Everyone staying dry out there?

Yikes. In Chai Wan, snorkels are the new face masks. An interesting observation about last night’s discharge of water from Shenzhen reservoir. Could watch this all morning.

From China File, a comprehensive update of the evolving use of Hong Kong’s NatSec laws – ‘the newly-constructed national security state has moved into a consolidation phase’…

The government’s definition of “national security” has proved almost infinitely elastic, and has included such “crimes” as holding a primary election, publicly chanting now-forbidden 2019 protest slogans, and even efforts by journalists to report on political developments in Hong Kong. As GCAL’s research on the implementation of the NSL has made clear, the vast majority of national security cases that have emerged over the past year would not be considered crimes in other, rights-respecting jurisdictions. Instead, they would be considered constitutionally-protected acts of free expression, association, and assembly.

…Instead of acting as a check on government and defending basic rights, the court system’s approach has been to bend to the enormous political pressure it faces, and to give the government more or less everything it wants in national security cases. Every substantive verdict has gone the government’s way, and the lion’s share of procedural rulings (bail decisions, decisions on the right to a jury trial, and so on) have been in the government’s favor as well.

Summary in thread by Tom Kellogg…

One NSL stat continues to stand out above all others: the govt continues to enjoy a 100% conviction rate. A full 103 individuals have been convicted or pled guilty to nat sec crimes, most for actions that would be not be considered crimes in rights-respecting jurisdictions.

The article says (basically archaic) sedition charges have come to play a more prominent role because penalties are lighter than for NatSec Law charges, so are ‘harsh enough to serve as a deterrent, but not so stiff as to alienate relative moderates inclined to support the government’. Do the people making these decisions really worry about alienating anyone? It’s possible officials think they are more likely to get the courts to convict someone for speech crimes by using relatively vague sedition charges (‘exciting disaffection’, for example). But a system that has imprisoned, among others, a single mother for Facebook posts clearly does not prioritize mercy. (And now importing seditious books.) Wait to see if the forthcoming local ‘Article 23’ National Security Law increases the existing penalties for sedition, which were set by the namby-pamby colonial regime in the 1930s. 

(Which reminds me: are we going to get the death penalty restored in Hong Kong? It seems an obvious bit of Mainlandization that has been missed out.)

Global Times goes nuclear (or something) over Japan’s wastewater discharge, claiming that Tokyo is whitewashing the whole thing with lavish and devious PR tricks, and hinting that Carbon-14 is a health hazard with its scary half-life of 5,000-odd years.

Chinese observers pointed out that what the Japanese government’s expectation is, as long as the Geiger counter doesn’t explode within seconds after contact with the wastewater, or a Godzilla monster-like would not suddenly emerge from the sea, the dumping can be acceptable. As for questions like whether there will be man-tall crabs or Cthulhu-esque octopuses in 30 to 40 years is not part of its consideration. 

…China, by contrast, is motivated by providing an effective public good by taking a stand against Japan’s wastewater dumping. 

Sounds like an exasperated lashing-out against international public opinion that is largely siding with the country that has a reputation for scientific integrity and transparency.

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11 Responses to Everyone staying dry out there?

  1. Chinese Netizen says:

    “Lavish and devious”.

    Sounds like a new Calvin Klein perfume.

    “Cthulhu-esque”. I’m going to wager the writers for GT editorials are from incel, parent basement dwelling, 48hr-at-a-stretch online fantasy role playing game stock.

  2. justsayin says:

    I was thinking that the ‘Cthulhu-esque’ was their house laowai proving his value.

  3. Clucks Defiance says:

    Different topic, but I wonder when Hong Kong’s leadership will adopt the latest regulation being drafted in China – “Chinese residents could be banned from wearing clothes that hurt the nation’s feelings”


    Police will be able to detain people who wear the “wrong clothes” for up to 15 days and fine them up to 5,025 yuan (£550).

  4. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Clucks: This is a precursor for going back to mandatory “Mao jacket” wear. Except now the revisionists will say they were ALWAYS known as “Xi jackets”.

