It is easy to imagine that a dam might be bursting in China. There have been spontaneous street protests across the country against the country’s zero Covid policy, unconfirmed videos in Shanghai show crowds calling for president Xi Jinping to resign, and political content is slipping though China’s draconian social media censorship.Continue reading
No one now denies that Hong Kong is a fiefdom of Beijing. Its democratic leaders have been packed off to prison on spurious grounds or have left the territory, and its street protests have long been beaten to pieces with batons.Continue reading
Political activism in Hong Kong has hardly been a carefree pursuit since the handover. But things have become rather less calm in recent months. A few days ago, the Chinese-imposed executive mounted a mass arrest of the same democratic politicians whose successes in recent elections so embarrassed Beijing. They were detained under the national security law that was finally enacted in June, which attracted great protest and condemnation due in no small part to the capacity it contained for actions just like this.Continue reading
Minor excitement in the diplomatic world as the British government announced that it would, for the first time, issue direct sanctions against human rights-transgressing countries without doing so under the auspices of the European Union, NATO, or the United Nations. Continue reading
Despite its vast power, Chinese communism apparently feels itself dogged by enemies, internal and external.
Some of these are the states who do not conform to China’s economic and geographic ambitions. Others are portions of China’s population, notably the inhabitants of Hong Kong, who protest and, this week, voted for their rights to remain uninfringed by Beijing. Continue reading
Permanence has its attractions. It seems stable and without threat. Things we elect to do indefinitely are likely to be activities we enjoy, or can endure. We hope conditions that do not change might make us safe.
This reasoning is naïve, of course. And we know it, or come to learn it through experience. True permanence is as impossible as perfection, each equally out of reach. Continue reading