The mid-week NatSec round-up…

That’s enough illegal structures and strange church land deals. High school ‘flag teams’ receive police training in goose-stepping. A young woman is sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for rioting in the 2019 protests, when she was 16. An office worker is arrested for ‘seditious’ online posts. And Beijing demands that consulates in Hong Kong submit personal details of all their locally employed staff members within one month. (Does diplomatic immunity exempt consulates from complying? The requirements – residential addresses, ID number, etc – sound pretty intrusive.)

The UK Foreign Office releases its 53rd (!!!) six-monthly report on Hong Kong…

The authorities have extended the application of the National Security Law (NSL) beyond genuine national security concerns. For example, the authorities continue to try to use legal routes to suppress the song ‘Glory to Hong Kong’.

Arrests under the NSL and sedition laws continue at pace. The trial of the ‘NSL 47’, the largest national security case to date, is nearing a conclusion. Everyone tried so far under the NSL has been found guilty.

British national Jimmy Lai’s national security trial has been further delayed. His prosecution is highly politicised and I raised his case in Beijing last month. We continue to press for consular access. The international community is paying close attention to his case and many others. We urge the Hong Kong authorities to uphold the rule of law and to comply with international norms and standards.

The targeted persecution of people with dissenting views persists, including overseas. On 3 July, the Hong Kong Police issued arrest warrants and bounties against individuals in the UK and elsewhere.

And right on cue

A spokesman for the HKSAR Government said, “The HKSAR Government strongly disapproves of and firmly rejects the UK’s attempt through a so-called six-monthly report again to make misleading and irresponsible remarks about Hong Kong matters. The UK’s manoeuvre with politics prevailing over law-based administration is glaringly obvious … The HKSAR Government strongly urges the UK again to discern facts from fallacies, respect the international law and basic norms governing international relations, and immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong matters, which are purely China’s internal affairs.”

On the subject of Jimmy Lai – a profile by National Review.

And Singapore displaces Hong Kong in one of those World’s Freest Economy rankings…

For the first time Hong Kong has not ranked number one in economic freedom and is expected to drop even further in future years, according to the Fraser Institute’s annual Economic Freedom of the World report released today.

“This is the first year Hong Kong has not ranked number one on the index since its inception, and the expectation is that its score will only fall further as the Chinese Communist Party continues to suppress freedom of all sorts,” said Fred McMahon, Dr. Michael A. Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom with the Fraser Institute.

…“Hong Kong’s recent turn is an example of how economic freedom is intimately connected with civil and political freedom. The Chinese government’s aim was to crack down on political and civil dissent. These repressions, combined with the government’s efforts to control the private sector, inevitably led to diminished economic freedom. Hong Kong’s prosperity will likely suffer as a result,” said Matthew Mitchell, senior fellow at the Fraser Institute.

…Venezuela once again ranks last. Some despotic countries such as North Korea and Cuba can’t be ranked due to lack of data.

Another lengthy official response follows – though it is somewhat calmer than the one railing about the so-called six-monthly report. (Disappointed!)

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15 Responses to The mid-week NatSec round-up…

  1. Stanley Lieber says:

    Neither HKSAR statement used the phrase “doomed to fail”. Disappointing.

  2. Russell Brand says:

    Jimmy Lai is Roman Catholic with martyrdom syndrome.

    I met lots of women like that.

    Like Murdoch and Dirty Des he was all big mogul of porn and tabloid trash, then he suddenly went legit. Don’t believe the spin, folks.

  3. Chinese Netizen says:

    “(Does diplomatic immunity exempt consulates from complying? The requirements – residential addresses, ID number, etc – sound pretty intrusive.)”

    Good question whether or not a consulate must comply, and it’ll be interesting to see how their “HQ” at the embassy in Beijing reacts. Either way, the locally hired staff can and will be followed and made to be miserable, I’m sure.

    Locally engaged staff are exactly that…non diplomats hired in the local economy (be they HK citizens or even foreign pp holding gweilos that may or may not even have HKCCPSAR permanent residency cards) to do usually mundane tasks as well as keep a sort of bureaucratic continuity as the actual diplomats come and go every 2-3 years.

    I’m sure the main goal is just keeping tabs on the “evil foreign forces” local hires and then bringing the HK citizen staff into popo offices for “chats” at 0500 to either turn them to work for Uncle Xi or be harassed forever, at will unless they emigrate.

  4. Brand HK says:

    @Stanley Lieber
    Not to worry — I think “doomed to fail” is slated as the new tourism & nightlife slogan.
    Apparently the Tourist Board have found that wonders have, in fact, ceased in Asia’s worried city, now that the NSL is enforced correctly.

  5. Mary Melville says:

    The consulate demand is intimidation. Government already knows who work there via immigration records, MPF payments, tax returns, etc.
    What govt dept would dare withhold data from the NS and, going by the statements made by a number of dept heads, some would be more than eager to provide.

  6. Seamus O'Herlihy says:

    @Russell Brand

    Not only do you have no idea what you’re talking about, you are also beneath contempt for smearing a courageous man unjustly imprisoned for standing up for his principles and living out his faith. Shame on you.

  7. justsayin says:

    @Mary you beat me to it, if the CCP want to know who works at the consulates surely they can very easily requisition that up from the tax bureau

  8. Northern monkey says:

    the number of times though you get asked for this kind of information from the bods up here though, even though they already have it either from the police, immigration, employment bureau, tax…. they’re either lazy, or stupid or they just don’t communicate or cooperate. Maybe they think it’s the same in hk too?

  9. Eggs n Ham says:

    What exactly does HKG’s Puerile Rant department find dubious about “a so-called six-monthly report”? Is the UK Government off in its timing? Was there not a document of that name?

    We obviously need to collate the most undoubtable (and hence egregious) usages of “so-called” in government petty retribution documents. At Christmas, we can vote on the top ten.

    1. a so-called six-monthly report

  10. seedy Brit journo Tim Ommelet says:

    @Eggs n Ham: you should send this list request to Alex Lo in Vancouver so he will write a column about it in the Ali Rag that nobody reads, as usual.

  11. Eggs n Ham says:

    @Seedy ..Mr Ommelet

    I was just referring to your own namesake’s so-called view:

  12. Low Profile says:

    @Eggs n Ham – the government’s so-called press releases are available on the so-called Internet. It shouldn’t be too difficult to trawl through them and pick out some good so-called examples.

  13. Chinese Netizen says:

    Seems Mr. Hamlett lurks amongst us for the occasional story idea.

  14. tim hamlett says:

    He certainly does. Though somewhat discouraged by tired omelette jokes.

  15. MeKnowNothing says:

    The absence of Mr Hamlett from HKFP as of late – including his disappearance from a recent snap of HKFP’s staff line-up – suggested that perhaps the National Insecurity coproaches had finally turned their attention to him – necessitating the return of the once oft seen art of air-brushing that is likely making a comeback as of late given how disappearing is back in fashion.

    Thank goodness he was only away on a so-called scientifically superior post zero COVID traumatic stress disorder holiday that many of us still desperately need.

    It will be a sad day when the Gestapo-po do finally come to take him away.

    I suspect Kevin Sinclair isn’t impressed with what the so-called Asia’s Finest has become.

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