Editor’s note for Friday, July 31, 2020

A note from the editor of today's SupChina Access newsletter.

My thoughts today:

Every day brings another U.S. move against China: Today, there is a new set of Xinjiang-related sanctions (see story 3 below), and a possible order for Chinese-owned TikTok to sell to a U.S. entity in order to continue operating in America (story 2).

Every day also brings another assault against Hong Kong’s civil society. Today, the city’s government postponed — for a whole year — the Legislative Council election set to take place in September this year, citing COVID-19. My interpretation: The Hong Kong and Beijing governments want another year to thoroughly crush any opposition to ensure that the vote goes their way.

Also today: The Hong Kong police have ordered the arrest of six activists and “troublemakers,” including one U.S. citizen, and the U.K. consular worker who was previously detained and allegedly tortured in China. As law professor Donald Clarke tweeted: “China is now claiming the right to criminalize speech by foreigners on foreign soil.”

Related: “Hong Kong’s top public prosecutor quits, says he was cut out of new national security cases,” reports Reuters.

Our word of the day is postpone elections (延後選舉 yánhòu xuǎnjǔ), a phrase that is now relevant on both sides of the Pacific. Perhaps we could call it “the grim convergence.”

—Jeremy Goldkorn, Editor-in-Chief