Bureaucrats get hands dirty

RTHK scoop: the Hong Kong government says it did a great job over the recent Number 10 typhoon. The CE praises the Chief Secretary, and they both praise civil servants, copiously. The phrase ‘civil servants’ appears in virtually every paragraph. 

Pen-pushers from the Legal Aid, Rating and Valuation and Trade and Industry departments were indeed sent out to clean up debris after Saola hit. In my naivety, I thought such ‘mobilization’ was standard during emergencies – but apparently it’s a New Thing. And they want us to know about it.

Some mid-week things…

From 9 Dash Line, China’s young people get into ‘run-ology’

In early 2022, WeChat searches for emigration and conditions for moving to Canada skyrocketed, and demand for immigration consultations peaked. While the term suggests that people might illegally escape from China, most posts concern legal ways of emigrating to dream destinations such as Canada or Australia. However, some groups … shared recommendations on how to travel to the US through Latin America to apply for asylum there. People who have taken this route mostly left China on legal terms, with an existing passport, pretending to travel to Southeast Asia, but changed their destination once they had left the country…

[As well as appeals to young talent], the government also uses less subtle strategies to stop people from emigrating. It has become increasingly difficult to get a new passport issued; the administration is working slowly, denying passport renewals or birth and marriage certificate notarisation. While this was always difficult to manage, many people now suspect systematic delay as part of the anti-emigration strategy.

An NYT piece on Beijing’s recruitment of the citizenry into the struggle against foreign enemies as ‘the line between vigilance and paranoia fades’…

Beijing sees forces bent on weakening it everywhere: embedded in multinational companies, infiltrating social media, circling naïve students. And it wants its people to see them, too.

Chinese universities require faculty to take courses on protecting state secrets, even in departments like veterinary medicine. A kindergarten in the eastern city of Tianjin organized a meeting to teach staffers how to “understand and use” China’s anti-espionage law.

…On high-speed trains, a video on loop warns passengers to be careful when taking photos for social media, in case they capture sensitive information. In government offices where residents file routine paperwork, posters remind them to “build a people’s defensive line.”

One local government in Yunnan Province published a video of men and women in the traditional dress of the Yi, an ethnic group there, dancing and singing cheerily about China’s national security law.

“Those who don’t report will be prosecuted. Covering crimes will lead to jail,” the performers sang as they fanned out in a circle, the women fluttering their bright yellow, blue and red skirts.

Other than the Yi NatSec song, does this sound familiar in Hong Kong? Former lawmaker Abraham Razack is calling for respect for legal process and less talk of national security…

Razack said authorities should focus on driving the city’s economic development instead of repeatedly highlighting national security threats.

He highlighted the government’s move to include national security clauses in land sale agreements last year, warning potential buyers they might be disqualified if they engaged in activities endangering national safety or affecting public order.

From the Diplomat – China’s economic coercion works better against poorer countries. (Obviously: your leaders are easier to bribe/co-opt, and you are desperate to sell bananas for foreign exchange.)

Beijing bans a book about the history of the Mongols…

The banned book, published in 2004, was previously lauded for its work in “connecting the history of Mongolia from ancient times to the medieval period, making the history of Mongolia more complete,” according to a Baidupedia entry still available on Friday.

…the ban comes as the authorities are increasingly concerned about a growing sense of Mongolian identity among ethnic Mongolians living in China.

Taipei Times on tech tycoon Terry Gou’s entry into Taiwan’s presidential election…

Gou will not merely divide the opposition more, but his constant nattering about China will also help the DPP by focusing attention on China policy, a DPP strength, instead of the DPP’s lackluster domestic performance.

…[Another] issue is the KMT’s function as Church of the Mainlander identity. The purity struggles over the Mainlander identity invites politicians to spin off to its right whenever they feel the party has lost its theological way. 

Why the UN should admit Taiwan, by Taiwan’s foreign minister…

Taiwan continues to be excluded from the UN due to China’s distortion of UN General Assembly Resolution 2758.

This resolution neither states that Taiwan is a part of the PRC nor gives the PRC the right to represent the people of Taiwan in the UN and its specialised agencies. In fact, the resolution only determines who represents the member state China, a fact that the international community and China itself recognised following the relevant vote in 1971.

On a culture note: the guy who started the 2019 Kyoto Animation studios fire has admitted to committing the crime (though pled not guilty on grounds of diminished responsibility). I have a grudge against him. Not just for killing 36 people, but for forcing the end of Miss Kobayashi’s Maid-Dragon – one the best, not to say perviest, TV cartoon series ever (the first season, at least).

