Happy Handover 25th Anniversary!!!

In case you missed it, some more background on the Standard/Sing Tao’s coverage of Kaisa’s special tiny apartment on sale by tender…

Would that be the same Mainland group … Kaisa whose executive director and vice chairwoman Kwok Hiu-ting, the daughter of Kwok Ying-shing (Chairman of Sing Tao News) and co-CEO of Sing Tao News, suddenly resigned from the day before the company defaulted on principal and interest payments on a US$400 million note “to devote more time in other business commitments”, three days after her two sisters, Kwok Ho Lai and Kwok Hiu Yan, resigned from the board of a Kaisa Group healthcare subsidiary “to devote more time in their personal commitments”?

(Deathly silence as no-one faints in amazement.)

While many media organizations were not invited to cover the July 1 inauguration in the first place, the authorities have turned down more reporters – even from fairly pro-government outlets – for ‘security reasons’. Because of quarantine/testing requirements, they can’t be replaced.

It could be that the NatSec people decided to get extra paranoid at the last minute about media organizations. Or it could be the SCMP, Ming Pao, HKET, TVB, Reuters and other journalists have been blacklisted as individuals because of previous work they had done. It seems even Ta Kung Pao and Government Information Service personnel were included, though cynics might say that’s for show, so the government can say its decision was ‘balanced’.

Not that the sleuth reporters will miss much breaking news in the Great Hall of the Wanchai tomorrow.

Some Handover 25th Anniversary Long Weekend links…

Bloomberg on growing business uncertainty in Hong Kong…

In private conversations with diplomats, [Carrie] Lam has said she doesn’t have the power to eliminate quarantine even though she personally wants to open up to international travel, according to a person familiar with the situation. In an interview with Bloomberg this month, Lam acknowledged that Hong Kong’s quarantine policy “weakens our position as an international city” without saying when or how it might change.

…At the time the security law was unveiled, Hong Kong officials said it was mainly targeted at a few activists and said the stability it brought would reassure the business community. Yet the pandemic has shown the erosion of autonomy in the wake of the protests has affected almost every aspect of policy making in the city.

Unflattering juxtapositions of photos of Hong Kong when the Queen visited and Hong Kong when Xi visits today: here, here and here.

The latest update from the HK Democracy Council…

Hong Kong now has one of fastest-growing populations of political prisoners in the world, rivaling Belarus, Burma, and Cuba…

An RFA interview with Chris Patten…

The fact that the independence movement has grown in Hong Kong is an indication of how badly China has behaved and how little people actually trust China today. It’s an extraordinary thing that so few people are actually proud of Hong Kong being part of China now. There’s a great sense of Hong Kong citizenship, and there’s a great sense that people are Hong Kongers but only a small number think of themselves as Chinese.

Phrase-Coining of the Week Award goes to George Magnus, commenting on an FT report on superior job opportunities enjoyed in China by graduates in Marxist theory: ‘Nothing to lose but their brains’. The story

“The purpose of the major is to train thought police to brainwash the entire population,” said Ming Xia, a political-science professor at the City University of New York. Chinese universities offering Marxism degrees inculcate students in the philosophy developed by Karl Marx as interpreted by Xi and his revolutionary idol, Mao Zedong. A curriculum for a three-year masters program in Marxism at a university in central Henan province includes a module on the “principle and methods of thought education” and 18 hours of study of Xi’s speeches on education.

It is a selective interpretation of Marx…

Xi’s government has cracked down on young people who apply Marxist analysis too critically to abuses of labour…

How a Chinese fantasy novelist inserted fictional Russian history into Wikipedia…

Over more than 10 years, the author wrote several million words of fake Russian history, creating 206 articles and contributing to hundreds more. She imagined richly detailed war stories and economic histories, and wove them into real events in language boring enough to fit seamlessly into the encyclopedia…

“Characters that don’t exist in the English-Russian Wiki appear in the Chinese Wiki, and these characters are mixed together with real historical figures so that there’s no telling the real from the fake. Even a lengthy Moscow-Tver war revolves around the non-existent Kashen silver mine.”

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24 Responses to Happy Handover 25th Anniversary!!!

  1. Knownot says:

    1997 to 2022

    It rains. Clouds darken and it rains, it rains.
    But there is loyalty, hope, and celebration.
    New flags rise.

    So much feeling, so much feeling still.
    Twenty-five years ago! – a generation.
    Time flies.
    _ _ _ _ _

    Times change. Words are now incitement.
    Freedom is security legislation.
    Facts are lies.

    He’s in prison. So is she. And he.
    He’s gone. They’ve gone, too. Emigration,
    Sad goodbyes.
    _ _ _ _ _

    Do you remember Montserrat? Laid waste,
    Another small colonial creation
    Almost dies.

    It carries on. We too can hope or dream
    That one day we shall see a liberation.
    One day . . . Sighs.

    _ _ _ _ _

    [It was pouring with rain on June 30th, 1997, and on the following days.]

    [Montserrat, a British Overseas Territory, was partly destroyed by an erupting volcano. There was a further episode at the end of June 1997, so it was in the news at the time of the handover.]

