HK Magazine Archive

Winter Is Coming to Hong Kong

Two of Hong Kong’s “missing” booksellers have come out of the woodwork this week. 
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 January, 2016, 10:38am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 4:55pm

Chinese authorities have confirmed that they are holding both Gui Minhai and Lee Bo. Gui has been paraded on state television, claiming that he cut short his holiday in Thailand in order to turn himself in to authorities over a fatal drunk driving incident in 2003. Thai authorities say they have no record of him leaving the country. Lee has also insisted he is helping the authorities with their inquiries.

Meanwhile (part 1), Chief Executive CY Leung has said that he would consider quitting the United Nations Convention Against Torture if it was necessary to halt the flood of “fake” refugees claiming asylum in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile (part 2), a whirling vortex of freezing air is apparently bound for the city, a cold front which media have pounced upon as the harbinger of a blizzard that will force the city to its knees.

It’s the perfect storm.

How so? Follow this logic, if you dare:

The cold weather will have the city’s residents even more wrapped up in their fur coats than ever before. Even the usually blithe Northern European expatriate may deign to throw on a light sweater.

With everyone wrapped up and a blizzard rolling in, it’s the perfect cover for state security agents to breeze in with the implements of abduction hidden under their coats. Raging snowstorms will provide them with the ideal conditions to whisk dissidents back over the border before anyone notices.

And with CY willing to throw human rights away just to quash a handful of refugee claimant issues that would be better dealt with by just... dealing with it, it’s obvious that no one’s going to make a fuss over a few disappearances: Just call them “fake” refugees and everyone’s happy.

Admittedly, this pretty much appears to be happening already, well before the fall of that first snowflake. But think of the optics! When Fox or Warner Bros. decides to shoot Oscar-bait epic “2016: The Fall of Hong Kong” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Michelle Yeoh (it’s always Michelle Yeoh), the whole thing is going to look way better if it takes place in the middle of a freakish snowstorm, isn’t it?

Ice in the sky, blood on the snow... We can’t wait.