  5. Cautious cynic says:

    Clucks Defiance

    Bear in mind the Torygraph was the paper that happilly employed as its EU correspondent one Alexander Boris dePfeifle Johnson and printed his fictitious, mendacious “reports” such as square bannanas. If ever there was a source of fake news, such was one.

  6. Cautious cynic says:

    IF you wnat to rely on anything such a publication produces (or anything from the Murdoch empire) then it should be veifiable with at least two independent unconnected sources.

    Might be accurate, but I doubt it.

  7. MeKnowNothing says:

    Seeing how the Calgary Herald (among others) also has the same article on the hurt-feeling-clothes thing – but instead of a byline, with something that might suggest the article came from Bloomberg (first para of the article from all three is the same) – it could very well be true… and no surprise at all.

    Plagiar…. errrr, sorry – Torygraph readers must be knuckle-scrapers if they can’t get their heads around a non-round GBP figure for a CNY 5k fine.

  8. reductio says:

    Serious question. As Apple phones are now banned for CCP apparatchiks, what happens when HK government officials go over the border? Can they still use their Apple phones?

  9. Rocinante says:

    @ Cautious cynic

    You commented that reports in the Telegraph Newspaper “should be verifiable with at least two independent unconnected sources.”

    Your comments on the square bananas are too tempting and the weather gives me time to hold you to that standard.

    “Bear in mind the Torygraph was the paper that happilly employed as its EU correspondent one Alexander Boris dePfeifle Johnson and printed his fictitious, mendacious “reports” such as square bannanas. If ever there was a source of fake news, such was one.”

    Quick search for reports on bendy bananas (as there is nothing on square bananas) shows that a law existed that “specified that bananas must be ‘free from abnormal curvature’.



    And it was reported first in sources other than the Telegraph Newspaper.

    “Few stories about the EU have been as persistent over the past decades as the tale of the ‘bendy banana law’, which first made its appearance in the UK in a story in The Sun in September 1994. The Daily Mirror, Daily Mail and Daily Express followed-up with similar stories about bendy bananas, after The Sun published this in September 1994. According to the article written by journalist Lucinda Evans, “Brussels bureaucrats” created a pointless law that would “outlaw curbed bananas”.

    It doesn’t seem that the Telegraph Newspaper or Boris created a fictitious report. “If ever there was a source of fake news, such was one” seems a little unreasonable.

    You may be referring to the attention that Boris Johnson created commenting on this law in the 2016 referendum election.

    If he was referring to the fact that the effect of “banana laws’ and their like was advantageous for inefficient EU producers at the expense of EU consumers and third world producers, he appears to have been correct.

    If he was referring to the shape of the bananas, the Brexit debate would have been better served if it had been pointed out that due to international ridicule these rules have been repealed before Brexit.


  10. Cautious cynic says:


    Thank you for reading my comment and indeed responding. Lesson to me: do not write casually nor purely from (faulty) memory. Mea culpa, to a degree. However, acting or relying on or citing the Daily Express, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror or the Scum do nothing to further your point. None are agents of record nor, in my view, is the Daily Telegraph/Torygraph. Sadly none of the traditional (UK) broadsheets – which are now all tabloid save ironically for the Torygraph and the FT – can be wholly relied on, although the Guardian is not too bad as to news, when it can be distinguished from “comment”.

    As for ABdeP Johnson please do not suggest he is anything (or ever has been) other than a mendacious, incompetent, cheating, narcisstic piece of self-entitlement. He is a product of the worst kind of privilege, coupled with a personality disorder, and has nothing to commend him, however (in)accurate his newspaper columns (or political pronouncements) may have been – and sadly will be.

  11. MeKnowNothing says:

    Alibaba Morning Birdcage Liner for 2023-09-13 has an article about the not-to-be-believed hurt-feelings clothing law that is not a repeat of the Bloomberg piece discussed earlier.

    The AMBL author (with byline in obligatory hon jyu ping jam) goes on quite a bit about the ambiguity of the proposed law, folks’ reaction to it up there & examples of what’s already happened/still happening without it.

    I especially enjoyed the bit about the confusion between kimonos & hon fu. |^)

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