At HK Free Press, Stephen Vines issues an apology to Chief Executive Carrie Lam on behalf of the media who annoy her in English, or in any language. And there’s more on the government’s contrived panty-wetting press-statement following (or pre-empting) the July 1 march.
Both these subjects concern Mainlandization.
The word took off some five years or so ago to describe physical or cultural phenomena like the rising number of Mainland migrants and tourists and the presence of Mandarin and simplified characters on the street. Now it is a clear and deliberate political project and Communist Party strategy, aimed at re-shaping Hong Kong to remove distinct features so Asia’s World City ultimately fades and merges with its surroundings.
Officialdom’s (perceived) contribution includes distaste for using English and issuing Communist-tinged press statements.
The strategy requires everyone to increasingly think of themselves as Bay Area Folk, forget about ‘independence’, and tremble with excitement at being part of China in its new era of global supremacy.
Maybe it is working. I was planning to revisit a very self-consciously Taiwanese Separatist Identity beef noodles restaurant yesterday – they even somehow have Renegade Province staff, plus drinks in jars and plates the shape of Formosa. The food is sufficiently good that I can put up with the trendiness. Yet I was lured away from this democratic and freedom-loving fare by the prospect of a gleaming unaffordable high-speed rail project speeding an isolated Southeast Asian dictatorship into eternal debt-trap and vassalhood. Or, in short, I went to a hitherto unheard-of Lao place a couple of floors up. I have to say this is a Belt and Road opportunity to be seized.