Metropolis vision has sort-of rushed look

I didn’t intend to look through the government’s Northern Metropolis Development Strategy, but after an astute observer of such things assured me it ‘looks like it was pulled out of someone’s ass at the last minute’, I obviously couldn’t resist.

And oh boy – is this utter bilge or what? Welcome to ‘Twin Cities, Three Circles’, which is a ‘strategic spatial structure of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen boundary area’. 

Basically, someone was told to use some existing plans and a bunch of buzzwords to contrive cross-border hub-zone-type districts that make currently separate (even quite distant) areas look like naturally united neighbourhoods.

Thus you have: the Shenzhen Bay Quality Development Circle; the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Close Interaction Circle; and the Mirs Bay/Yan Chau Tong Eco-recreation/tourism Circle.

The first echoes the ‘Quality Living Circle’ promised by the Greater Bay Area, but for tech and logistics activities straddling Yuen Long, Nanshan and Qianhai, with some mangrove conservation thrown in. The second sees a ‘Technopole’ sprouting alongside Fanling and Sheung Shui and hooking up with a New Financial Centre, an Innovative Financial Industrial Belt, an Emerging Industrial Belt, an Internet Industrial Cluster and other hub-zones over in Shenzhen, plus some fish pond conservation. The third is a desperate attempt to find a destiny and role for the areas around Mirs Bay, resorting to sustainable, traditional and cultural blah blah.

If you never realized how important it is to make sure geographers never get their hands on hallucinatory drugs, check out some of the transport/connectivity maps.

I’ve just reached the episode where they have to play marbles, and I must say Squid Game is getting rather compellingly grim. Depends on the rate of binge-watching, but I might be absent for three or four days. (An academic’s view.)

A few things you might have missed…

HKFP on the judiciary’s response to the government’s attempt to apply ‘joint enterprise’ to riot…

The Court of Final Appeal is set to hand down a far-reaching verdict to decide whether people who are not physically present at an illegal assembly or a riot may face the same criminal charges as the actual participants under the legal principle in question.

Also HKFP, a discussion of the level of policing on National Day gives rise to some awkward comparisons

Whereas the last Governor of Hong Kong could amble around pressing the flesh, Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive in Name Only, does not dare venture out without a phalanx of armed police sheltering her from any possible casual contact with the public. 

Indeed, the suspicion lurks that one reason why Chris Patten’s name is greeted with such venom by the current rulers simply comes down to jealousy over his popularity and ease of contact with the people he was governing.

A thread on (and link to) HK Alliance videos taken down from the group’s YouTube channel – many are being archived elsewhere on the site.

Hong Kong’s anti-Covid measures amusingly compared to EM Forster’s The Machine Stops.

From Asia Times, more on the purge of Jiang-faction officials Sun Lijun et al…

Xi has been trying to cut off Jiang and all previous leaders, but there are simply too many … To isolate them totally would deprive Xi of part of his own legitimacy, derived from being born into this elite. But to keep them around undermines Xi’s power.

Politico on how Xi lost Australia

Nearly 10 years ago, Australia thought it was on the cusp of a beautiful friendship with China: It was opening up its economy to Beijing, wanted to teach Mandarin in schools and invited the Chinese president to address parliament. 

Now, that’s all over.

…Xi’s “wolf warrior” tactics simply pushed Australia right back into its traditional military nexus, with the U.S. and U.K., costing Beijing a potentially valuable partner in the region.

(Also from Politico – China’s self-defeating bullying of Lithuania.)

And CSIS on how Beijing, on balance, came out the loser in the two Michaels/Meng Wanzhou saga…

The defeat for Beijing was not absolute, but it was quite comprehensive, and those who advised the Xi leadership to take this approach will have a lot of explaining to do…

China’s scheme to force Meng’s release by taking hostages backfired in ways big and small. China showed its teeth, but instead of cowering in fear, Canada and the United States held firm. Chinese state media is highlighting Meng’s return home as proof of their victory, but this claim is reminiscent of the Lu Xun character Ah Q, who deluded himself into thinking that his string of failures were actually successes. 

New Statesman brings up the rear and asks whether China’s ‘rise’ is inevitable.

China’s Belt and Road is a ripoff, says academic research – news story here.

…35% of BRI projects have run into serious implementation problems, including corruption scandals, labor violations, environmental hazards and public protests, according to the study. That compares to 21% of non-BRI projects.

BRI projects take 36% longer to implement than non-BRI projects, and face a higher probability of being shut down by host countries because of “corruption and overpricing concerns, as well as major changes in public sentiment that make it difficult to maintain close relations with China,” the report finds.

Example: dirt-poor Laos now has a shiny high-speed rail line. To help pay off debt, it has passed majority control of Électricité du Laos to a Chinese power firm. (Dire headline from the Economist.)

A CNN feature on torture in Xinjiang witnessed by a defecting police officer – a lot of stomach-turning detail.

On cultural matters…

Some wall art by Badiucao in New York.

Worth a quick perusal if you’re a historiography fan, from Project Gutenberg – Hong Kong by Gene Gleason, 1963.

Finally, do you ever hear Hong Kong Thais or Filipinos complaining over and over that Hong Kong restaurants offering their homelands’ cuisine are all, universally, always terrible? No. From the SCMP, a thought-provoking report on That Problem your Malaysian and Singaporean friends have… 

It’s remarkable how every one of them likes to whine and grumble about not being able to find the foods they miss from their hometown … Even when the food is actually good, they’ll say it pales compared to Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh … At every opportunity they like to remind us how all the Malaysian and Singaporean restaurants in Hong Kong suck.

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15 Responses to Metropolis vision has sort-of rushed look

  1. donkey says:

    Often the dictator who behaves compellingly strident and bellicose ends up being the weak link in the system, which inevitably comes crashing down.

