With the cancellation of the much hated “Mask mandate” on March 1, Hong Kong is now onto the final strait of its recovery from both the 2019/2020 western supported insurrection and the subsequent pandemic.
And as I have previously predicted in Pearls and Irritations the hysterical western narrative, be it from governments or from western media, about life in Hong Kong is looking increasingly difficult to sustain, as more and more people get to see the reality.
But this does not prevent the top US diplomat (a word to be used with caution), Gregory May from publicly parroting the Washington line that the National Security Law is an imposition on the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong’s 8 million citizens.
Now such US rhetoric is nothing new, for most of us here in Hong Kong it’s water off a duck’s back, but when it comes from the US Consul, it raises interesting perspectives.
The widely used definition of the word “Diplomacy” is “the skill in managing relations between different countries”, so one wonders what Mr May had in mind when he decided to make public remarks about “political suppression” and “deteriorating rule of law”.
But actually we shouldn’t be surprised as back during the height of the insurrection we learned that there had been secret meetings between US consular officials and leaders of the riots.
It seems that this time Mr May has gone too far, as his remarks provoked an unequivocal response from Beijing advising Mr May to respect 3 red lines:
- Do not jeopardise Chinese National Security
- Do not intervene in local politics
- Do not smear Hong Kong’s prospects
One can only wonder what will be the next steps? Mr May claims that 150,000 Americans have left Hong Kong in the past 3 years, but so what? Hong Kong’s population has always been highly fluid, and the covid policies of 2021 and 2022 were certainly a factor in the life decisions of many people, not just Americans.
And, as a very robust remainer, I can only say good luck to the folks who for whatever reason packed their bags, there are now widespread signs that many who did leave are trying to return.
But anyway, with 150,000 less Americans to “protect’ maybe Mr May and the US should be considering downsizing its gargantuan fortress like building on Garden Road, and relocating to a smaller facility in line with those of other countries, I would suggest the sale of that piece of land would go a considerable way to reducing the US government debt, but then again, I doubt that any of the US consulate corps would want to pack their bags and say goodbye to the very comfortable lifestyle they enjoy here in Hong Kong. Back in November, Mr May was photographed enjoying the iconic Hong Kong Rugby Sevens, strange behaviour from one who talks up the risks of living in Hong Kong.
The bigger question though is what happens next if Mr May crosses any of the 3 red lines? There is “form” here, as the US side forced the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston in 2020, so what’s to stop Beijing pulling the exact same measures? And if so how would Washington respond, close another Chinese consulate in the US? The trouble here for the US is that the US diplomatic presence in Hong Kong is vastly disproportionate to the size of the HKSAR, and a Tit for Tat would require the US closing a major Chinese facility in the US, risking further escalation. Unlikely? Well, never say never.
Meanwhile, as we approach the 4th anniversary of the infamous “Anti Extradition Bill” protests/riots it is worthwhile to cast one’s mind back to the case where it all started. When Chan Tong Kai murdered his pregnant girl friend Amber Poon in Taipei in October 2017 and then fled back to Hong Kong he lit a slow fuse that is still burning. Chan openly admits to committing the crime yet could only be tried and sentenced in HK for the far less serious crime of using Amber’s cash card to withdraw money from her account here in HK. The murder was not committed in HK and in the absence of an applicable extradition treaty Chan could not be sent to Taiwan. He has now served his sentence and walks free in Hong Kong while Amber’s mother has to live on with the lack of justice for her daughter. The road block appears firmly to be on the Taiwan side. But here is the thing, just before last year’s local elections in Taiwan two fairly notorious gentlemen are presumed to have taken part in the firing of 88 shots in Tainan City, an action that was widely seen as a political statement. Nobody was seriously hurt but nevertheless these two gents took off to the mainland.
One would think they would feel safe there, but wrong, just a couple of weeks ago Taiwan was very happy to accept the return of these 2 gangsters from the mainland to Taiwan!!! And this is not an isolated incident, the Taiwan News reports that China has returned no less than 56 suspects to Taiwan over the past 6 years while Taiwan has sent 6 back to the mainland.
None of this is ever reported in the western media, of course, as it would be hard to explain away why Beijing and Taipei, supposedly at each other’s throats and on the brink of an all-out war are quite happily exchanging suspected criminals, and furthermore it starkly exposes the Taiwanese duplicity over the case of Chan Tong Kai and their role, no doubt at the behest of Washington, in fuelling the fires in Hong Kong in 2019.