Some reading for the weekend

Interesting thoughts on the Fishball Revolution, here and from the former Civil Service boss here


Sir David Tang – semi-icon, all-purpose maverick and businessman – spoke to the FCC on Hong Kong’s deteriorating governance yesterday…

…and compared Chief Executive CY Leung unfavourably with Li Peng. You can jump to scurrilous gossip about HSBC toadying to CY the previous evening here.

A small but perfectly formed conspiracy theory about the Tsimshatsui Waterfront saga is here. Essentially, the rival (non-Hong Kong) property tycoons who opposed the freebie for New World used their clout in Beijing, which pushed the Hong Kong government to backtrack to preserve harmony among our feudal elite. To give the claim some credibility, the article also quite correctly notes that the tourist attraction is crap…


The property developers are facing the prospect of what are, by their standards, scarily narrow profit margins as Hong Kong’s housing bubble deflates. Their big self-deluding trick is not Stan-Clampsto ‘reduce’ prices but to offer all sorts of ‘free gifts’ to buyers. Among the latest, Cheung Kong has handed out a furniture allowance, and Henderson are tastefully dressing guys in pink to give purchasers cash rebates. At some stage, the developers will have to come clean and cut the price tags.

This is where the tycoons could really use some clout in Beijing. They will plead desperately for a repeat of the late 1990s, when they successfully pressured Tung Chee-hwa to abandon his cheaper-housing policy (devised by one CY Leung). But things have changed. Xi Jinping doesn’t seem especially impressed with Hong Kong’s property barons, and by all accounts CY’s one Big Obsession (other than Belt-and-Road shoe-shining) is solving the housing issue. The Umbrella/Fishball movements will not help the tycoons’ case for propping up home prices. All they can hope for is for officials to give in to the squealing of middle-class types (like… officials) who bought at the wrong time.

I declare the weekend open with a few examples of globa-multi-culturalism-lization gone berserk. At a restaurant in Mongkok, the Italian egg/bacon pasta classic carbonara goes Korean, with chili and rice cakes…


It would be either brilliant or revolting. I think it might actually work. Tempted to give it a go.  I tried the Canadian National Milk Marketing Board of Canada’s chicken and cheese congee a while back – with added home-made kimchi – and lived to tell the tale…


(That’s havarti, for the gourmets out there.)

And at a Vanguard near you, a British supermarket chain’s Thai subsidiary offers Hong Kong a Cantonese version of a Japanese sauce…



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14 Responses to Some reading for the weekend

  1. Don’t you think we need an Avenue Of The Poor?

    So many sites to choose from. Part of an alternative guide to Hong Kong. Get your rotten pig ears, 1950s clothes and squashed tomatoes here.

    You can’t even buy a cup,of coffee many places with the standard Welfare daily food allowance.

  2. Lars Ulrich says:

    Havarti is the cheese babies and toddlers eat in Denmark, not exactly gourmet.

  3. Qian Jin says:

    Aah, Sir Shanghai David. He keeps a relatively low profile these days but usually pops out of the China Club woodwork to make appearance when he probably figures its time to try for another promotion by the Queen.
    Not sure, if he will be satisfied this time for elevation to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire or whether he will dip into his late grandfather’s KMB loot a bit deeper this time and go all out for the Lords or perhaps a pretty “Royal Garter” made of Chinese silk. I wonder which ‘charity’ will benefit this time around ? Do the Conservative Party , Mayor of Londons Office (e.g. hosting Boris J for dinner in Beijing ) or the British Taxpayers’ Alliance (accused by some Labour MPs and the media of being a front for the Tories) still retain their have charitable status arms? Sir Shanghai Tang , a couple of years ago, certainly didn’t favour the idea of losing UK tax rebates for his UK donations to whomever. (

    London Gazette New Years Honours List 2008 : “DIPLOMATIC SERVICE AND OVERSEAS LIST
    To be Ordinary Knights Commander of the Civil Division
    of the said Most Excellent Order:
    David Tang Wing-cheung, O.B.E. For charitable
    services in the UK and British interests in Hong Kong.

  4. Knownot says:

    Tim Hamlett’s article – Big Lychee’s first link – is very good.

