An epic, visionary, action- and technopole-packed Policy Address

Only Chief Executive Carrie Lam would deliver a three-hour Policy Address. It’s all here

After years of complaining about a crippling shortage of land, the government has suddenly noticed all the underutilized space along the border between Yuen Long, Lo Wu, Sheung Shui and Fanling. It says it could accommodate another half-million or so homes. The resulting contiguous ‘metropolis’ (population 2.5 million) will form some sort of integration-friendly suburb in which Hong Kong’s Deep North can merge seamlessly into Shenzhen. All the signage will be in simplified characters and Pinyin, and facial-recognition robots will patrol the streets ensuring children aren’t playing online games.

It will also include a ‘technopole’ in San Tin…

…dubbed “Hong Kong’s Silicon Valley”, which would be a community for IT talent and provide a total gross floor area as big as 16½ Science Parks.

Can you imagine the Hong Kong government ever devising a way to encourage tech that isn’t a real-estate project?

Another white-elephant, because of course there’s always room for one more. This will be the Greater Bay Opportunities!!! Express Rail, linking Hung Shui Kiu to glamorous go-go Qianhai (presumably along a similar route to, or beneath, the Shenzhen Bay Bridge and on a bit further north to the much-hyped financial/tech/blah blah services cooperation hub-zone).

Carrie doesn’t usually indulge herself with little luxuries, but she couldn’t resist a spot of bureaucratic restructuring – combining various civil service departments like culture and tourism into one new ministry. It looks great on an organization chart. You, the public, will never notice any difference, we promise.

(Which reminds me of a great revelation I recently experienced. Walking in Causeway Bay, pondering the fact that pretty much only residents may, with difficulty, currently enter Hong Kong, it suddenly occurred to me that not a single person you see around you on the MTR or the street is a tourist. Amazing.)

Much of this stuff is vague and might not even happen. But one thing we can guarantee is that there’s a lot more to be done on national security – covering cybersecurity, a ban on fake news, a mega-courtroom and more. The Security Secretary, Carrie says…

“…is drawing up effective and pragmatic proposals and provisions, and formulating effective publicity programmes to prevent those who are opposed to China and attempt to destabilise Hong Kong from taking advantage of the situation to mislead the public with ill intentions.”

Not creepy at all.

The CE appeared to get close to tears towards the end of her speech (who didn’t?). Some amateur – extremely amateur – observers interpret this to mean she has chosen not to aim for a second term as CE. This is a joke. It is not for her to decide whether to ‘try’ for a second term: she will do what the CCP tells her, and that’s that. Most of us would cry if Beijing ordered us to stay in the thankless pseudo-job for another five years.

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17 Responses to An epic, visionary, action- and technopole-packed Policy Address

  1. YTSL says:

    “Walking in Causeway Bay, pondering the fact that only residents may, with difficulty, currently enter Hong Kong, it suddenly occurred to me that not a single person you see around you on the MTR or the street is a tourist.”

    When doing so, one also realizes that Hong Kong is indeed majority — but not — ethnically Cantonese, with quite a few non-East Asian peoples being, in fact, Hong Kong residents as opposed to tourists, and a significant number of the people around one (particularly, it can seem, in Causeway Bay — thanks to the security bureau office being in Tai Hang?) being Putonghua speakers.

  2. Guest says:

    I thought China had already encroached on Hong Kong’s northern border areas, as if the border didn’t exist.

    Maybe it has pulled back, so as to not sound like a hypocrite after admonishing its Hong Kong proxy to resolve the city’s housing crisis?

  3. where's my jet plane says:

    The Security Secretary, Carrie says…
    “…is drawing up effective and pragmatic proposals and provisions, and formulating effective publicity programmes…”

    Mr Plod who couldn’t even control his own men? Mind you, he probably didn’t want to…

    Given his effective and pragmatic pronouncement so far, we can look forward to a regime of no chocolate.

  4. dohickey says:

    With every passing policy address and every politburo meeting, it looks more and more like China is behaving like a declining Rome, even without ever returning to its dynastic ambitions and abilities. Massive infrastructure projects that seem to go against the anti-tech and anti-capitalist innovation ideology of dear leader? The falcon cannot hear the falconer. I’m telling you. All of this noise obfuscates a very weakened state.

  5. HK1980 says:

    Not true on the tourists. Spotted a crowd of Mandarin speakers following a minion with an extendable flag in Mui Wo on Oct 1st. They were waving China flags of course.

    2,000 per day of potentially unvaccinated, quarantine free tourists here in HK…and yet we get mad about one botoxed Ozzie!

  6. Big Al says:

    Let’s hope the new Northern Metropolis white elephant replaces the current East Lantau Metropolis (aka Reclamation in Central Waters) white elephant. After all, the closer to the north, the more patriotic, and the East Lantau Metropolis smacks of not wanting to be part of the wonderful GBA.

  7. A Poor Man says:

    I think it is quite funny that even the pro-government press is reporting that the eunuch appears to have slept through the speech. It seems nobody takes this stuff seriously anymore.

  8. Chinese Netizen says:

    Hong Kong: GBA Courtroom Hubzone??

  9. reductio says:

    @ Everybody

    I nearly did it. Nearly read the following all the way through without barfing, but the last paragraph got me.

    https://www.scmp.com/comment/letters/article/3151365/four-reasons-meng-wanzhou-inspiration-all-chinese

  10. Mjrelje says:

    That’s my exit plan then. 2025 and all MPF out plus Long Service pay. The insanity had to end at some point.

  11. Stanley Lieber says:

    HK$35K per head to combat climate change instead of income inequality.

    Genius at work.

  12. justsayin says:

    Maybe I’m a luddite or maybe I’ve watched too much black mirror, but I don’t think that the world needs all that many more tech parks. I can count on the fingers of a single hand the problems that the world that may be solved with technology.

  13. Chris H says:

    Seems no one has told the HK Government yet that “Big Tech” has shifted to and adopted “working from home”, and thus needing much less office space. Wonder if the new tech park will end up being a big co-working space (then again, are there any actual tech companies with staff at Science Park anymore?). Or maybe it will become a postal address for HK-listed Mainland companies.

  14. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Big Al: No…they’ll just build ALL the white elephants. Why not, after all?

  15. Chinese Netizen says:

    @reductio: If EVER there was a vomit inducing pile of shit, THIS is it. SCMP after Alibaba’s forced purchase was a propaganda shitrag already but this display of cringeworthy 70s era CCP bile cements the deal.

    Great message too: Encourage idolatry for a silver spoon fed princessling who is a cheating, lying little cur with zero respect for societal norms or laws. (Wow! maybe she can be promoted as the Chinese Ivanka tRump!)

  16. Mary Melville says:

    Mainland developers have cash flow problems and are cutting back on development. This creates a large pool of unemployed and disgruntled construction workers with time on their hands.
    Solution, slather Honkers north of Tai Lam Tunnel and Lion Rock in concrete and build half a dozen more transport links. Then bus in the imported labour from guess where. With HKMZ Bridge and new border crossings they can commute , no need for dorms and support facilities.
    Beijing has always had its eyes on the ‘reserves’ and all that cash stashed in ‘tomorrow funds’, etc.
    That this could have been covered in 8 paragraphs is for another day.

  17. Ho Ma Fan says:

    @Mary – I was under the impression that the “reserves” were “ours” in the Communist sense, and have been earmarked for pouring into the sea around Lantau, for quite some time. All the other shite is window dressing.

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