Catching up…

US legislators introduce a bill to impose sanctions on 49 Hong Kong officials, prosecutors and judges for human rights violations. In its response, the Hong Kong government…

…strongly condemned those United States (US) lawmakers requesting a review, through a so-called “bill”, of including the Secretary for Justice, the Secretary General of the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the HKSAR, the Commissioner of Police, and a number of judges and prosecutors, in a so-called list of “sanctions” in an attempt to intimidate the HKSAR personnel concerned who safeguard national security.

More or less in the same breath, the authorities jail a 23-year-old student for online posts, most made while she was in Japan. (Japan Times report.) And an HKFP op-ed notes the weirdness of jailing students for sympathizing with a man who stabbed a cop and then himself…

The judge, Adriana Noelle Tse Ching, faithfully followed the current judicial practice of subjecting anything offered in mitigation to scathing criticism as soon as it arrived. This led to a curious discrepancy.

One of the defending counsel pointed out that there had been a plea bargain: the prosecution agreed to drop a charge of “advocating terrorism” and the defendants agreed to plead guilty to “incitement to wound with intent”.

To the untutored lay mind this looks rather as if they are admitting that the motion inspired an attack which had already taken place before it was passed, an innovative concept. No doubt it makes sense to lawyers.

RFA interviews academic Rowena He, who was dumped by CUHK after HK Immigration refused to renew her visa…

“You don’t know where the red lines are, so you are kept guessing,” He said. “It’s not a question of knowing that you will lose your job if you do this specific thing, and you can make a choice about whether or not to do it.”

“The red lines are fuzzy, so everyone censors themselves out of fear,” she said, adding that she has felt this fear before – growing up as a young person who witnessed the 1989 pro-democracy movement on Tiananmen Square and was later forced to keep quiet about it.

Junius Ho and other lawmakers denounce the Gay Games as part of a NatSec threat and Western ‘colour revolution’ foreign-collusion affront-to-traditional-Chinese-values thing, and point fingers at Regina Ip…

Seven lawmakers – Junius Ho Kwan-yiu, Priscilla Leung Mei-fun, Peter Shiu Ka-fai, Duncan Chiu Tat-kun, Michael Lee Chun-keung, Carmen Kan Wai-mun and Tik Chi-yuen – held a press conference joined by more than a dozen other critics to voice their opposition to the event.

“We object to any Western ideology that sugar-coated its agenda in the name of diversity and inclusivity for a sports event, attempting to subvert national security,” lawmaker Junius Ho Kwan-yiu said.

He described the event as a “criminal activity” that spread the ideology of gay rights, subverting traditional Chinese family values.

They were joined by a dozen critics of gay rights, including former chief officer of the Equal Opportunities Commission Josiah Chok Kin-ming, who urged authorities to investigate whether the Games’ source of funding came from foreign organisations and amounted to collusion with external forces prohibited under the national security law.

Ip denies that the event is illegal. (A Standard editorial commends the government for at least passively enabling the Gay Games.)

These ‘patriotic’ lawmakers would not usually gather and put on a big show to express a strong opinion on anything unless they felt confident that it would meet with the approval of behind-the-scenes minders. Perhaps the idea is to create a semblance of controversial competition-buzz in the forthcoming all-patriots District Council election? (See headline in today’s SCMP.) Regina sees it as an attempt to hurt her party in those polls, which could be the case if the turnout is restricted to the sort of aging, grumpy, DAB-voting types who dislike foreigners, gays and pretty much everything. She could (in theory) fight back by appealing to the rest of the populace to come out and vote for her as the last standing proponent of liberal values – but then of course she risks being ‘unpatriotic’.

Which leads us to CMP’s latest Lingua Sinica newsletter, which features not only a good analysis of Chinese media treatment of Li Keqiang’s death, but a superb and long-overdue essay on Regina Ip memes…

If [John] Tsang’s relative popularity was undesirable for China’s leadership [relative to Carrie Lam], Ip’s viral potential is almost certainly regarded as a danger, however loyal she may seem. In this way, whatever the nature of her popularity, her unfulfilled political ambitions reflect the thwarted hopes of all Hongkongers who have yearned for a real say in how they governed.

One can read in Ip’s ludicrous photo shoots a kind of resignation. Surely, she knows this is not the public image of a serious politician — but, just as surely, she no longer cares. She may be in it just for the likes. And memesters may be in it just for the LOLs. But all seem to agree on one point: Hong Kong politics have become little more than spectacle.

