism, publishing, broadcasting, television and film.

Hong Kong’s News Museum goes anti-media – ‘Imagine an art museum which spends 40% of its floorspace shit-talking art’.

A Chinese academic notes a decline in the number of overseas citizens from developed countries in China, and sort-of calls for less stress on NatSec.

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30 Responses to Few, if any, updates here for a while..

  1. Nury Vibbrachi says:

    There is no legal vagueness when you don’t have laws.

    Policemen don’t need probable cause when you appoint the hanging judges.

    The barristers hanging on in Hong Kong are merely arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. They should all push off. They’re just legitimising this pantomime of lawfulness.

    There are no laws under a Communist regime. There are only regulations. And the regulations can be changed or “reinterpreted” any time
    The ideology imposed by the Chinese Communist Party was hostile to law, proclaiming, on the authority of Karl Marx, that the state and all its institutions (including legal ones) would “wither away” after the communist revolution.

    Geddit????!!!!! Oh yes.

    It was Winston Smith’s problem and is about to become ours, yours and not simply theirs.

    “This was not illegal (nothing was illegal, since there were no longer any laws), but if detected it was reasonably certain that it would be punished by death, or at least by twenty-five years in a forced-labour camp. ”

    Mine’s a bottle of Sauvignon and a six-hands massage.


  2. Chinese Netizen says:

    When the well known, undemocratic “benevolent dictatorship” is the more palatable option for a company’s future well being, employee safety and legal minutiae options.

  3. Stanley Lieber says:

    Only fools talk about whether something is legal or illegal in Hong Kong. To do so is a joke and a complete waste of time.

  4. Red Dragon says:

    Chinese Netizen

    I have read your comment, but it makes no sense to me.

    Would you care to have another go?

  5. Low Profile says:

    @Red Dragon, I think he’s commenting on the irony of a small and not particularly democratic island nation south of the Malayan Peninsula outperforming another small region to the south of Guangdong in certain respects.

  6. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Low Profile: Domo.

  7. Formerly Known As... says:

    Was wondering where she had gone. Christine Loh goes full quisling.


  8. Formerly Known As... says:

    And another top-rank quisling, Pinky! Watch this is you can handle a cringegasm, not just for what the guest says but also for the very polished and professional host /sarc.

    (Sorry for the two posts, but I don’t think I can post more then one link per post)


    A shame to add to the views number, but quislings need to be exposed as much as possible.

  9. Formerly Known As... says:

    Was wondering where Christine had gone. She’s continued her journey to full-on quisling.


  10. Red Dragon says:

    Low Profile

    Oh, ok. I’ve read it again and the penny has kind of dropped.

    Pardon my dimness, and thanks very much.

  11. Clucks Defiance says:

    Re Porsche number plate:

    According to https://mybirthday.ninja/?m=June&d=4&y=1989&go=Go, which quotes data published by the United Nations Population Division, the estimated number of babies born on 4th June 1989 is 380,738. China probably knows where they all are and has issued instructions to disallow visa applications at this time of year for this elite group lest anyone should accidentally cop a look at their passports as they pass through immigration and cause grief and hurt to the entire Chinese nation, incite unrest, or cause arguments…

    Go figure.

  12. Joe Blow says:

    Christine’s rubbish piece could easily have been written by Vagina Ip herself (those two have many things in common: being past their prime is only one of them).

    If Hong Kong is living on the fault line, then I don’t mind at all if Christine falls into the crevice when the fault line opens up, never to be heard from again.

  13. Clucks Defiance says:

    @Formerly Known As…Thanks for the link. Pinkstone looks like a dirty old man. He needs to do up at least one button on his shirt to wear his cravat properly. Did no-one notice? Distracted so much from the interview that I nearly noticed a word he said…

    If you want to be taken seriously, at least look the part. His dishevelled look is a disgrace to old colonials everywhere.

  14. Clucks Defiance says:


    Correction –

    “Distracted so much from the interview that I barely noticed a word he said…”

  15. HKJC Regular says:

    Regards the shift in narrative… you hear it from weasles like Al Zemen and the occasional off-duty police officer gobbing off over a BBQ at how C Lam was a bitch and the previous administration dreadful.

    To counter-argue or point out any irony would get you reported to the Nazi-cell

  16. Christine Low former fan says:

    Thanks “Formerly Known As… ” for the links

    From the bio to Christine, how sad to see, she’s now peddling her wares in California academia, oh my goodness. (“She is also a visiting professor at the Anderson School of Management at UCLA”.)

    And, double sad, Christine has lost her full circle Pu Yi 1930s spectacles look. She’s now sporting Jiang Ze-min 1950s homage.

