The ‘personality principle’

Kevin Yam – one of the overseas wanted eight – quoted by Reuters…

“I’m an Australian citizen and I am living in my own country now. I feel a moral duty to speak up.”

Yam, who testified remotely to a U.S. congressional panel in May about pressure on Hong Kong’s legal system, said he has met with “a lot of Australian MPs”, including the foreign minister, to raise awareness about Hong Kong.

“I’m an Australian – what’s colluding with foreign forces when I am exercising my democratic rights to meet my representatives? How does that work?” he said.

So is he ‘colluding with his own country’s forces’? Several UK, US and other foreign citizens are active in supporting pan-dem exiles like the eight – lobbying their governments, etc. Yet they are white, and have not been targeted by the extraterritorial NatSec system. 

The government addresses this issue – the personality principle’ – here (it suggests it depends on whether you are a permanent resident). More official ‘strongly opposes’ here

“Extraterritoriality in national security laws fully aligns with the international legal principle of ‘protective jurisdiction’ and international practice. Wanton criticisms and smears concerning extraterritoriality of the Hong Kong National Security Law and the Police’s operations are clearly typical manipulations tainted with double standards, fully exposing their hypocrisy and arrogance,” the spokesman stressed.

For some badly needed light relief, the HK Golf Club applies to have the Fanling course listed as a UNESCO Intergalactic Eternal Heritage Treasure. The more these people complain, the more I want to see all the ancient trees and endangered owls buried under 100 feet of radioactive rubble…

Club captain Andy Kwok said in a press release on Wednesday that the Fanling course would “enhance people’s appreciation of this unique dimension of Hong Kong’s sporting and cultural history.”

Kwok added that submissions for the 2023 UNESCO Asia Pacific Cultural Heritage Conservation Awards would be evaluated on cultural value, contribution to sustainable development, and contribution to the long-term development of social and cultural heritage.

The results of a club-commissioned cultural landscape research and assessment of the course showed it had “outstanding value ratings in terms of history, course design, nature conservation, sustainability, and quality of architecture,” Kwok said.

By ‘quality of architecture’ we presumably mean a marked lack of affordable housing. There is in fact a lot of space for housing elsewhere in Hong Kong – if the government chose to allow it to be used. And the parkland around Fanling’s greens and clubhouse-type facilities is actually quite pleasant, and would make a nice public space (minus some fareways and holes). 

If the wealthy and apparently influential golfers had appeared to give a damn about the other 99.99% of their fellow residents over the decades, they might possibly attract some sympathy. But the golf course now looks set to be seriously downsized – a fate that has a NatSec-era feel about it. As it is, this gets filed under ‘Who Cares?/Big Shrug’. (Cue today’s guest star.)

Some weekend reading/viewing…

An HKU Law Faculty research paper (click for pdf) on the transition of Hong Kong from ‘a form of legal pluralism found in the European Union to a monist but bifurcated system—to a “dual state’. From the abstract…

This article provides the first-ever comprehensive analysis of how the relationship between the Chinese and Hong Kong legal orders has morphed in nature since China’s resumption of sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997.

Sample from pages 21-22:

…institutional changes are matched by changes in rhetoric, which constitute attempts to change ideology. In recent years, the Chinese and Hong Kong governments sought to purge deployment of the concept of “separation of powers” (which had hitherto been used by the Hong Kong government and courts), claiming that this “Western concept” has never been applicable to Hong Kong, which practises an executive-led system under Chinese sovereignty. Beijing has also intimated that individual rights are subject to the nation’s “sovereignty, security and development interests,” and the primacy of stability and economic prosperity.

…By nature, a prerogative state can act at will, which provides the opportunity for arbitrary action. The same set of facts can be treated differently depending on whether the sovereign chooses to intervene. Inequality therefore lies at the heart of the dual state. The dual state in the China-Hong Kong context features subjugation of those who Beijing deems “unpatriotic,” a term whose boundaries are not entirely clear. The unpatriotic has been reviled as enemies of the state who must be reined in.That reining in takes the form of, inter alia, dishonor, deprivation and the use of the criminal law. A social hierarchy is emerging whereby the unpatriotic are subordinated to the patriotic.

Does the patriotic administration at HKU know they have published this?

You can now report library books that threaten national security.

