Innocent until proven guilty?

Hong Kong’s Security Secretary says Jimmy Lai’s forthcoming trial will show how bad he is and predicts ‘smearing’ of Hong Kong when the trial takes place…

He said fresh attacks by foreign politicians were also likely to target the local efforts to outlaw more national security offences under Article 23 of the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, as the city government aims to complete the legislation by next year.

“I’m sure they will make use of this as another excuse to smear our government and to smear our country … It’s a must. It’s anticipated,” he said.

He lamented that the Hong Kong government’s counter efforts to set the record straight for the overseas audience on its national security safeguards had been made very difficult because “a lot of those international forums” have been “manipulated by the United States and its allies.”

“They’ll make use of every opportunity to smear Hong Kong,” he said. “When you look back, every two or three months, there will be a certain report from the US, from the UK, talking about [how] there’s no freedoms in Hong Kong. And now you can say whatever you want, right?”

He says he can’t comment on proposed measures against ‘fake news’ because it comes under the Home and Youth Affairs Bureau.

On cue, overseas Catholic clergy call for Lai’s release.

Samuel Bickett piece on the HK government’s reaction to the proposed US bill to sanction officials, judges and prosecutors. (Might need a VPN or something to access from Hong Kong.)

Spotted by David Webb – Tung Chee-hwa’s Our Hong Kong Foundation think-tank issues a press release that looks pretty much dictated by Mainland officials, bluntly declaring the group’s loyalty to Beijing. For context, recall that the organization is rooted in a very pre-2019 tycoon/bureaucrat and international orientation, and leading figures were staunch supporters of Carrie Lam – the one thing both protestors and today’s NSL-order establishment can agree about. OHKF chair Bernard Chan said…

…that what [HK and Macau Affairs] Director Xia said had helped us better understand the international situation that Hong Kong finds itself in, particularly to clearly discern the anti-China forces in the US and the West who are sparing no efforts to interfere and disrupt the implementation of “One Country Two Systems”. They do so not because we have done anything wrong but because our country and Hong Kong have done everything right and are developing well. Even if we compromise and back down they will not stop smearing Hong Kong and China. This is why we must stand united, be self-reliant, and fight hard. The difficulties Hong Kong is facing are all transitory. We deeply feel the confidence of [the] Central People’s Government in Hong Kong’s development. 

Not gloating or anything – the Straits Times reports on companies leaving Hong Kong for Singapore, despite the former’s attempts to push itself as a ‘headquarters economy’. Examples include DHL, FedEx, BAT and several banks. While some companies are openly quitting Hong Kong…

…more enterprises have been taking a subtler route, discreetly moving large parts of their staff and operations elsewhere and redefining what a head office means.

While the number of global companies with regional headquarters in Hong Kong has fallen some 8.4 per cent since 2019, the number of staff engaged by such firms has dropped by a whopping 30 per cent in the same period, according to official data.

…“Singapore controls its own destiny (while) Hong Kong’s destiny will be shaped by Beijing, with all the benefits, opportunities and challenges that that implies,” said Mr [think-tank member Curtis] Chin…

I don’t remember possible resurgence of Cantonese separatism being on anyone’s predictions for China in 2023. But after re-enacting a 1920s-era debate about federalism…

…the (Guangzhou Lingnan model UN] group was suspected of carrying out “illegal activities” and training people to debate “sensitive topics.”

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12 Responses to Innocent until proven guilty?

  1. Lo Wu Vuitton says:

    Any idea how many of those OHKF shoeshiners have US or Canadian passports?

  2. Fish says:

    At least at 10 am from a Starbucks in Wanchai, the Bickett substack was blocked. You can get to substack, search for Bickett’s blog, find his page, but you cannot open his substack to read the seditious thought crimes. Looks like the Great Firewall – 2nd System version has upgraded to Erniebot 3.5.

  3. Chinese Netizen says:

    re Chris Tang: When you have to preemptively attack what you *anticipate* will be said about you, then you have a guilty conscience and skeletons in the closet.
    He’s frothing but doesn’t realize that Americans really don’t have the interest in HK due to all the fun court shenanigans of the ex president, Mango Mussolini, and his mission to dismantle democracy and government in the U.S.

  4. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Lo Wu: You left out the most likely ones…UK, Oz and/or NZ.

  5. Low Profile says:

    It seems Chris Tang hasn’t been reading the official style guide. When he says: ““every two or three months, there will be a certain report from the US, from the UK,”, surely he means “so-called report”.

  6. reductio says:

    Pace Hemlock, in the interests of balance I should point out that many ‘heavyweights’ believe HK is in fact “ready to rock”. Just today in the SCMP the well-known German banker James von Moltke said he “…can’t conceive of 2024 being a down year. … There’s a lot of dry powder in the private equity and alternative [finance] world that wants to go to work.”

    In the same vein I read that a memo of understanding has been signed by the PBOC and the HKMA to link up “regulatory facilities on fintech innovation and fintech supervisory sandbox [sic].”

    The powder is dry, the sandbox is ready. OHKF is the tip of a mighty spear. With John Lee the shaft and Chris Tang the throwing strap I’m ready to follow.

    Are you?

  7. Mary Melville says:

    SMEAR is obviously the Word of the Day.
    Coupled with BAD the impresssion is one of Cringy Whingy rather than Pearl of the Orient. Of course it could be compatible with Asia’s WC if the chain is not wanked?

  8. Red Dragon says:

    Mary Melville

    Wanked or yanked?

    Your call.

  9. Mark Bradley says:

    “You can get to substack, search for Bickett’s blog, find his page, but you cannot open his substack to read the seditious thought crimes. Looks like the Great Firewall – 2nd System version has upgraded to Erniebot 3.5.”

    It’s because substack uses sub domains which are easy to block with DNS null route blocking systems like the kind HK (and Singapore for “fake news” and U.K. for illegal torrent sites) has. They haven’t upgraded anything since they established it under NSL.

  10. Fish says:

    @reductio are you sure it is just the tip or is it the entire bellend? How do you differentiate between the shaft, tip, and bollocks?

  11. reductio says:


    Talking of bollocks and bellends:

    “He remains influential in Hong Kong politics and is dubbed as ‘kingmaker’ “.

    I’ve always thought that the Liaison Office was a front for the real power in Hong Kong. All is now revealed.

  12. A ladder over the Lesser Firewall of HK says:

    You can easily bypass HKSARG-decreed blocking by using an external DNS server.
    This link lists DNS servers and explains them (updated monthly):

    And here’s a guide to changing your DNS server on your computer…

    I currently use Cloudflare, because they’re fast and don’t keep logs, and I reckon in the current NSL clime, Google will not be long for HK, and they do keep logs. Cloudflare also have apps for mobiles to change DNS too (to their DNS, obviously). But take a few for a test drive, to see which is fastest and best for you.

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