More from HKFP on the Democratic Party’s plan to have eight candidates running for District Council elections in December. In case you think eight is a rather low number…
Under the new system, the number of seats chosen democratically by the public will be slashed to around 20 per cent, with the rest chosen by the city’s leader, government-appointed committees and officials. Previously, winners were selected via universal suffrage – the only such election of its kind in Hong Kong.
Constituency boundaries will be redrawn and each local council will be chaired by a government official, similar to colonial-era arrangements. All candidates will undergo national security vetting to ensure “patriotism.”
Along with DP participation and voter turnout, one thing to watch for is how many candidates will actually be competing for the few seats the public can vote to fill. At the last LegCo poll, there were typically just three candidates for every two seats.
The Jurist on Hong Kong’s use of NatSec/sedition to silence dissent…
The Hong Kong authorities have been using the NSL and the sedition provision, a British colonial-era law, to reshape political and civic institutions and life in the city. Under Hong Kong’s Crimes Ordinance, seditious intention means “to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against a person of the government, against the administration of justice, or with the aim of raising discontent or disaffection amongst inhabitants of Hong Kong.”
The ambiguous nature of the law gives the Hong Kong authorities — specifically the National Security Department of the Police Force — an overarching power to arrest and charge any person who made speeches deemed “seditious” online and offline. The threshold was so low that retweeting posts expressing dissatisfaction towards the Chinese Communist Party and the Hong Kong Police Force, as well as praising the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests’ songs, slogans and flags, could trigger prosecutions. In another case, a person criticised the judge and judicial independence at the court and got convicted with seditious intention instead of contempt of court.
Samuel Bickett says his Substack blog is now blocked in Hong Kong. (Probably – as with the HK Democracy Council’s site – ISPs are, strictly speaking, blocking the sites of their own volition. Who owns your ISP?)
The Spectator looks at the 125,000 Hongkongers who have recently moved to the UK…
For two hours every Thursday morning, the church hall chairs are arranged in circles. Volunteers, mainly retired churchgoers, help the immigrants practise English and teach them about British life. ‘Most often they ask me for gardening advice,’ Revd Young says. ‘Most of them have never had gardens before.’ In return, the Hong Kongers are teaching him Cantonese, his father’s tongue.
Asia Nikkei on (alleged) discontent among current and former top military officials at the Beidaihe gathering…
Xi is aware that China’s politics, economy and society are in dire straits. With an unprecedentedly high unemployment rate, young people are already on the move. When young people’s “white paper” movement spread late last year it sent shock waves through the party.
To avoid turmoil, party leaders needed to listen to the elders’ voices to a certain extent. Xi may have thought that the retired officials were merely being given an opportunity to “let off steam.”
Far from blowing off steam, though, the advice Zeng relayed from his peers apparently landed with a terrific thud, one that has been reverberating through party organizations across the nation for nearly a month.
…One thing is clear. The military is in some kind of turmoil. Significant unusual events hit the military around the time of the Beidaihe meeting last month and the elder’s gathering just before that.
Willy Lam with more on Xi Jinping’s personnel problems.
Another ‘Peak China/Xi’ commentary – this one on from RFA…
For critics, the easy target of blame is the party chief himself – after all, he’s awarded himself such mind-boggling, wide-ranging power, why even look for another target of blame?
But some China watchers suggest that Xi, a Maoist of limited education, has inherited forces borne of long-ago established party policies that now threaten the party, pressuring him to reflexively respond with an iron fist.
Includes unflattering quotes from Kevin Carrico and Perry Link.
Some lighter reading and viewing for the weekend…
The Standard’s obituary for a former sub-editor who sounds like one of the last of a dying stereotype breed.
Global Times launches a series to hit back against the West’s ‘malicious cognitive warfare’. In this installment: Lujiazui is not a ghost town, you just took photos from a weird angle.
An article by the maker of a documentary about ‘Jackson Hole’, China – a US-style housing development recently criticized as ‘unpatriotic’…
Conceived by property developer Liu Xiangshang in 2004, the community was designed and built in collaboration with Oregon-based designer Allison Smith. The town was in keeping with the trend at that time in China for architectural mimicry of North America and Europe. Like many similar foreign-themed developments around the country, Jackson Hole was not only sold as an escape from urban Beijing, but from China itself.
…The vision of America represented in Jackson Hole, China, captured a version of the U.S. that was diminishing, with its emphasis on mirroring whiteness, the nuclear family unit, defined gender roles, neighborliness, Old West aesthetics, and a myriad of popular culture from America’s past. The image of the United States that the residents of Jackson Hole, China fantasized about was strangely similar to the America that supporters of Donald Trump in the U.S. felt was being lost and needed to be preserved or revitalized.
You See Me Laughin’: The Last of the Hill Country Bluesmen – 20-year-old documentary featuring the likes of Junior Kimbrough, who ‘reinvented the blues without sounding retro’.
From Public Domain Review – the brilliant and deranged ‘exquisitely crafted decoupage’ of Victorian (of course) John Bingley Garland’s Blood Collages…
It’s as if God gave Garland permission to fetishize hemorrhage.