Mourn behind closed doors

It’s ‘police overtime’ day. Ronny advises that you remember Tiananmen privately. What’s going on elsewhere.

Some random recommended reading…

From Asian Crime Century – picking up from the UK arrests of three men for conducting illegal activities for ‘Hong Kong intelligence’, a fascinating history of the Hong Kong Police Special Branch and its descendants today…

Superintendent “Our Frankie” Shaftain, the head of CID and a Special Branch section dealing with subversion … led the police intelligence efforts during the battle for Hong Kong in 1941, and was responsible for major decisions such as the summary execution (by machine gun) of collaborators in an alley next to the Lane Crawford department store…

Fast-forwarding to the post-1997 era…

…The outcome of [a] somewhat single minded focus by [the Security Wing] on Falun Gong seems to have been a decline of insight into what was happening in Hong Kong society. SW and the Hong Kong Police leadership had no insight into the nature and extent of new protest movements that developed in the first two decades of the 21st century.

…The police were unable to stop the [2019] protests, and it was apparent through 2019 how little the police, and by implication SW, understood about the new wave of youth led protest movements. Clearly SW and political intelligence policing in Hong Kong had failed from 1997 to 2020.

This assumes that Beijing’s officials did not intervene in 2019 and order local authorities to treat the protests as a law-enforcement, rather than political, issue. However…

…The Office for Safeguarding National Security is effectively an outpost of the Ministries of State Security and Public Security…

…In September 2023, by then head of the PRC Liaison Office in Hong Kong, Zheng was reported to have stated that the authorities should be vigilant against anti-Chinese forces, continue to “rigorously enforce” the national security law, that there are still “hostile foreign forces” trying to disrupt Hong Kong’s development and stability, “anti-China elements” are attempting a comeback, and the Hong Kong Police should “build a solid defense line” for national security. The statement seems to be a continuation of the provision of backbone to the Hong Kong Police to take the lead in suppressing political dissent and criticism of the CCP.

…Because of the large overt deployment of senior MSS and PSB staff to the city and their expanded role in local government committees, it is unlikely that the Hong Kong Police has operational independence in national security matters after the establishment of the MSS led Office for Safeguarding National Security in 2020.

The article concludes with some theories about why the ETO-linked operation was apparently so amateurish.

Thorough post by Kevin Yam on overseas judges serving in Hong Kong…

…the advantage of the likes of Lords Hoffman and Sumption staying on the Hong Kong court is, while well-meaning, cosmetic and illusory, and do nothing to hold back the tide. Without this advantage, one is then left with their presence being an endorsement of an authoritarian system of laws and government. They should not stay.

US Customs are checking every item on air freight arriving from China.

“…CBP is finding a lot of illegal stuff. There is fentanyl, drug-making equipment and misdeclarations of value to meet the de minimis threshold.” 

…Fentanyl caused the death of 200 Americans every day in 2022 and over a quarter of a million have died from a fentanyl overdose since 2018. Fentanyl-type drugs reportedly caused the death of 100,000 Americans last year alone. 

From China Leadership Monitor, a lengthy discussion of ‘lying flat’. It started as online slang, then became a way for the young to express despair at China’s system. After officials blasted the phrase for a while, it became acceptable as a way to criticize foreigners – and at one point, the Hong Kong government…

Chinese Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) member and pro-Beijing think-tank director Cheung Chi-kong lambasted Hong Kong officials in general, and Chief Executive Carrie Lam in particular, for being “opportunists” who half-heartedly pursued “dynamic clearing” while secretly believing the British and American models of co-existence with the coronavirus to be “superior and civilized.” “‘Lying flat’ and ‘co-existing with the virus,’” Cheung railed, “is definitely not the choice of most Hong Kong people, and this ‘elite faction’ cannot possibly represent Hong Kong, let alone the whole of the Hong Kong people.”

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7 Responses to Mourn behind closed doors

  1. Asia's World Pity says:

    1. The mainland’s Zero Covid policy was the biggest case of Lying Flat. Simply giving up and waiting for it to go away.

    2. I wonder how much of the fentanyl shipping to the US is seen (officially and privately) as some sort of payback to the West for the Opium Wars, considering how the subject is a feature of the education system there from kindergarten onwards, and raised so often by Wumao warriors.

  2. Chinese Netizen says:

    No doubt there is an element of payback satisfaction in seeing so much Fentanyl reach North America but I’d reckon that the CCP’s controls on the chemicals and transportation aren’t as tight as they think it is or as all encompassing as they’d like. I’m sure they’d love to see tons of it get to the UK too.

    Happy May 35!!

  3. Mary Melville says:


  4. Reactor #4 says:

    That 70,000-100,000 Americans are each year dying from fentanyl-related issues reflects the failings of Society there. The World’s richest and most powerful nation ever appears to be entering its death throes.

  5. SiuJiu says:

    The Asian Crime Century piece is a great read, and it took only a few sentences to guess who the author must be. Few people indeed are that well informed about the HKPF.

  6. steve says:

    Reactionary #4 has peculiar capitalization habits (“Society,” “World”) that resemble those of Donald Trump. Comparable cognitive decline? Look for the all-caps messages….

  7. Chinese Netizen says:

    “If a person does anything in private without the intention of inciting hatred of the government, I don’t think an offence is committed.” ~Vag, as quoted in The Guardian

    Sooo…what if one were to have a nice little wank in private WITH the intention of inciting hatred???? Charges under…? Evidence?

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