A full five-day week, and yet it zipped by in a flash – as time must when you’re enjoying yourself.
The big distraction was Xi Jinping’s elevation to Emperor for Life, of which much more is to come.
Many of Hong Kong’s great and good will be at the National People’s Congress snooze-in next week (some are going up by high-speed train – pushing West Kowloon checkpoint arrangements, geddit? – for extra Shoe-shining Loyalty Points). And when they return, they will no doubt eagerly explain to hard-hitting local reporters why they ‘voted’ in the ‘parliament’ to endorse the Real Man’s ‘proposed’ quasi-neo-re-Maoification-with-something-characteristics change to the ‘constitution’. They will awkwardly say “because it’s fab!” The clichéd explanation is that they have been compelled to nail their colours to the mast, but it’s more like they’ve had their hands or cheeks nailed to it.
Among likely intriguing outcomes of the Xi-coup-type thing will be a more-thorough re-writing and scrubbing of China’s official history (lost a good link, never mind). Also, expect more money-laundering, as Mainland elites express their unbounded confidence in the China Dream by scrabbling ever harder to get their wealth out. The rest of the (Western, at least) world – which has been slowly waking up anyway – finally feels its ‘promise fatigue’ and general delusion. Meanwhile, the Panda-cuddly ‘soft power’ gets weirder.
In Hong Kong, the Financial Secretary made his annual big agonizing decision, and after much careful consideration picked this rose-red-with-hint-of-crimson for the cover of his Budget. (What’s it called? – something around here.) A fair and reasonable look at the idiocy of Hong Kong’s tax system slipped through the cracks here.
I suggested that forthcoming LegCo by-election candidate Au Nok-hin has been under-promoted, but then I find that he had in fact emailed me (and all other HK Island voters whose details his campaign has) with a link to his website. Beijing-supported rival Judy Chan (who should have the same contact details) has not – or my eyes glazed over and missed it.
I declare the weekend open with recommended soothing binge-watching: 99-year-old Japanese grandma’s recipes.