Enjoy your historical nihilism while you can

An HKFP op-ed on how Beijing is rewriting Hong Kong’s recent history:

Tea table gossip about bought-and-paid-for protesters has become the official narrative.

There was no pro-democracy movement supported by the majority of the population – just a foreign-backed anti-China plot. Local public opinion never existed.

The claim that Hong Kong protesters must have needed outside resources and know-how to – for example – arrange deliveries of bottled water to demonstrations goes back to the Umbrella Movement. But the theme of foreign forces (invariably the NED on a hilariously tiny budget) masterminding ‘citizen journalists’ to plot the overthrow of poor vulnerable oppressive regimes is indeed suddenly cropping up all over the place. Recent examples include China Daily. Another is here, where a ‘geopolitical analyst’ writes (at impressive length)…

Protests The protests were well-organized, well-funded, and clearly using a long list of specialized techniques associated with a shadowy sector known as “the revolution industry”.

(Column brought to you by the shadowy sector known as the ‘CIA controls publics in authoritarian countries’ industry.)

Who do Beijing spin-doctors think they are going to fool with this narrative? Apart from the tankies, few overseas observers will be convinced (the revised history only makes that quest for ‘credible PR’ even harder). And the several million Hongkongers who attended massive peaceful protests in 2014-19 know the CIA did not pay or organize them, or issue them with special top-secret laser pointers. The answer can only be that they are kidding themselves.

But of course the new version of history serves as a pretext. It has been hard to miss a recent surge in official use of the phrase ‘geo-political’ – as in Hong Kong as a ‘site for geo-political conflict’. This week’s example, a deputy police commissioner angling for Internet controls.

As the top guy himself tells us, John Lee will bring a ‘new atmosphere’ to Hong Kong.

On the subject of tankies, a US leftist publication denounces them and Muslim leaders for siding with Beijing over human rights violations in Xinjiang – while maintaining the anti-Western integrity.

… The Uighurs are wronged four times over: by China’s oppression, by American imperialist cooptation, by left-wing denialism, and by Muslim leaders’ dereliction.

It can be done!

Commerce Secretary Edward Yau, discerner of economic well-being and public opinion, says…

Hong Kong will not compromise its anti-Covid measures for the rest of the economy, despite growing calls from the business sector to resume quarantine-free international travel.

… He said travelers will still have to quarantine for the time being to reduce the risk of community transmission, as people are worried there would be importation of cases if restrictions are relaxed.

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