    – – – – – –

    I was in the United States with Mrs Knownot, staying in a flat belonging to relations of hers. In the freezer we found some frozen ravioli, which they must have dumped there because they thought it was junk food they regretted buying. One day she made congee with the frozen ravioli and it was delicious. I said, with appreciation, “We are the only people in the world at this moment eating congee with ravioli.”

  5. Cassowary says:

    Well shit-onna-stick. If Tesco products are licensed to Vanguard, then the USelect that popped up in my neighbourhood a few months ago is also owned by Vanguard, which means I’m going to have to boycott it too. I be can’t going out of my way to avoid giving money to the tycoons only to fork it over to a state-owned enterprise.

    Separately, it doesn’t matter what the housing market does, there will always be some interest group bleating about the house prices. Considering the Negative Equity middle classes played in bringing down old man Tung, I expect the next administration to freeze land sales in short order.

  6. Knownot says:

    Some notes from David Tang’s address, which is also very good if you have the time.

    The Chief Executive “hiding behind the azaleas … a puppet on a string, dancing obsequiously … [his] ossified face …”

    He also makes some interesting comments – the opposite of those usually seen on this website, for example – about:
    – Britain’s achievements in HK and its present responsibilities
    – the consequences of Lee Bo’s abduction, some of which are to be welcomed
    – a justification of the 2014 proposals for electoral reform.

  7. Cry Shop says:

    This bodes something, ill or well, for the business of China watching from HK.

  8. Chinese Netizen says:

    Hey Qian Jin: All those awards beat a crappy Bauhinia Medal or “People’s Martyr” recognition hands down any day, don’t you agree?

  9. Qian Jin says:

    @Chinese Netizen :”Hey Qian Jin: All those awards beat a crappy Bauhinia Medal or “People’s Martyr” recognition hands down any day, don’t you agree?”

    Perhaps so. But the point is I don’t have the money to BUY either for “charitable services” . To my thinking , gongs for charitable services should be awarded for a life-long dedication and working for a particular charity and not for periodically sticking a hand in the pocket of your Savile Row suit for some loose change. Furthermore, why do British political associations still get away with having tax rebate”charitable arms”?

  10. Gin Soaked Boy says:

    Joseph WONG is a barefaced hypocrite. As a former senior official he helped create the current mess. When in the civil service he was steadfast in singing the praises of the JD and the great things that would come from Chinese rule. He stamped on any voices or dissent, transferring civil servants who uttered the slightest concern or raised issues. He is self-serving and pompous ‘in extremis’.

  11. Joe Blow says:

    @Gin Boy: you just described the career senior HK civil servant. The paper-pushing, nest-feathering, ass-covering, air-con allowance form filling, over-paid, arrogant Zero, who wouldn’t last 5 minutes in a commercial environment.

    @QJ: your Fifty Cent-CCP loving China troll image is slipping. You sound like a under-employed Brit solicitor in Central.

  12. Scotty Dotty says:

    @ Gin Soaked Boy

    Well said.

    Having seen Joseph in action in person, I must confirm the poor fella’s pretty dreadful. Totally out of his depth in most Big Boys matters, with the possible exception of yum cha.

    The Brits who cultivated him were demob happy.

  13. @Qian Jin – ‘why do British political associations still get away with having tax rebate ”charitable arms”?’ Probably for the same reason Chinese United Front political bodies like the Hong Kong Youth Care Association (aka the Falun Gong Bashing Association) get away with claiming charitable status – because they can.

  14. President Xi Jinping would probably tell those tycoons, assembled in the allegorical, hypothetical State Rooms in Zhongnanhai Palace, in Beijing, paraphrasing Marshal Stalin of the Soviet Union, “How many divisions [of infantry and tanks] do Li Ka-Shing and Hong Kong have?!”

    Why would President Xi Jinping not want to specifically target, and neutralise, and ultimately liquidate the middle classes of Hong Kong, in order to teach not only Hong Kong but to the rest of China a lesson?!

    It is all over. That’s it. The End. La Fin. Finito. Pack up, go home, or “go and swim with the fishes”! As far as the Chinese Government and the Chinese Communist Party are concerned, Hong Kong has served and now outlives its purpose. Now, they wait, as they watch Hong Kong slowly self-strangling to death, as the place gradually runs out of cash, as the foreign-exchange controls in the rest of China becoming ever tighter and tighter. Talking about watching, from afar, someone passively watching a third person slowly choking to death!

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