A (probably paywalled) WSJ feature: ‘Taiwan’s impossible choice: be Ukraine or Hong Kong’.

From China Media Project, a special app for Mainland trainee journalists that monitors their progress in understanding the Marxist View of Journalism. And an explanation of what that is.

For fans of design – a poster advertising this year’s Kyiv Book Fair.

An interesting little abstract from a paper on ‘climate as a determinant of religious belief’.

Probably not supposed to be there, but someone has put Soap on YouTube.

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9 Responses to The ‘personality principle’

  1. Nury Vibbrachi says:

    I am rushing around advising my writer friends to report themselves to the library authorities as nothing boosts sales like being banned.

    This will of course place my namesake in a bit of a bind. He will do anything to sell books – a useless obscure Scottish publisher, useless puerile characters etc etc so he will be severely attracted by the prospect of being on the banned list.

    But wait, he is now an apologist for the Chinese government, curious when you think
    that they detest small Malteser-like Indian heads.

    There will be much petulance in the Vittachi household this weekend.

    As for pursuing dissidents to the ends of the earth, you must understand that Hong Kong people are essentially victims of over-adaptation. From an early age John Lee and all the rest have learnt to be little goody two shoes and please authority figures. Look at Johnny’s room, how clean. Look at his asshole, he wipes himself so well. Look at his school report! All AA plus plus plus with a star. Good boy. GOOOOODDDD BOY!

    Look at Hong Kong people and think of a Golden Retriever happily jumping out of an airplane hugged by its owner and parachuting to earth. When they get an idea in their heads to please Master, Hong Kongers, just like Golden Retrievers. go apeshit in unthinking devotion!

    Hence the obsessive desire to get more intense, more cruel, more ridiculous.

    GOOOOOOOOOODDDDD JOHN!!! Let’s all scratch behind his ear and rub his belly. He’s such a GOOD BOY!!!

    Have a good weekend. If possible.


  2. Chinese Netizen says:

    I, for one, refuse to criticize or smear wontons!

    They’re sooo yummy!

  3. Paul Lewis says:

    I feel there are problematic passages in both the Bible and Koran.
    Where do believers loyalties lie?
    I think these books should be reported under the National Security Law and a decision made.

  4. Mark Bradley says:

    Sweet Hemlock featured the HKU paper I discovered!

    “ Does the patriotic administration at HKU know they have published this?”

    No. Which is why I saved the PDF to my PC. There is way too much real talk and not enough fawning of the whole process democracy

  5. HillnotPeak says:

    Remember the time we complained about Donald Tsang? The memories…..

  6. wmjp says:

    8 Hong Kong wanted activists should be treated like ‘rats in the street’: John Lee

    Johnny Boy is making a bigger fool of himself than his ex-cop co-worker (if that is possible). A big dose of self-censorship would not come amiss.

  7. @HillnotPeak says:

    Oi! Please you must leave Sir Donald alone. At least Tsang Very-minor TRIED to be British.

    None of Sir Donald’s replacements tried such obsequiousness to the British Overlords. Hence Hong Kong’s travails.

    The case rests, M,Lud.

  8. The past is a foreign country says:

    “As a matter of fact, as a citizen or permanent resident of a country or region, it is incumbent on him or her to abide by the laws of respective country or region, regardless of where he or she is.”

    Which given the so-called “suspects” have de facto stopped being either, is just demonstrable nonsense.

    A gedankenexperiment: Pikachu used to be a citizen and permanent resident of the British colony of Hong Kong from 1957 through to 97, where running around saying Beijing is in charge and taking orders from them and imposing their laws is definitely seditious, colluding with foreign forces and probably treason. Having left pre ’97 Hong Kong and moved to post ’97 Hong Kong, he is no longer a citizen and resident of British Hong Kong, despite his far longer 40 years there, 20 of which were spent in the service of the British government. Is it still “incumbent on him to abide by the laws of British colonial Hong Kong, regardless of where he is” (ie the present Chinese Hong Kong)?


  9. Eggs n Ham says:

    I shall be looking out for HKU’s fearless Cora Chan, author of “Evolution of the Relationship between the Chinese and Hong Kong Legal Orders”, and found this equally clear and compelling summary of HK’s constitutional status in mid-2014:

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