The Wuhan virus claims an unexpected victim: the UN’s ICAO civil aviation agency. As with the similarly afflicted WHO, China’s government has pushed its own people for appointments to the body and worked to freeze Taiwan out. Now comes the deliciously enjoyable backlash, complete with an apparently panda-hugging director-general whining. Beijing’s obsession with claiming Taiwan alienates not just the island, but the world.
The sickest institution of all, however, must be the Hong Kong government, which has spent the last week prevaricating over whether to require inbound travellers to complete forms, keeping schools closed, whether or how to tighten border controls, and of course whether to encourage the face-masks it also wants to ban.
Carrie Lam’s administration entered this health scare lacking:
- credibility, owing to past extreme incompetence (extradition bill etc)
- trust, owing to past prioritization of Beijing’s interests, lying about police violence etc
- legitimacy, having no mandate from the people but serving as a proxy for the despotic CCP
And we could add:
- basic respect among the public, after years of arrogance, indifference and disdain
- moral authority, owing to cronyism and hypocrisy (Justice Secretary’s illegal structures, etc)
Under the circumstances, it’s not surprising that officials are having a tough time. It might not make sense to close a border that 200,000 or whatever people cross per day. Maybe the empty blocks in Fanling are indeed the optimum location for a quarantine-type facility. But coming from these malevolent, deceitful clowns on puppet strings, why should anyone believe it?
One of the funniest lines I read over the holiday was in an article saying roughly “the virus gives the Hong Kong government an opportunity to show it can do a serious professional job”. It is, of course, giving the administration a golden opportunity to screw up even more than it has already in the last eight months. Sounds hard to achieve, but they will do it.
Note how the administration sprinted away petrified at the first whiff of a Molotov cocktail in the lobby of that building in Fanling. The officials are more scared than the residents.
Last night, thousands of health care workers lined up to join a new union. To the public, the nurses and others are natural heroes of the pro-dem cause, a worthy (and maybe more wholesome) successor to the protest front-liners. In stark contrast to the government, they care. To Beijing’s local paranoid overseers, such organization will look like a challenge, leveraging a health crisis to undermine state power, perhaps funded by the CIA.
To the aesthetes among us, they definitely get Poster of the Week Award…
If the government’s new measures don’t stem the spread of the virus, the public reaction to it and the seven-month old protests could combine to cause an even bigger problem.
Ironic that the protests reduced the number of potentially virulent luggage draggers.
Since 18 November 2018, The Wuhan Institute of Virology has been advertising for researchers.
How did one country manage to have its national appointed to head four of the UN’s specialized agencies? Was it by stealth, political pressure, economic inducements or something else altogether?
@YTSL – China has about 1/5 of the world’s population, so statistically it’s not unreasonable that they should head at least 3 agencies. Politically is another matter.
@Private Beach it’s a shithole dictatorship that should be treated as a pariah state that shouldn’t be trusted with even heading a single agency.
The infantile behavior of these agencies now puppeteered by Leninist knucke draggers that block people arbitrarily over raising the perfectly valid Taiwan issue is exactly why the PRC should have no influence on the international stage and instead should be isolated like North Korea.
@Private Beach — Using that kind of thinking, India should be heading at least 2 of the agencies. But it isn’t, is it?
How come Ocean Park and Disney are not prime contenders to accommodate the planned quarantine site for the corona-virus epidemic?
Both parks are shut down indefinitely, are a distance from residential clusters, have ample accommodation and are majority owned by our government. The few reservations they have could be easily upgraded to fill empty rooms at our best hotels, Four Seasons will probably see an exodus!
Unlike appropriation of public housing that should be allocated to families living in misery ASAP, this would make good use of resources, would earn revenue in the form of compensation and brownie points for the theme parks looking for our tax dollars to cover their operating deficits.
Selecting a head position of a UN agency is done by voting. Each of the five permanent members has a veto. For instance in 2016 the Secratary General was elected as the only member who was not vetoed. Antonio’s your uncle.
So in theory if you are one of the P5 you can eliminate all candidates except the one you want.
Any country that is the second largest financial contributor (US$368 million) to the UN gets to name its people to lots of positions.
@ Stanley Lieber — Who’s the largest financial contributor to the UN and how come its people aren’t heading 4 UN agencies or more?