And the winner is…

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.

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14 Responses to And the winner is…

  1. Chinese Netizen says:

    Saw this insightful article on daily life in the dystopian Shanghai lockdown (spoiler alert: Lianhua Qingwen is mentioned). Pretty good read, surprisingly:

    Nice summary at the end: “I can see the uncanny resemblance between being “positive/suspicious” now and being “ intellectual/bourgeois” in the 1960s during the Cultural Revolution.
    To be honest, this unsettles me way more than hunger or Covid-19.”

  2. Chinese Netizen says:

    Correction, the Lianhua Qingwen mention was in a different dystopian Shanghai diary that a friend forwarded on WeChat. My “brain” is becoming mush from reading these.

  3. donkey says:

    I am thankful for the CCP for making democracy easier for me, by making choices for me, so that I do not have to use critical thinking, which can be exhausting, not to mention FRUSTRATING! Why would we want frustration in our lives??!!!

    I wish also to thank my parents, who made the CCP possible, by also doing all of my homework for me, and assigning me tutors who did not encourage me to think but in fact completed my writing for me. Thank you also to my mother, who wrote down what I dictated to her, so that my handwriting would appear neater and not suffer the dismay of being poorly marked. My life is set!

    I think it’s funny that in a world of dialectical materialism, where the idea is that natural history has its own law and that the success of certain types of things are inevitable, the Chinese spend so much energy trying to convince others that it’s true.

    it’s also interesting that even though the anonymous translation movement on Twitter makes it hard to pin blame on anyone, the Global Times immediately pins it on SUPChina as soon as it finds something nasty it doesn’t like.

  4. Mark Bradley says:

    “ My “brain” is becoming mush from reading these”

    Reading propaganda is all fun and games until your brain turns into mush before you even realise it. Careful.

  5. Chinese Netizen says:

    @MarkBradley: Indeed.

  6. Mary Melville says:

    “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.”
    Alles Klar, the signs are all there, 786 is an Evangelical leading us to The Promised Land. Blame the Jesuits at Wah Yan. The four key practices — proclamation, community, service, and witness – are included in the above statement and add a proclivity towards austerity and a visible lack of joie de vivre
    Moses parted the waters. The good ship Honkers sets a new course when at least half the population is rowing in the opposite direction. What is this guy snorting????

  7. Chinese Netizen says:

    Speaking of brains and mush, I believe early onset dementia is setting in on poor Vag’s if what she wrote on her Twatter page, bootlicking Mr Lee, was truly done by her.

  8. Plodémon plods on says:

    Our “candidate” is off to a flying start with his “results-orientated” policy so far resulting in a total absence of any policies. You really couldn’t make it up.

    In truth though, as his actual platform is “following politburo orders slavishly, no matter what they are”, the absence of a “manifesto” is actually about as honest an admission of his style as we will ever get: “They haven’t told me what I think yet”.

  9. justsayin says:

    just add an ‘s’ to the front of ‘election’ and we’ve got a very good word indeed for how Curry’s replacement is getting into office. ‘Selection’ of the new CE by the CCP

  10. Red Dragon says:

    Chinese Netizen

    Would you be so good as to provide a link to Vag’s Twitter?

    It’s not the sort of thing I keep up my sleeve, as it were.

  11. Norwood says:

    ‘It’s quite clear–it’s got to look democratic, but we must have everything in our control.’
    – Walter Ulbricht, 1945

    Quoted in Anne Applebaum’s ‘Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-56’

  12. Chinese Netizen says:

    Red Dragon: I saw it on Hemlock’s feed here on the opening page. I actually (shock!) do not use Twatter but do enjoy the occasional link this site provides.

  13. YTSL says:

    @Mary Melville: do you know if John Lee is Catholic?

  14. Mary Melville says:

    @YTSL – “Lee did not respond to questions on whether he is a Catholic”, and I doubt he is. When we had a media some intrepid reporter would have tracked him on a Sunday morning.

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