Some quick Thursday links

On Twitter this morning, someone quoting Lily Tomlin: “No matter how cynical you get, you just can’t keep up.”

I think it’s Apple Daily that has started referring to the Mainland-jurisdiction ‘Port Area’ zone at West Kowloon high-speed rail station as the ‘International Settlement’.

The comparison to old Shanghai’s British-American-etc district is historically and constitutionally inapt and absurd in itself. The allusion to Hong Kong-as-helpless-victim in latter-day ‘foreign persecution’ at hands of professional self-pitying rewriter of history the Chinese Communist Party is monstrously, gratuitously offensive. This pushes so many buttons the Beijing Mouth-Frothing System will explode. In short: utterly brilliant.

Among many, many other objectionable intrusions in Hong Kong from north of the border is HNA, the Hainan Airlines-related conglomerate that bought land at Kai Tak for otherworldly sums, and is routinely described in international media as ‘acquisitive’, or (more daringly) ‘shadowy’. The mystery is sort of thickening and unravelling simultaneously, as the group tries to hide its ultimate ownership in various ways, now as a charitable foundation. Details here and here.

Obviously, it looks like a princelings/kleptocracy/crony money-laundering/capital-flight mega-scam. But which princelings/faction/etc? The charity (or dog-ate-my-homework) story suggests someone is getting desperate. (On a related note: will Shirley Yam reappear at the South China Morning Post, or is she ‘disqualified’, as lawmakers put it? Her infamous swiftly excised article is here, for anyone who hasn’t seen it.)

There is murk, there is Mainland murk, and then to prove Tomlin right there is Land of Smiles Mega-Murk – behold an alleged and hyper-lurid-putrid reason why Thailand’s new king has long hung out so much in Germany, including guest appearance by his intellectually disabled son. A dozen re-education camps under West Kowloon would seem normal next to this.

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4 Responses to Some quick Thursday links

  1. Magnus Pym says:

    What you call brilliant is just colonial yapping.

    Wake up baby.

    It’s 2017.

    The Brit have all gone home.

    Just you and a pint of grog and a few fellow stragglers clinging to the wreckage.

    Pip, pip!

  2. pd says:

    It is clear that Hemlock will be banned in the International Settlement, but also that aeroplanes will be rerouted and the surrounding land tunnelled under.

    Don’t ever think of going to Hainan: any vestiges of local culture were buried long ago under mountains of watery cement/solid expectorations/putrefying plastic.

  3. Stephen says:

    Can anyone explain why the MPA, oh alright then the International Settlement, needs to be approximately one million square foot or 42 floors of IFC 2, for those who like a visual ? So what else is going on here apart from stamping passports ?

    We never got to the bottom of how mainland law enforcement were, allegedly, able to spirit away a Tycoon, from the Four Seasons Hotel, and a Bookseller, from Chai Wan, to the mainland ? I suspect speedboat as an official land crossing would lead to all sorts of horrific implications ? Well it’s going to be one hell of a lot easier now.

  4. willy wonka says:

    HNA = retired PLA general money laundering operation. Any banker who has a background due diligence report on them could tell you the same.

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