Anti-indie campaign hits new unsubtlety levels

As if the Andy Chan/HK independence/FCC Freak-out isn’t sufficiently absurd/sinister, the Hong Kong Police produce additional evidence that Chan’s HK National Party is a threat to national security.

The new evidence is essentially Chan’s appearance and remarks at the infamous Foreign Correspondents Club lunch two weeks back, and his subsequent call for US sanctions. The lunch was essentially prompted by the first, massive, police report on why the HKNP should be banned. So we have a loop whereby: government creates story -> press covers story -> government uses this to embellish/create a new story.

The SCMP quotes Assistant Police Commissioner Rebecca Lam:

“Through taking part in and speaking at the luncheon at the FCC, the HKNP has taken a positive step to heighten its profile in furthering its unlawful advocacy for Hong Kong independence,” she said in the six-page report, that was accompanied by a transcript and footage of the talk.

“The [party’s] call for foreign intervention in the internal affairs of China and Hong Kong is particularly alarming.”

Her use of the word ‘unlawful’ (see brief discussion here) and feigned alarm over ‘foreign intervention’ reflects her (and the whole Hong Kong government’s) role as a tool: the language is Beijing’s.

Even by the standards of this contrived hysteria, the presenting of supplementary evidence is overkill. It suggests extreme eagerness at a local level – presumably Beijing’s Liaison Office – to be seen to obey panicky paranoiacs higher up the chain of command.

Even if the courts later reject the government’s attempt to ban the HKNP, this will simply confirm the ‘need’ for national security laws that override any pesky local rights stuff. The Chinese Communist Party under Xi Jinping requires Hong Kong to introduce ways to criminalize opinion, and thus it will happen.

A bigger problem, at least for the Hong Kong administration, is the international media. Correspondents in Hong Kong will be witnessing a pretty rare phenomenon: the gradual dismantling of freedom of expression amid the deliberate conversion of a pluralistic society to an authoritarian one. How often do you get to cover – even be part of – a story about that? For the overseas press, this is going to be a treat.

There is nothing Chief Executive Carrie Lam can do about Mainlandization. But she and her bureaucrat government are still more or less in charge of maintaining Hong Kong as a top international business hub, and they even seem to care about it. She will insist that a free flow of information, politically impartial administration and impeccable rule of law are all intact, as the press files stories showing otherwise, and the city’s image and reputation deteriorate.

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7 Responses to Anti-indie campaign hits new unsubtlety levels

  1. Chris Maden says:

    The more the government beat up on independence, the less time and effort it has left over to spend on education, healthcare and housing. The less time it spends on education, healthcare and housing, the more people agitate for independence.

    But, as you say, they’re mere puppets.

  2. But you missed the great story of today and the one-liner in the newspaper report which proves that real satirists are still alive and well in Hong Kong media…as another university teacher, this one at the Best University in Pokfulam, can’t take it any more and chops his old trout.

    “Under university policy, Cheung could lose his teaching position if convicted.” (SCMP)

    Hurrah!

  3. Old Newcomer says:

    Considering how many United Front luminaries are lawyers, they show a lamentable lack of understanding of the difference between constitutional law and criminal law. (I am not sure I used the right word there – luminaries give off light; dimwits would perhaps be a more accurate description of Maria Tam, Junius Ho, Holden Chow et al.)

  4. Joe Blow says:

    “Where is home to you? Southampton?”
    “No. I’m from the Bay Area. The Big BA.”

  5. Stanley Lieber says:

    The CCP’s key strategic interest in Hong Kong is maintaining its irreplaceable status as an international financial centre. Everything rides on that. The rest of the place isn’t worth a bucket of warm spit to them.

  6. Freddie says:

    Sorry I’m changing the subject and apologies if this has been covered before.
    One of the reasons for the negotiations and Joint Declaration in the 80s was that mortgages would extend beyond 1997.
    Here we are now only 29 years before a whole lot of Crown Leases, converted to Government Leases, will expire in 2047.
    Is it now possible to get a 30 year mortgage?

  7. Donny Almond says:

    I just read an article where they described the sale of 47 s.f. apartments somewhere in Hong Kong (as they call it, ‘the size of a ping pong table).

    Therefore, I too, would like to know if it is possible to get a 30 year mortgage.

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