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Hong Kong arrests uncovering an ‘ugly plot?’

Written By: - Date published: 6:15 pm, January 25th, 2021 - 6 comments
Categories: australian politics, China, democratic participation, Nanaia Mahuta, Propaganda, rumour, surveillance - Tags:

Retired Hong Kong Final Court of Appeal Judge Henry Litton raises some important questions about the motivations of the 53 would-be legislators recently arrested in Hong Kong. Five Eyes countries including New Zealand were quick to condemn the arrests, but Litton states their aim was to implement a wider plot called “10-steps to mutual destruction,” and to use their powers as legislators to create chaos.

Litton outlines the shape of the plot, considers whether it may contravene the basic law as a “conspiracy to subvert’, discusses the likely defence based on black-letter law, as against the legislators fundamental requirement to act in good faith to promote the security and stability of Hong Kong. He notes the the police investigation is ongoing and nothing has yet been proven, but concludes that the Secretary for Security’s assertion that the whole operation is an “ugly plot” may be no exaggeration.

Henry Litton has been a judge in Hong Kong since 1992 and continued to hear cases until 2015. He is not an appointee of the PRC. His opinion is presumably to be taken seriously.

Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta criticised the arrests by tweet:

“Aotearoa New Zealand is deeply concerned by the recent arrest of a number of pro-democracy advocates in #HongKong,” she wrote. “This represents another effort to erode the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong and further undermine the one country two systems framework.”

If the Hong Kong judge is right this is far from the truth, in fact the opposite is the case. New Zealand’s statement was separated from the other Five Eyes joint statement which went further, but that just raises the question of the basis for the criticism. What advice was Nanaia Mahuta given by MFAT on the issue? Is it another case of follow-the-leader rather than a truly independent assessment based on good information on the ground.

If New Zealand wants to be an honest broker between the Australia and China, it will need to have very good information from the Chinese side. Much better than appears at present.


6 comments on “Hong Kong arrests uncovering an ‘ugly plot?’ ”

  1. Byd0nz 1

    Great Article that shows NZ follows their 5 eyes masters rather than exploring the matter indepth before putting forward an opinion.

  2. Gosman 2

    I'm a little confused here. The ultimate aim of the people who have been arrested is to increase the democratic space in Hong Kong. Their methods to achieve this may have been extreme but as far as I can tell they were still using the governmental structures in place and were not advocating armed rebellion or separation from China. This seems like a legitimate tactic to use to achieve their aims. Why is this deemed "bad"?

    • aom 2.1

      Do you really believe that the people who have been arrested want more democracy Gosman? It is evident that the so-called democratic movement has been engineered by the usual suspects with the training and financing channels being pretty obvious – hell, the Stars and Stripes have already been fluttering above the 'protests'. Add to that the multiple doses of anarchy and destruction that makes the storming of the Capitol look like a Sunday picnic. Despite the violence and property demolition, the HK Police have no deaths that they are responsible for. There was an expectation that Nanaia Mahuta would separate NZ from the 5-Eyes choral consensus dictated by the US. While not signing up on the same piece of paper as the other four, the FM has obviously been reined her in again by the PM. How long before it gets too much for Ms Mahuta and the resignation is placed on the table. Ms Ardern would probably jump at the opportunity to put a compliant dick-head like Nash in as FM. He wouldn't flinch from buttering the toast for the US regime change merchants.

      • Gosman 2.1.1

        Let's get this clear what you are insinuating.

        Are you seriously suggesting that the many hundreds (if not thousands) of activists in Hong Kong that are campaigning against mainland Chinese interference in Hong Kong's government and who are making noises about greater democratic representation for people living in Hong Kong are actually all being controlled by the US and it's Western allies and these people are not doing it because they believe in the ideals they are willing to risk prison for but are only interested in either the money they get for doing the work they do or because they secretly want to suck up to the West?

        • aom

          Don't attempt to rewrite the comment by posing the statement, "Let's get this clear what you are insinuating." This might have been more appropriate if it had been framed as a genuine question.
          Otherwise, the content of the original comment was quite clear, as is your position.

  3. Brendan 3

    I see Hong Kong as being a battle ground between the two big powers.

    Want to poke the Dragon – use Hong Kong.

    While Hong Kong is being held up as the example for Capitalism, the reality is that this only goes so far. Market failure in housing is everywhere.

    The sad thing is that people see the word Communist and freak out.

    My advice to the NZ govt – say as little as possible and move on!.

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