The weekend’s NatSec

The SCMP reports on the removal of a 12-year-old mural after the property owner was threatened that it might get him into NatSec trouble…

Hong Kong’s home affairs chief on Friday dismissed concerns over the removal of artwork outside a restaurant showing construction workers in yellow helmets, saying it was the owner’s decision to paint over it after residents complained it was linked to the 2019 anti-government protests.

But the owner of Glorious Fast Food, surnamed Ho, said he had only agreed to remove the mural, which was put up in 2011, after officials warned him of possible breaches against the Beijing-imposed national security law.

Real investigative journalism on the story from Transit Jam – including explanation of how the ‘residents’ form one of many patriotic owners committees the Home Affairs Dept has nurtured in recent years. And their ‘tatty building’ has been…

…ignoring for EIGHT YEARS a Mandatory Building Inspection safety notice addressing crumbling concrete falling from the building.

(The street art in this district is popular with young, hip Korean and Japanese tourists, who take photos of them. I’ve been approached – looking like a kindred spirit – for directions to several murals recently. So bang goes another Hello Hong Kong! Happiness is all around you! attraction. Updated story from HKFP here.)

The new operator of the tacky Avenue of Stars must ‘safeguard NatSec’. (What do they ‘operate’? And how could they endanger the nation even if they wanted to?)

Bolstering nationalism is part of NatSec, and anti-Japanese scares are part of boosting nationalism. Even if it leads to panic-buying. And this

Hong Kong news outlet i-Cable quoted HKBU chemist lecturer, saying the treated & diluted wastewater discharged from Fukushima is not high risk. It also mentioned the Tritium level is much lower than from Daya Bay plant. The article was removed after a few hours

A Financial Services Development Council study warns of a looming brain drain among financial professionals and college graduates generally. From the (Chinese-language) Photon Media report

The survey found that among young financial professionals, 7.5% have definite plans to leave Hong Kong, and 35.8% have tentative plans to leave Hong Kong. In other words, a total of 43.3% of young financial talents intend to leave. About two-thirds of those who have specific emigration plans indicated that they will leave Hong Kong within the next five years.

College students have a higher intention to leave Hong Kong, 13.9% have a definite plan to leave Hong Kong, and 34.3% have a preliminary plan to leave Hong Kong. A total of 48.3% of college students intend to leave Hong Kong. Among college students with specific emigration plans, more than 30% of them will leave Hong Kong within 2 years, and 57.8% of them will leave Hong Kong within 5 years.

Reasons cited were poor job/industry outlooks. In case you’re wondering…

…this survey did not provide political or civil rights-related reasons as options.

The Economist’s (probably paywalled) Chaguan column on why the world should watch Hong Kong…

There is a practical reason to keep tracking repression in Hong Kong… A good way to understand any edifice is to watch it being built. In the same way, the stifling of Hong Kong’s pluralism is a work in progress, and as such is unusually revealing about the ambitions and terrors that drive China’s secretive rulers, and about the controls they think are needed in an orderly society.

…Hong Kong is being domesticated, in every sense of the word. To bring the city to heel, its leaders want to weaken the West’s perceived influence…

Once, foreign governments and businesses predicted that Hong Kong’s value as a global city would protect it from heavy-handed Chinese rule. Instead, party bosses prize control over openness: that is the ongoing lesson of Hong Kong.

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7 Responses to The weekend’s NatSec

  1. Fish says:

    HK is looking about as valuable to China as a global city as San Francisco is to the US as a communist city.

  2. Chinese Netizen says:

    Well only a matter of days until the publicly viewable Buildings Department database will become unavailable to the public and any attempts to search and publish “privileged” information will be considered a breach of NSL.

    And we wonder why young ‘uns consider leaving HK as a future goal.

    I already have friends in the Motherland hoarding JDM bonito cat treats before they become unavailable.

  3. Stanley Lieber says:

    We are now fortunate to live in a society that encourages vigilant citizens to protect our national security by reporting their neighbours to the authorities for allowing questionable graffiti to be painted upon their walls.

    Life in Hong Kong is so much more stable, prosperous and happy now than it was under the hated racist British colonial fops who left people alone to do pretty much what they wanted.

    Thank God those days are over!

  4. A salt on reason says:

    HSARG ‘Scientists’: “Ignore the science: the Fukushima release is so terrifyingly radioactive we must ban all seafood. Even though it’s less radioactive material than Daya Bay’s Tritium releases, which we reckon are perfectly safe.”

    Also HKSARG ‘Scientists’: “Why is everyone ignoring the science? Why is everyone panicking about radiation? Stop stockpiling salt! Don’t ignore the science!”

    There’s a certain ironic karma to HKSARG creating a real health and food supply crisis out of imposing a ‘harmless’ artificial health scare and food supply crisis for CCP brownie points.

    You may also care to enjoy the HKSARG spending three years systematically destroying the F&B sector, and then acting surprised that there’s no nightlife and nobody eats out anymore. Then watch them running a half-arsed campaign to encourage people to get back to restaurants and bars whilst simultaneously telling everyone that seafood is radioactive and banning the best stuff.

    The words ‘piss up’ and ‘brewery’ spring to mind.

  5. wmjp says:

    In view of the 500-head recent shindig for a minor taxpayers’ employee (not even retiring but off to Beijing for a year to learn how to kowtow better), I’d say that the administration is pretty good at the Piss-Up part of the equation. It’s the rest of it that is a problem.

  6. Guest says:

    The government seems willing to risk a To Kwa Wan-style collapse by not holding the building owners accountable.

    Maybe it thinks “patriotism” will suffice to reinforce the building’s structural integrity.

  7. Chinese Netizen says:

    “…off to Beijing for a year to learn how to kowtow better.” Perfectly put.

    However, you’d figger that from the lessons of (WERE there lessons??) the Wuhan Plague, people would have mastered the use of teleconferencing and distance learning?

    But I guess he had to go in-person for the networking opportunities, flesh pressing and lobbying to win the next CE “election”.

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