In case you missed them…

…an extra special helping of links ahead of my forthcoming inspection tour next week of a cooling, calm, soothing corner of Japan.

In Hong Kong, the designation of a polluted pile of swampy mud (of vague Shenzhen-linked ownership) as a Thrusting Space-Age Hi-Tech Innovation Hub-Zone prompts a boom in swampy-mud real-estate deals. Much to everyone’s amazement. You will be even more shocked to learn that “…at least ten groups of obscure local and mainland investors, some hidden behind sham directors and secretive offshore companies…” are mentioned.

Yesterday, I mentioned the impossible ‘international/pluralistic vs patriotic/obedient’ dilemma faced by Hong Kong’s officials. Here is a perfect little example. Torn between accommodating patriotic ‘TCM’ voodoo and evidence-based common (and humane) sense, the Hong Kong government decides wacko bear gall remedies are fine and dandy.

I hate to see a much-loved venerable institution that tries hard to stay relevant and constructive get torn to shreds, but I guess sometimes it has to happen. Poor old National Geographic gets a kicking for not fully grasping the nuances of Hong Kong’s housing crisis.

On to cross-straits matters: Why Taiwanese are not Chinese, with reference to Ben Franklin; and (if you seriously have nothing better to do) life in jail with that Brit who had ‘Taiwan’ tattooed on his forehead.

And let’s give thanks to those noble people who read things so you don’t have to: the Times Literary Supplement looks at Xi Jinping’s ‘Big White Book’; and David Webb goes through Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing DAB party’s annual financial report – and if you really want, that of the HK Democratic Party as well.

An in-depth look into China’s technology policies (as seen with ZTE fuss). One conclusion is that the US needs to tackle this alongside its allies – Beijing hugely prefers unilateral skirmishes and fears multilateral ones. Cue Trump busting basic trade relationships with key US partners.

An amusing bit of chat on Belt and Road and Greater Bay Area.

I am working on a grand unified theory of the ‘Greater Bay Area/tech hub’ thing. Basically, it’s about symbolically and psychologically downgrading Hong Kong as an individual and separate economy and identity. The means include at-least titular merger with the cross-border region (‘Bay Area’) and thus relegation of economic status (‘tech’ is not a strength or advantage of Hong Kong’s, so the city can play only an inferior role). Also, the furthering of demographic merging through migration of young workers and elderly north. The aim is reduced awareness of a discrete Hong Kong identity, less civic self-esteem and roll-on 2047 end-game. Something like that. More later.

Lastly, a big read. Not sure why the South China Morning Post is going to such trouble, but here’s a mega-multimedia package on the Spanish trans-Pacific silver trade between Mexico and Asia, drawing on the recent The Silver Way and other sources. By ‘multimedia’, we mean annoying sound effects and irritating hi-tech text-image interaction. But the actual words (and, in fairness, maps and very cool ship diagrams) are worth it: The China Ship. (Would it be churlish to wonder whether the title, which could have been ‘Manila Galleons’, hints at an agenda?)

Lastly, to certain gentlemen commenters, a solemn and serious reminder to consider during the forthcoming week of silence…


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7 Responses to In case you missed them…

  1. Old Fishmarket Close says:

    That chap with the facial tattoos… Utterly mad. Deliriously alcoholic. Strangely compelling…

    He flees to the UK after hurling a Molotov cocktail at a Family Mart, but decides to return to Taiwan even though he faces a custodial sentence, all because he misses the place!

    Either he needs medical intervention, or the UK is in such a dreadful state that prison overseas is preferable.

  2. reductio says:

    After Steve’s remonstrance yesterday, I shall avoid any more inane comments. No more postings from me then.

  3. Chinese Netizen says:

    Steve…the arbiter of all that is decent and in good taste on blogs worldwide…

  4. Tiu Fu Fong says:

    Steve made good point. If you have to resort to genitalia references or speculate on someone’s sex life to critique HK’s governing class, you’re essentially doing poo poo wee wee level jokes and/or have watched far too much Benny Hill and Carry On.

    The ad hominem attacks on Steve merely reflect an ability to summon more sophisticated humour.

  5. dimuendo says:

    Tiu Fu Fong

    If “reflect an ability” is a typo and meant to read “reflect an inability” then endorsed.

    On a personal level I like Eunice, although not her political views. She is pleasant, quick witted, although perhaps a bit naive.

  6. Tiu Fu Fong says:

    *an inability to summon…

  7. Knownot says:

    Impatient former Hong Kong library worker arrested after stealing customers’ personal data to borrow books faster

    – – – – –

    A bibliophile who worked in a Hong Kong public library has been arrested for using the personal information of about 130 customers without their permission so she could quickly borrow their loaned books.

    The 25-year-old woman, who formerly worked for a contractor company for Tseung Kwan O Public Library and was responsible for handling returned library materials from readers between 2015 and this year, was arrested on May 24.

    A police source said she had used the personal data of users to file loss reports for library cards on their behalf. After the report, customers would no longer be able to renew loaned books and were required to return them immediately. That would allow the woman to borrow those items.

    No financial losses were involved and no books were said to have been stolen, the source said.

    SCMP – 7 June 2018

    – – – – –

    Sometimes there’s a book
    I long to read –
    Long with a purely
    Literary greed.
    Books are expensive
    So usually I
    Want to borrow
    The book, not buy.
    Hong Kong Libraries
    Often stock it;
    The money stays
    In my pocket.
    I reserve the book,
    But others do;
    I may be fifteenth
    In the queue.
    Sometimes I give up
    And never get it.
    I read something else
    But, later, regret it.

    There was a booklover
    Working for a contractor,
    Books all round her.
    But she lacked a
    Career, security,
    Fair remuneration:
    And books all round her –
    Such temptation!
    The humble assistant
    Placing books on a shelf
    Found a way
    To assert herself.
    A new kind of bookworm,
    Smarter, acuter,
    Burrowing deep
    In the computer.
    With stolen numbers,
    Names, and data,
    Changing reality,
    A new creator.
    And though they scorned her
    And no-one knew her,
    Swiftly, smoothly
    The books came to her.

    In the queue
    I love and admire
    Her bookish greed,
    Her pure desire.
    I envy her power,
    Subtle, subliminal.
    Who is she, where is she?
    My kind of criminal!

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