  2. Jackme Hoff says:

    Hemmers, long time fan of the blog but I always feel a bit of vomit arising when pictures of occupying heads visiting the colonies with a cheering throng are brandished as some sort of evidence of better times.

    For one, the baseline is markedly different. How’s are the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha’s viewed in the UK back then versus now? Globally I think you’ll see a trend towards disestablishmentarianism, particularly hereditary ones that have rafts of scandals.

    Second, it’s insulting. You might well make the case that British occupation of HK helped it avoid the worst excesses of the Cultural Revolution etc but let’s not forget the harmful role colonial occupiers played; from the aggressive drug trafficking campaigning of opium which caused immeasurable harm to countless individuals, the racist and highly discriminatory policies of colonial rule not to mention the wonton destruction of priceless cultural artifacts in the Summer Palace.

    In your attempt to paint a clear picture of the present, let’s not sugarcoat the past with inaccurate, racist, and just wrong, recollections of the past.

  3. YTSL says:

    @Jackme Hoff — Think you’ll appreciate this piece in The Guardian about the Hong Kongers who advised Britain on the handover – and were ignored.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/30/the-hong-kong-unofficials-who-advised-britain-on-the-handover-and-were-ignored

    More details about them and the whole affair in Louisa Lim’s tour de force “Indelible City: Dispossession and Defiance in Hong Kong” (2022).

  4. Chinese Netizen says:

    “A curriculum for a three-year masters program in Marxism at a university in central Henan province includes a module on the “principle and methods of thought education” and 18 hours of study of Xi’s speeches on education.”

    Hmmmm…this for THREE years in He-fucking-nan or a stint in Guantanamo Bay prison facilities? It’s really a toss up.

  5. Wanton Phooey. says:

    @Jackme: I regularly destroy wontons. They’re soooo tasty.

    @YTSL: Indeed a shame they weren’t at least given a little respect. A blown opportunity. I’d say the clowns “running” HK today have it worse. Total window dressing props only to carry out the orders as they come down from heaven.

  6. Sean O'Herlihy says:

    “A new era – stability, prosperity and opportunity”

    You mean like it was under the British only without the freedoms?

    The lying and delusions are endemic now.

  7. Mary Melville says:

    And to more practical issues, how is the now almost ex CE going to move all that cash stashed under the bed at Gov House, and where to?
    And with all that cash sloshing around how come the Irish are treating the family to such largesse?
    https://www.thestandard.com.hk/breaking-news-print/191752/(Central-Station)-'One-family,-three-cities'-spell-for-the-Lam's
    Jeremy Lam is now studying for a Ph.D. degree and was granted a scholarship of at least HK$130,000 for his research by the Irish government last year, according to reports. (note this is one week’s salary for HK CE)
    At a time of so much disruption worldwide many Paddys would expect educational support to go to students like say Afgan girls no longer allowed to attend university, Ukrainian students bombed out of their homes and facilities, the thousands of refugees of tertiary age, etc etc, instead of doling it out to those whose families can easily and therefore should support their further studies.

  8. Shuang Xi says:

    I know it’s encroaching into tinfoil hat territory, but the only credible reason I can think for banning folk from RTHK, GIS and other loyalist presstitutes even though they passed all the PCR tests for a totally non-controversial non-event of “suits standing next to each other” is that Xi isn’t coming, but they’re going to get a double and/or photoshop, dub and green-screen him in.

    If you’re trying to avoid bad press from people with “suspicious” backgrounds, banning them is absolutely the worst way to go about it: it gives you a whole load of bad press before the event has even started, and encourages them to badmouth you for it.

    If you’re trying to inculcate “loyalty” in rogue elements then why why choose such a non-newsworthy event to get all exclusive over? And why not sack the folk you can sack in GIS and RTHK? Or arrest all the “bad elements” with the NSL?

  9. Mark Bradley says:

    “ In private conversations with diplomats, [Carrie] Lam has said she doesn’t have the power to eliminate quarantine even though she personally wants to open up to international travel”

    On paper the CE has that power though. What would happen in post NSL HK if the C-E ignores their mainland thug minders and opens up to international travel? Other than jail time like Bowtie had I mean.

    Fucking ridiculous we can’t even open our own borders that are within the scope of the autonomy that we used to have in practice and still are supposed to have on paper.

  10. Knownot says:

    “In your attempt to paint a clear picture of the present, let’s not sugarcoat the past with inaccurate, racist, and just wrong, recollections of the past.”

    A possible answer to Jackme Hoff is a platitude: There’s a time and place for everything.

    In a history of HK, everything belongs, both favourable and unfavourable to the colonizer. But if a writer is contrasting the response to a British royal visit and a Chinese Communist visit – which is favourable to the colonizer – there is no need to contrast it with the opium trade. The latter is irrelevant. Similarly, if it is something unfavourable to the colonizer, for example the indifference to the living conditions of immigrants before the Shek Kip Mei fire, there is no need to contrast it with the development of a respected police force. The latter is, again, irrelevant.

  11. