Sunday, November 22, 2020

The fourth Wuhan coronavirus wave has arrived and the political arrests continue in Hong Kong

A Tweet by a Hong Kong journalist turned barrister that I, sadly, can really relate to

Yes, I can relate to this Tweet too :(
Hong Kong's fourth Wuhan coronavirus wave is here.  Any doubts that this was so have been dispelled this week -- which began with the reporting of single digit new case numbers earlier in the week (e.g., the four on Tuesday) before a surge later in the week brought the numbers of new infections up to 26 on Friday, 43 yesterday and 68 today (the highest daily total in more than three months).
Among the individuals who tested positive this week is a 75-year-old billionaire, Rosanna Wang Gaw, who may be the super spreader of a dance club cluster which now numbers 80 cases, making it Hong Kong's second largest coronavirus cluster to date; topped only by the second wave's bar and band cluster which eventually totalled 103 confirmed cases.  The revelation that today's newly confirmed cases include individuals living on The Peak and in Bel Air as well as the less rarified likes of Yau Ma Tei, Wong Tai Sin and Kwai Chung shows that the coronavirus is spreading among the rich as well as regular Hong Kong folks (  
Hopefully, this will get all sectors of Hong Kong society to pitch in and do their bit to help prevent an infectious disease expert's dire prediction of 1,000 new cases per week in the territory come this December.  And with the scuttling of the Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble before it actually got going, we at least don't have to worry of importing additional cases from Singapore or, as may be more likely at this point, exporting cases to the Lion City.
More than incidentally, Britain's All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hong Kong decided yesterday that it will nominate "Grandma" Wong for the Nobel Peace Prize.  The vice-chair of the group, Lord Alton of Liverpool, said Wong was fearless and “embodies the bravery, determination and resilience of the Hong Kong protestors that have inspired the world” while British activist Luke de Pulford has stated that “Grandma Wong’s only crime is to demand the fulfilment of the promises made to #HongKong by Beijing AND the UK. And to do it without a shred of fear". 
This follows another Hong Konger, Nathan Law, being honored at the 2020 Sergei Magnitsky Human Rights Awards on Monday with the Outstanding Opposition Figure Award for his “outstanding work standing up to the Communist Party of China to keep Hong Kong free”.  In addition, two Hong Kong political films -- including short film Night is Young, about a taxi driver’s experiences during last year’s pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, by Ten Years co-director Kwok Zune -- won at the Golden Horse Awards in Taipei last night.     

At a time when the world has so much (else) to fixate about, these kinds of things help give a sense that there still are eyes on Hong Kong, and support for those who are struggling against what really is an oppressive regime mounting a major assault on Hong Kong's freedoms.  And for those who (still) wonder why there should be eyes on Hong Kong: consider it the canary in the coal mine in terms how China behaves when faced with a people who don't buy into its values and system.  
Already, Beijing's open violation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration and willingness to kill a golden goose should have gotten alarm bells ringing loudly.  It remains to be seen though whether China's Hong Kong gamble will end up hurting it more than the world at large.    

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