  2. Chinese Netizen says:

    Singaporeans are generally insufferable twats. AND…it is in the Chinese (Han) DNA to never fawn upon or generously compliment ANY Chinese dish, regardless of amazingness, because it can either be better prepared by the critic or it’s better in the critic’s hometown.

    I still remember the days when the Aussies were SO proud of their Mando speaking PM (Rudd) and all the great riches he’d bring home after bewitching the shoe polish hair gang in Beijing with his panda hugging skills.

    “Internet Industrial Cluster”? What’s the point when it’ll all come under the Great Firewall Dome in the near future?

  3. Joe Blow says:

    What impact can we expect from the new Metropolis that will house 2.4 million, on the prices in the world’s most expensive housing market? And any chance Superman will visit soon?

  4. Low Profile says:

    The three circles seem about as precisely calculated as the Nine Grab Line.

  5. reductio says:

    Waiting any time now for the the big developers to issue some gusing statements about how they are ready and willing to ‘donate’ land (not too much, mind) for the Northern Technocrap project.

  6. Onecyst says:

    I remember seeing 689 walking down Lockhart Rd one Saturday morning, shortly after his so-called election. Despite displaying his best lopsided smirk, he was being studiously ignored by the citizenry. But they did stare at him after he had passed by. I thought at that time that it was a credit to Hongkongers that the CE didn’t need to be concerned about his security.

  7. Mark Bradley says:

    “I remember seeing 689 walking down Lockhart Rd one Saturday morning, shortly after his so-called election. Despite displaying his best lopsided smirk, he was being studiously ignored by the citizenry. But they did stare at him after he had passed by. I thought at that time that it was a credit to Hongkongers that the CE didn’t need to be concerned about his security.”

    Back in 2005 shortly after being granted an Investment Visa (not the Capital Investment Visa which is different) I was invited by Invest HK to meet Chief Executive Donald Tsang along with everyone else who was granted the visa for a meet and greet meet cocktail party. The event was supposed to traditionally happening in government house but due to renovation ended up happening in a hotel, though I forgot which. It was near/at pacific place?

    No security. Bow tie just rubbed elbows with everyone and was very friendly. It definitely made an impression on me of HK being a Randian playground for better or worse. It was a gilded age where “Randian heroes” like Mr Lee ruled HK and they had the most influence on Bowtie not Beijing, again for better or worse. Those days are long gone.

    I know an entrepreneur running a small but fast growing electronics company who was granted the same visa in 2019. I am willing to bet there was no invitation to meet Carrie the cunt, though I haven’t yet confirmed it. I will ask him next time I see him.

  8. Penny says:

    “I hope Hong Kong people will realise this freshness, this newness actually appears everywhere, because I’ve asked my colleagues in charge of infrastructure, highways and landscape to improve Hong Kong’s cityscape, to plant more flowers, to beautify some of the lampposts, and to remove all these graffiti and dirty structures along the highway,” she said. This is to give people that freshness.”

    What is this woman on?

  9. Chinese Netizen says:

    Mark Bradley said: “I know an entrepreneur running a small but fast growing electronics company who was granted the same visa in 2019. I am willing to bet there was no invitation to meet Carrie the cunt, though I haven’t yet confirmed it. I will ask him next time I see him.”

    He probably went to a meet-n-greet but the plebs had to stand 2 meters away, curtsy and not look directly at her, eye-to-eye. And this was Pre WuFlu.

  10. Mary Melville says:

    @Penny; Along Nathan Road the ‘freshness’ has been manifested as rows of identical shrubs planted in identical planters that go on forever. No doubt a reminder to commuters that their role is to stand within the red lines, present but irrelevant.

  11. A Poor Man says:

    Penny – Perhaps the woman has been smoking a bit too much Shit.

    I agree with Mary. HK doesn’t need more shrubs. What it needs is more shade trees.

  12. Knownot says:

    Hong Kong and Sh-

    I used to think that we and they
    Were far apart,
    That the other place,
    Whose name I will not say,
    Was an upstart.

    It was an urban sprawl
    With crowded factories
    And a lawless vigour;
    We were worldly, stylish, and, above all,
    Older and bigger.

    Things change: the government urge
    That we should now begin
    To build a northern metropole,
    And we should merge
    With the other place, our twin.

    A fantasy for distant days,
    But with a political aim:
    The new town, if it rises, will erase
    The boundary between us
    So . . . we shall all . . . be the same.

  13. where's my jet plane says:

    to beautify some of the lampposts

    There’s a traditional way of “beautifying” lamposts using unpopular leaders.

  14. Mary Melville says:

    A subtle change in description creeping in
    Indian fake refugee arrested for stealing cigarettes and barcode scanner worth HK$58,000 from convenience store
    By Dimsumdaily Hong Kong -9:33AM Sun October 10, 2021
    20-year-old woman sexually assaulted by 39-year-old fake Bangladeshi refugee on Canton Road
    By Dimsumdaily Hong Kong -9:35AM Sun October 10, 2021708
    I do not record the F word having been used previously, the official description of documented refugees was always in line with this example from the website of the Immigration Dept
    22 Mar 2019: During operation “Twilight”, ImmD Task Force officers raided 18 target locations ……. Six illegal workers and one employer were arrested. The illegal workers comprised two men and four women, aged 24 to 46. Among them, one man and one woman were holders of recognisance forms

  15. Low Profile says:

    @Mary Melville – no one is a “fake refugee” until their claim for refugee status has been properly assessed and rejected, And even then, Hong Kong is notorious for turning down genuine asylum claims, with one of the world’s lowest acceptance rates. One claimant I know personally is at risk of being forced back to his home country, which he fled after his brother was shot dead there and he was threatened with the same fate.

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