John Lee wins Hong Kong’s Chief Executive ‘election’ before it even takes place. Being the sole ‘candidate’ makes life easier for him, and for ‘voters’ and ‘polling station’ staff, not to mention forecasters. (And yes, there will still be a ‘polling station’ at the Exhibition and Convention Centre, in which ‘elites’ will humiliate themselves trying to look important while pretending to cast ballots.)
In the absence of a policy platform (one is coming), Lee has embraced the phrase ‘result-oriented’ – apparently in connection with getting the civil service to fix outstanding problems. He takes the opportunity to expand…
“What I will do is, first of all, I will create this team spirit and I will be asking them to do things that will create results. And then through this process of seeing results and then reinforcing with more results, the culture will be built. It will be progressive. That is important.”
Yup – consider housing, health, welfare and education woes solved! (The new CE’s written communication can be fixed, but we will have to learn to love his leaden police/Beijing-loyalist style of speech.)
Let’s see how the international media who slavishly (and inexplicably) use the official fictional nomenclature of a Hong Kong CE ‘election’ with a ’campaign’ and ’voters’ handle the only-one-’candidate’-’running’ charade. Will they finally stop calling it an ‘election’ and find a more accurate description of a CCP appointment ceremony? And if not, why not? Where are the fact-checkers on this?
More of the backlog of links that accumulated over the long weekend…
Simon Lee on the life and times of his former boss, Jimmy Lai.
The woes of the decrepit-iconic Star Ferry.
Three books – all touching on the 2019 uprising, often drawing on personal experience and/or deep historical contexts: Kevin Carrico’s Two Countries, One System on the changes in identity in Hong Kong since 2011; Karen Cheung’s Impossible City, extending into memoir; and Lousia Lim’s Indelible City, examining the city’s historical sense of self (dedicated to…).
And for younger readers, from HKFP, a free online kids’ book on Covid, Bobby Baboon.
Even though the Hong Kong (and Shanghai) authorities have sent residents millions of boxes of Lianhua Qingwen quack voodoo dried-toad anti-heaty pills, the company’s shares collapse.
Minxin Pei on the biggest likely losers from deglobalization…
One cannot blame Western democracies or their autocratic adversaries for prioritizing security over economic welfare. But they must brace for the economic consequences. And a middle-income autocracy like China will bear a far larger cost than rich democracies like the US and its European allies.
Thread on United Front and similar activity against Hong Kong migrants in the UK.
Chinese state media have become amusingly obsessive about online translation of embarrassing ultra-nationalist Mainland social media posts that expose the gap between Beijing’s overseas and domestic messaging. Global Times alone blasts the practice as ‘intentionally misreading, misinterpreting Chinese materials’, a ‘despicable smear campaign’, and depicting Chinese people as ‘arrogant, populist, cruel and bloodthirsty’.
As one commentator puts it…
#TheGreatTranslationMovement enrages Beijing b/c it’s 1) spontaneous, decentralized activism CCP can’t abide 2) anonymous, so smear campaigns lack bite 3) led by overseas Han, whom PRC considers ‘property’ (4) popular and beyond its control (5) very hard to logically refute.