In this week’s weirdness…

The HK Police bring in Howard the Not Very Convincing Kim Jong-un Lookalike for possession of a gun that isn’t a gun and which he says he doesn’t have anyway – but since when did something have to exist to be a national security threat?

China imposes sanctions on the likes of John Bolton, who is chuffed. US sanctions on Chinese/Hong Kong ‘elites’ hurt because such people like to move their assets and families to the US. It doesn’t work the other way round. (See also the SCMP’s Letter of the Week.)

And then there’s this…  

HK’s Curriculum Development Council named a committee “Committee on the renamed subject” to rename the subject of liberal studies as the Education Bureau decided to rename the subject but hasn’t come up with a new name.

Surely that should be ‘yet to be renamed’? There’s Orwellian, and there’s Kafkaesque, and there’s Hong Kong bureaucracy in the age of NatSec. How about ‘illiberal studies’? 

On the subject of education, Harrow International School – the publicly subsidized (via land grant) ‘non-profit’ college for rich Mainlanders’ kids – has paid HK$240 million in fees to a company owned by some of its own board members. I know of a case whereby a British private school essentially franchises its name to a local campus via a company that provides ‘consulting/management services’. Presumably, this is something along those lines. A nice deal for the people who own the go-between. (And presumably legitimate – surely the Hong Kong officials didn’t imagine brand-name English boarding schools would whore themselves out for free?)

Some reading you might have missed…

In HKFP, the collision between the NatSec Law and the Common Law systems.

From the FFC’s Correspondent, can RTHK survive? The amazing thing is that the public broadcaster has still barely been rectified. The transition to propaganda outlet has barely begun. As if it has some sort of magic force field protecting it from Leninist ‘serve-the-Party’ duties.

A translation of Mainland academic Chen Duanhong’s National Constitution Day speech. David Ownby’s introduction is worth reading, even if you can’t put up with the Schmittian BS of the speech itself.

A Bloomberg op-ed urges Beijing to tone down its ‘wolf warrior’ diplomacy. Who will dare tell Xi Jinping to get over his delusional ego-trip? (Anyway, the soft-power obnoxiousness will help dissuade Biden from lapsing into Obama-era Panda-indulgence.)

Perry Link on why so many Chinese dissidents and other anti-CCP folk have (had?) a soft spot for Donald Trump.

(And with all that in mind, Taiwan’s ambassador was invited to Joe Biden’s inauguration.)

Not sure about the book, but this review of a ‘Hong Kong expat novel’ is pretty good.

He is the everyman who was here at that time saying what everybody like him said.

Global Times gets stroppy about how kimchi is really just the same as paocai, sort of, in some ways. (As an artisanal craftsman of both, I would say GT is half-right, but since they’re making soft-power obnoxiousness out of it, I’ll let them stew in their own brine. Luckily, no-one’s told them about sauerkraut.)

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4 Responses to In this week’s weirdness…

  1. Mary Melville says:

    International schools like Harrow are property developments in thin disguise. Check out the board members. https://www.harrowschool.hk/theschool/about/governance/
    Peter Lee of Henderson Land, Kerry and, the cherry on the cake, Heung Yee Kuk/ExCo Kenneth Lau is Chairman. Another member is Johnny Mok of Des Voeux Chambers, ex home of our Sec for InJustice., who always represents the government or developers challenging the administration..
    In other words a cabal well versed in how to exploit public resources and loopholes and guaranteed cover up by departments that should be scrutinizing them and ensuring that, at the very least, the lease conditions related to the provision of assisted places for grassroots be realized.
    Other schools developed in recent years share a similar formula.

  2. Bullockscart says:

    My “through the grapevine” messengers may be akimbo but I seem to remember that a local private international school that teaches a mandarin curriculum to its elite family students also does something of the leasing ‘ land lease thing that Harrow International is doing. They apparently do this in Hong Kong and in their mainland digs in a province north of Hong Kong. Though this is all allegedly, because I was not able to confirm or seek a denial from anyone in the know. I don’t make enough money and I am infertile and therefore have no progeny at the said glorious institution.

  3. Penny says:

    If RTHK gets fully rectified, the majority of HK people will probably abandon the news outlet/station completely. I abandoned woeful RTHK Radio 3 years ago and instead tune in regularly to BBC World Service via an internet radio receiver. The online news roundup at https://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/ is still worth checking regularly though.

  4. where's my jet plane says:

    How about ‘illiberal studies’?
    Or, simply, Lies?

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