Water cannon trucks and other police vehicles parked
southwards to a nearby People's Liberation Army firing range
and, a little further in the distance, Sheung Shui
Hong Kong was shaken this morning by a minor earthquake which occurred near the coast of southeastern China. Some people reported having been woken up by the tremor but I slept undisturbed right through it. And, actually, a greater earthquake occurred yesterday night as far as I was concerned, with the announcement that China has replaced its top man in Hong Kong, with a former provincial governor taking over from Wang Zhimin over at the Liason Office.
At least one political commentator has stated that the move was only to be expected after the now former Liason Office chief misled his bosses in Beijing about what was going on in Hong Kong. In fact, there already were reports back in November of this action plan. Even so, I am sure many people do find it surprising that Carrie Lam's head wasn't the first to roll over the still on-going in 2020 crisis she caused by her proposing a bill that would allow for extradition of people in Hong Kong over to Mainland China.
In any case, speculation has already begun as to what this move by Beijing means for Hong Kong, with a number of people disturbed by the new Liason Office director, Luo Huining, lacking Hong Kong experience (and, I think it safe to assume, knowledge) and having a reputation as an "enforcer". Also noteworthy is that Luo ranks higher than Wang (even when Wang was Liason Office director) in the Chinese government hierarchy -- perhaps a sign that Beijing will be taking Hong Kong more seriously than previously -- even while having been handed a position just last week that indicated that he was approaching semi-retirement.
Meanwhile, on the ground in Hong Kong, people have been worrying about a mysterious virus infecting people in Wuhan, including 16 (as of today) suspected cases involving people in Hong Kong with a SARS-like illness who recently visited that Mainland Chinese city. Considering the seriousness of the problems caused by Hong Kong's Special Administrative Region (SAR) status, it really could have done without a severe acute respiratory syndrom (SARS)-like problem right now.
Another problem out of China that Hong Kong has been facing involves "parallel traders". And thousands of people gathered in Sheung Shui earlier today to march against parallel trading in this border town in particular and Hong Kong in general. With some overlap between these protestors and those making the five demands that have rang out at anti-extradition bill/pro-democracy protests for some months, it sadly was to be expected that the police would show up and do the kind of stuff that has made them so hated -- by regular folks rather than just hardened protestors.
I realize that I may be sounding like a broken record but the sheer lunacy of the Hong Kong police's "policing" ways really needs to be curtailed, if not outright stop. As things stand, so many innocent bystanders and other non-protestors -- including fellow police officers -- are getting attacked by the police for no real reason that, at some point, I swear that they are going to turn the whole of Hong Kong against them, the government they represent and the regime over in Beijing that still doesn't seem to "get" that Hong Kongers really aren't like Mainland Chinese in terms of what they want and, also, how they react when you try to bully them!