From HKFP – an op-ed on the failure of even ‘moderate patriots’ to get nominated as candidates for the District Council elections…
…it appears that 75 per cent of the candidates in the geographical race already sit on the committees that decide who stands in the elections. A cautious approach, you might think. One committee member said that he or she did not dare to nominate potential candidates “without Beijing’s blessing.” Beijing’s Liaison Office likely played a key role in coordinating the nominations to ensure the outcome desired by the central authorities.
…How to explain [moderates’ inability to get nominated]? Lau [Siu-kai] implies that although [Ronny] Tong and [Michael] Tien and other leaders may meet the standard of being patriots, the candidates themselves are unknown to the authorities. There would be a high risk for the nominators if they turned out not to measure up, he writes.
In my district, we have Angel Pang (mentioned yesterday), who wants to widen Caine Road to three lanes for cars (easy – just knock down all the stupid buildings on either side of the street), and Karl Fung for Council, who pushes ‘Community Harmony’ and ‘Community: You, me and Pets’. (There are three others, who may or may not add to the diversity of ideas.)
If you enjoyed clicking on last week’s link to the HK Democracy Council only to get a ‘This site can’t be reached’ message, you’ll enjoy Samuel Bickett’s latest piece here. (Offer applies within Hong Kong only. A workaround.)
The article asks why the proposed US Hong Kong Sanctions Act against officials, judges and prosecutors has hit such a raw nerve among local authorities, and suggests that overseas perceptions about declining judicial independence are having a real economic cost. On the idea from Regina Ip, Lau Siu-kai and Tam Yiu-chung that trials might be transferred to the Mainland…
It is … likely that these three figures were acting on their own in a dance we’ve seen more and more in Hong Kong’s ranks: performative efforts to impress Beijing by out-doing each other in the level of shock and attention they can bring to the cause.
Even if I’m wrong here and the threat did originate with Beijing or the Hong Kong government, actually carrying it out would make little sense. The crux of the accusation that forms the basis for the Hong Kong Sanctions Act is that the judiciary is no longer independent and political defendants cannot get a fair trial. If Beijing responded to the Act by interfering with the Hong Kong judicial process and transferring prisoners to Mainland China, they would simply confirm to the world that the U.S. government was right. It doesn’t fit Beijing’s narrative, and would cause more problems for them while solving none.
The government seems to deny it will happen.