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9 Responses to Bureaucrats get hands dirty

  1. Nite Lyfe says:

    As regards paranoia, have you forgotten that a leading newspaper in the UK was reporting that parked Chinese cars are spying on everyone? How a parked car can spy on you has not been revealed. Are there secret dwarf agents in every boot?

    The whole world has turned off Huawei 5G chips because they spy on you too. How can chips do that and not be detected?

    And don’t get me started on the reports about Russia. Putin has ten body doubles, bubonic plague, Ebola, AIDS, terminal Parkinson’s and is actually dead. Oh yes. Paranoia? More like fugue.

  2. Chinese Netizen says:

    “Razack said authorities should focus on driving the city’s economic development instead of repeatedly highlighting national security threats.”

    Why, you’d think the CCP and HKCCPSARG were….PARANOID, or something.

  3. Stanley Lieber says:

    Abe Razack was one of the normal ones. He was a run-of-the-mill, common sense Legco member who, yes, represented property interests, but otherwise would express his opinions freely on the issues of the day, often with a sympathetic nod to those who are less well-off in Hong Kong society. There’s no place anymore in public discourse for him and others like him, and he has retreated to the boardrooms. Pity.

  4. Cassowary says:

    Razack spent 2 decades in Legco reliably voting with the DAB muppets. His occasional talking sense should not be mistaken for standing up for the citizenry. Bernard Chan’s another one of them. Periodically acts like he cares about his fellow man but would he ever vote against the government? Talk is cheap.

    People like that only look good compared to the rock bottom standards they’re surrounded with.

  5. Mary Melville says:

    One could surmise that the real estaters were advised to replace Razack because he presented his views in English and was always diligent in his role as Legco Public Accounts Committee chairman. It used to consider reports of the Director of Audit.
    The current panel chair is Peter Shiu of the misnamed Liberal Party so the reports probably go straight to the Leggers shredder.
    Does anyone share suspicions that the Exco member who put pressure on the catering sector to turn away the Democratic Party dinner is from the same party?????

  6. HK pessimist says:

    Mobilization during emergencies is not new. Who could forget the three-year “emergency” we all lived through? Has anyone forgotten about the Compulsory Testing Notices afflicting many buildings and neighborhoods (but it seems none of them in mid-levels or on the peak) which were staffed (in supporting roles) by, variously, Drainage Services Department, Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, Agricultural Fisheries and Conservation Department, et al?

    Viz, https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202212/06/P2022120600184.htm

    While I’m here, and I don’t visit frequently this comment section, another observation concerning government departments. Sunday, after being housebound for 2 days, I took a walk by the City Garden Hotel in North Point at 5:30 PM. We all know the types of tourists staying there now (shhh). I saw many black Alphards parked there for the weekend (I counted approximately 24). These vehicles are during the week driving all over the city, blending in with the other black Alphards while their hotel tourist passengers look for soft resistance. I noted all of these have license plates beginning with AX or AY, which may help the policeman know when to not issue a parking ticket. If you see one of these vehicles, be on your best behavior

  7. Liberal Demoncrat says:

    The fact there are actually differently named, government aligned parties in HK is laughable.

  8. Red Dragon says:

    A thought.

    Is “Nite Lyfe” none other than the latest avatar of “Nury Vibrachi”?

    It strikes me as odd that the former emerged the very moment the latter vanished.

    I think we should be told.

  9. Five sighs says:

    @Russ Night Lyfe
    Parked car paranoia was actually a Chinese thing before the UK freaked out:
    And the UK paranoia is at least somewhat justified —
    As to the 5G chips — Huawei has previous form (depaywalled Bloomberg —https://archive.li/gbLV9#selection-3545.0-3553.496 ) on the PRC uploading malware through their devices. This was detected and is precisely the reason why the new 5G chips are getting banned. Also their CEO and founder was in the PLA for 12 years and has enough sway with the CCP to get them to kidnap two Canadians just to try to get his daughter out of a sanction violations and fraud trial, as well as place sanctions and tariffs on Australia because they wouldn’t buy Huawei’s 5G stuff.
    TBF – it’s not just Huawei it’s *all* Chinese tech. As one Huawei employee put it: “The state wants to use Huawei, and it can use it if it wants. Everyone has to listen to the state. Every person. Every company and every individual, and you can’t talk about it. You can’t say you don’t like it. That’s just China.”

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