‘Seditious clothing’ warning to celebrate handover anniversary

We don’t hear so much now about post-Covid Hong Kong being ‘back to normal’. Maybe it’s just the passage of time making ‘normal’ normal, or maybe someone thought things were actually still too weird. The holiday weekend will see 4,000 cops on the streets, and…

…insiders warned that anyone seen wearing seditious clothing in public and drawing attention could face arrest.

“Anyone wearing such attire in public will be monitored or stopped and searched, with officers immediately notifying the command centre at police headquarters,” one source said.

He said such behaviour could constitute the offence of engaging in seditious acts under the city’s domestic national security law, which is punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Earlier this month, a 27-year-old man became the first person charged under the law for allegedly wearing seditious clothing in public.

An interview with barrister Paul Harris, who left Hong Kong two years ago after being told by the police that what he wrote in a book and on Twitter could be seditious. In the book he said that people opposed the extradition bill in 2019 because they thought Chinese trials wouldn’t be fair, which the cops said incited hostility towards Beijing. In the Tweet, he said he would cease Tweeting because Hong Kong had become a police state, which (can’t make this stuff up) was also possibly seditious.

His departure meant he had to stop representing two of the HK47.

Some follow-up on the school inspectors’ complaints about kids not singing the national anthem loudly enough…

Hong Kong education authorities on Wednesday hit back at claims officials had gone too far by calling for a special needs school to improve its national security classes.

Social media users earlier slammed the Education Bureau for urging a school for students with moderate mental disabilities to ensure more teachers were better equipped to instruct pupils on national security topics.

The bureau said it “deeply regretted” that some residents believed it had gone too far and felt authorities were “unreasonable to require students with special educational needs to learn the constitution, the Basic Law and national security education”.

…The bureau defended its stance on Wednesday, saying “March of the Volunteers” had “a distinctive rhythm, a high-pitched melody, majestic force and embodies the courage and indomitable fighting spirit of the Chinese nation”.

“Schools have a responsibility to let students understand the etiquette and attitude required when performing the national anthem, so as to cultivate students’ national identity and respect for the country,” it said.

Today’s question from Twitter…

How long will the Chinese authorities tolerate Queen’s Road Central, Prince Edward MTR station or Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong?

Interesting replies from tankies and patriots, or at least wumao and bots. Worth noting that the Chinese versions of Hong Kong’s British place names are often straightforward transliterations with little obvious ‘colonial’ meaning. Taxi drivers would hate any change, and the Post Office would have major problems – especially in the absence of post/ZIP codes (which they once looked into before deciding they could live without it).

Some weekend reading, mostly on Taiwan…

China announces attention-grabbing – if largely symbolic – new punishments for Taiwan ‘splittists’…

State news agency Xinhua said on Friday Beijing had released a notice about punishing “‘Taiwan independence’ diehards for splitting the country and inciting secession”.

It said the notice specified the death penalty for “ringleaders” of independence efforts who “cause particularly serious harm to the state and the people”.

A comment from Cheng-Wei Lai…

China has extradition agreements with 50 countries … in Thailand and Vietnam, Taiwan companies have a lot of factories there. In case the Chinese Embassy requests the extradition of the prisoner, then there is a real possibility that the Taiwanese will be arrested.

…The second thing is that China’s definition of “Taiwan independence activist” does not specify that one must be a Taiwanese, but can be of any nationality. For example, if you are a French-speaking foreigner, you may be arrested in China, or you may be asked for judicial extradition by China when you are in an African country. This creates a lot of risks. Moreover, Chinese people holding US passports may be arrested for “Taiwan independence speech” when they return home to visit their relatives.

…As a Chinese blogger said, this bill will become the arrangement for how to punish Taiwan independence activists after the Taiwan war. Why would such a legislative action be necessary? One of the possibilities is that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has shown that China has a very good chance of winning an attack on Taiwan in its war games. That is why they are confident that they can win this war, and that is why they need to enact legislation to criminalize the pro-independence elements in Taiwan.

Taipei Times op-ed looks at a low-key gathering of Western countries’ officials in the Taiwanese capital last week at around the same time Beijing announced the death penalty for hard-core Taiwan ‘splittists’…

…77 People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) aircraft were flown into Taiwan’s air defense identification zones (ADIZ) in just 48 hours, a high enough number to indicate the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was peeved about something and wanted it known.

…The new amendments coming out of Beijing apply to all nationalities and anyone from anywhere in the globe can be tried in China in absentia … And just in case the assembled diplomats in Taipei did not get the message, Xinhua noted that among other things, “advocating the nation’s entry into international organizations whose memberships are limited to sovereign states, engaging in official exchanges and military contacts abroad and conspiring to create “two Chinas,” or “one China, one Taiwan,” in the international community” is punishable by law in China, possibly with the death penalty.

…perhaps there is something to this being a push for a new strategy on Taiwan joining UN-affiliated organizations across the board as part of a strategy of pushing back against the CCP’s relentless efforts to undermine, subvert or control international agencies. Looked at from that angle, there is more meat on the bone in calling this conclave, and that might be enough to cause Beijing to react as strongly as they did.

Another possibility is they discussed forming a new organization or organizations that would include Taiwan, but exclude China, as part of a grand vision of “de-risking.” 

War on the Rocks on the possible repercussions of an economic blockade of Taiwan…

…an economic blockade in lieu of a full-scale military invasion has a low probability of success and, therefore, Beijing is unlikely to pursue such an operation and, indeed, hasn’t attempted it yet even though it has had the capability to do so for decades. In fact, an attempted economic blockade would almost inevitably lead to war or a humiliating defeat by China. 

…That country’s sense of national pride, history, and desire for self-determination have grown dramatically on the island as it transitioned to a democratic system of government in the 1990s. Chinese officials themselves seem to recognize this reality, as Defense Minister Dong Jun bitterly complained at the Shangri-La Dialogue this month that the prospect of “peaceful reunification …  is increasingly being eroded by separatists for Taiwan independence and foreign forces.”

On other matters: David Gerard, scourge of crypto flimflam, launches a new website on the new hyped-up tech BS – AI.

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6 Responses to ‘Seditious clothing’ warning to celebrate handover anniversary

  1. Chinese Netizen says:

    I guess my t-shirt with a “Afraid of my own shadow” cartoon would be considered “seditious” by this so-called government.

  2. Revolution says:

    I’m impressed. I didn’t think the EDB could show more contempt and insensitivity towards special needs children than it already did. I was wrong.

  3. Boris Badanov says:

    The govt’s own actions call themselves into contempt. Should they prosecute and jail themselves?

  4. Matt says:

    Would a tank top be considered seditious?
    They’re certainly offensive when big old blokes like me wear them

  5. Low Profile says:

    I guess my Tiananmen Mothers T-shirt and my yellow Apple Daily umbrella are now illegal.

  6. HKJC Irregular says:

    Have to thank the David Gerard website for its post on what has to be the best titled academic paper I’ve seen (from University of Glasgow, no less): “ChatGPT is Billshit”

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