Major rants beckon. Beijing and supporters get exceptionally worked up over Google’s closure of John Lee’s YouTube channel, with the Foreign Affairs Ministry saying the US is undermining…
…freedom of expression, freedom of information dissemination and the fairness and impartiality of the internet [and] “trying every trick in the book to intervene in Hong Kong affairs with the evil motive of obstructing the chief executive election…”
A Hong Kong government statement makes the same point, albeit at greater length.
Almost as if YouTube were available in the Mainland, and the ‘election’ were, well, an actual election open to manipulation by outside forces. Not sure where the ‘accusation is a confession’ quote comes from, but it could be the motto of China’s official spokesmen.
And a group of academics nominate political prisoners Jimmy Lai, Lee Cheuk-yan, Joshua Wong, Gwyneth Chow and Chow Hang-tung for the Nobel Peace Prize. Expect an outburst of official mouth-frothing any minute. Watch out for references to ‘blasphemy’ against the ‘sacred’ Nobel Prize institution, or similar verbal pyrotechnics that draw global attention to the very things Beijing wants to downplay.
Some weekend links…
A qualitative study on why Hong Kong old folks won’t get vaccinated. Includes the phrase ‘peripheral information processing’, which I had to look up. It means being persuaded by the style rather than content of a message. You’re welcome!
ZolimaCityMag on the Chi Ma Wan Trail, which features – among other attractions – a fascinating abandoned prison with an old canteen you can peer into. One of the hike’s big draws is that not many people go on it – so don’t feel you have to check it out.
AP casts a skeptical eye on Shanghai’s low Covid death figures.
Taiwan’s National Defense Handbook in English.
War on the Rocks presents eight ways Taiwan can make itself impregnable against a Chinese invasion.
Foreign Policy on how China could continue expanding its military even as its economy slows…
…military power is often a lagging indicator of a country’s trajectory: It takes time to turn money into military muscle, and massive buildups often persist even after a country’s economic fortunes begin to flag … The China of the 2020s will be a country whose coercive capabilities are more intimidating than ever as its economic dynamism fades. That could be the worst possible combination for the world.
ScaryMommy on the ‘no shoes indoors’ debate. A bit like the ‘face masks during Covid’ hoohah, but with more racial undertones.
Also about footwear, sort of… A fairly long academic read on Sugarcane Cultivation and the Demise of Foot-Binding in Taiwan in the early 20th century. Touches on Japanese colonial rule, industrial rail lines and the costs/benefits for women of being able to walk properly. (Either you’re into this sort of thing or you’re not.)
On more distant matters, a 1968 UK TV documentary featuring liberal anglo white women in apartheid South Africa, like Nadine Gordimer and Helen Suzman – plus some very laid-back businessmen.