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A New York Times reporter, Farhoud Jabeen, and his son stopped off in Hong Kong for a cocktail and a few shibori chicken eggs. They’d just returned from a week in the country, visiting several temples and accidentally doing away with a whole bunch of CCTV. What do you expect from reporters?
On the way out of Hong Kong, they’d stopped off in the Liaison Office.
The writer got a five-minute video on his phone of himself, son and staff from the Bureau of Information, speaking English in a small chamber behind a desk, looking through piles of documents and reading documents from stacks of stacks of piles.
“Hi!” the man said. “Hello.” He handed the reporter a TV, and the reporter mentioned this was the first time he’d seen anything like it.
The man explained that they’d come to Hong Kong to view some classified documents related to Hong Kong and neighbouring Macau. “You don’t need to worry,” he said. “You can leave.”
The man said these documents were not for you. People with national security clearance will have to review and scrutinise the material.
“You can leave,” he said. He meant it. “I don’t know how long this will take.” The Hong Kong government didn’t want you to leave, he said.
Then he handed the reporter a phone. It had no memory. He wanted you to use WiFi in one of the hotels to download the video, telling you to make sure your iPad was powered down at home, and just charge it if it was still charged from the charger you’d brought.
It appeared to have zero speed or any signal.
You can watch the video here.
Now you need to think about whether you want to stay with them.
They just turned off wifi. Would you like to be reminded that you, along with others, are committing treason to the evil gods of the sea?