…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.
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.