    Next stop Christine must be looking for a gig in Zhongnanhai

  17. steve says:

    Hemlock readers who clicked through to Ms. Lo’s aggressively dull verbiage probably tripled this extremely marginal publication’s readership. Her support for HK’s Vichy government is echoed by other authors pouring their words down the rathole. Good purgatory for her to reside in.

  18. Mary Melville says:

    CL’s article is an excellent example of ChatGPT generated text.
    It has no coherence, is nothing more than a box ticking list of cause and consequence designed to lull the reader into accepting our slide into autocracy on the supposition that the rest of the world is heading in the same direction.
    As for Pinky, Dirty Old Man was the reaction, that sweaty rumpled shirt, glimpse of ageing chest hairs, ugh …………
    Azam Khan appears to be quite clued up, wasted on line up of apologists.

  19. O Mary dear says:

    You say of Christine Loh’s bilge woke article: “… is an excellent example of ChatGPT generated text. It has no coherence, is nothing more than a box ticking list…”

    Yet, you did not notice/ or reference Chinese Netizen on this very chat group already pulled the exact same stunt. (“When the well known, undemocratic “benevolent dictatorship” is the more palatable option… blah blah, bullshit, then more bullshit)

    Double yet, neither Red Dragon or Low Profile twigged the obvious in their comments. Chuckle chuckle for those that realised.

  20. ITMA Nury Vibbrachi says:

    Please don’t make fun of all these trans commies.

    Some have made the journey and have had their personalities and integrity removed.

    Others keep a little bit of dick – sorry, character – to remind them of the good old days.

    Don’t be so transphobic. Lib and let lib.


  21. Mark Bradley says:


    Your chatGPT comments could also very easily apply to SCMP editorials

  22. FeiLo says:

    @ITMA Nury Vibbrachi:

    your assumed last name is absolutely hilarious, and everytime i see it cannot help but laugh my a** off, especially remembering the poor soul to which is associated. Your ITMA name also recalls a just ended very important fair in Italy for textile machinery, which I was told was very successful due in great part to the presence of buyers and expositors from a certain country. Perhaps you’re a professional in that field, as I am, and I have a very clear idea how the field is at the moment, would like to know if it corresponds to yours

  23. Nury Vibbrachi says:


    ITMA means It’s That Man Again

    Jimmy Handley

    But I’m not THAT old.

    For the real Vibbrachi which you may have missed:


  24. Nury Vibbrachi says:


    TOMMY Handley

  25. @FeiLo says:

    FeiLo – Please!

    Do you and Nury-homage need to just get a room?

    The rest of the intelligentsia long moved on from Nury a couple of years before the handover. Catch-up please. Vitacchi is a pointless sub-continental sort that nobody needs in polite company.

  26. Seamus O'Herlihy says:

    For the avoidance of doubt, I love the Central Authorities and the HKSAR Government, and I oppose Hong Kong independence and the use of violence.

    May I have my Bauhinia medal and government contract now?

  27. Ronan Oh Really !! says:

    Like Vagina Ip and Mike Rowse, Christine Loh discovered patriotism late in life (behind the couch). In her case, and theirs, a tad too late.

  28. Nury Vittachi says:

    You guys just need to respect me more, please. I WAS funny before the handover. Really funny, okay? This was South China Morning Post BEFORE Murdoch bought.

    Seriously! All those white guys before the handover paid me proper wages to titter at Chinese people mis-spelling menus and generally being very inferior. I had a brand, okay, a REAL VITTACHI BRAND.

  29. Mary Melville says:

    Re Tim’s piece on the $2 fare
    There is nothing strange about having multiple Octopus cards, I keep a separate one to track Paul Chan’s largess and others to ensure that there is always one at hand if you run low on stored value or change bags. For others it would serve when helpers pick up shopping, pay bills on one’s behalf, etc.
    Also as the buses and MTR prior to the introduction of the $2 arrangement traditionally offered special fares for elderly and youngsters then surely the government pays only the difference between $2 and that fare but not the full fare. If this is not the case then someone in government has made a big boo boo.
    All this hoo haw about the $2 fare is to divert attention from where our tax dollars are really being squandered, like White Elephant developments, all the unaccountable sums devoted to NS, the cash spent slathering the city in non degradable promotional materials, etc etc. And let us not forget the alarming number of district councilors and
    Legco members who despite being rejected by the community at the polling stations are now enjoying $100,000++ salaries and perks in the over stuffed Legco, while some have even been drafted into the administration for multiple times this sum. And we have to fork out over a billion for the remake of the Leggers building to accommodate them.
    I could go on……………. and on ……………………
    Of course the $2 scheme is being abused, but then so is about every other scheme introduced by the government. Its called THE LION ROCK SPIRIT.

  30. A Poor Man says:

    Spot on as always Mary!

    I am surprised that Po Po Lee has not declared that abusing the $2 might be a threat to national security.

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