If Regina flashing her legs is your idea of a spectacle.

Taipei a few days ago

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14 Responses to Catching up…

  1. Stanley Lieber says:

    Sanctioning individuals is useless unless the sanctions are applied to all immediate family members, i.e., spouses, children, parents and siblings.

    Then you’ll get their attention.

  2. tobleroob says:

    Dear Police,

    The other day I saw a discarded Toblerone box on a mail kiosk…. Western intervention in Chinese affairs? Subtle ideology-toppling vandalism campaign? It’s working. I no longer feel safe buying Western condiments.

  3. Chinese Netizen says:

    The so-called “Junius” Ho can go f*k himself. Truly one of the most despicable wastes of Earth’s resources just by his existence.

  4. Low Profile says:

    They really don’t know what “so-called” means, do they?

  5. Ip Man says:

    Will this frothing condemnation of Western ideology (a category so broad it includes being gay) ever be applied to the Western ideology which has been controlling China for the past 70-odd years?

  6. MT says:

    @Low Profile: They certainly don’t.

    Some readers may be thinking, quite reasonably, that perhaps it makes more sense in the original Chinese. Allow me to set your mind at rest: it doesn’t.

  7. Mary Melville says:

    Urgent call – donations of panty liners for distribution outside the US Consulate

  8. Jelly says:

    Junius Ho’s Chinese name is K.Y. Just saying …

  9. Eggs n Ham says:

    Tik Chi-yuen gave a tortuous ‘cake and eat it’ response when Tom Grundy asked him why he showed up with Junius and the other haters:

    “Attending the press conference is based on the purpose of listening to public opinions and receiving petition letters. It does not mean that I agree with the press conference’s position. Based on my religious beliefs, I may not agree with LGBTQ+, but I emphasize that I absolutely respect it. At the same time, we have to respect different opinions and positions but it doesn’t mean that we have a right to discriminate on LGBT+ and against them to fight for the human rights.

    I have no special opinion on teams holding Gay Games, and I don’t believe it has anything to do with the Hong Kong national security law. We hope that different groups not be politicize Gay Games, and personal attacks, which is not conducive to objective and rational discussions.”

  10. justsayin says:

    Time for a round of talking points bingo:

    ‘Everybody watch out for western incitement of the so-called rainbow colour revolution led by Broom Head’

    Did I win?

  11. Eggs n Ham says:

    SCMP is blatantly ignoring the instruction to tell good HK stories. Is resistance going mainstream?

    Here are the op-eds on today’s front page:
    Opinion | Why John Lee’s lack of faith in voters is crystal clear
    Inside Out | For a true picture of Hong Kong’s economic challenges, look beyond numbers
    Opinion | Don’t spare us the hard truth about Hong Kong’s finances
    Opinion | At an economic crossroads, Hong Kong needs a proactive strategy
    My Hong Kong | How to fix Hong Kong’s baby crisis? Handouts alone cannot solve all problems

  12. somebody says:

    I don’t believe it has anything to do with the Hong Kong national security law

    The why the fuck are you at a so-called demonstration protesting that the Gay Games are national insecurity matter? Methinks the man is a so-called independent fellow traveller

  13. Lo Wu Vuitton says:

    Did anyone else feel like throwing up while scanning the self-gratulatory “extra” in the Ali Rag today (apparently they exist 120 years)? Once upon a time this publication was a fine newspaper, respected and widely read. Now it’s merely a agit prop waste of paper, serving the needs of the CCP. Why would anyone take a “newspaper” serious if they employ the likes of Yonden the Suit, Alex Lo or the insufferable Kate Whitehead? Decent journos like Jake van de Kamp, Tom of Holland and Nury Hitachi (just kidding) saw the writing on the wall, and did the decent thing: they left. Not, of course, the quislings left who know they will never get a job elsewhere after this if only for a lack of talent or moral fortitude. (“What? You worked for the Ali Rag? Until 2024? Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!”)

  14. Ip pro campi says:

    It’s a sad and very weird day when Regina Ip’s mad-as-a-cut-snake, bigoted, toxic, dystopic, authoritarian worldview turns out to be the closest thing to passing for “the voice of reason” in the Lapsap Hui.

    How far this city has fallen, and it seems it still hasn’t hit the rock bottom yet.

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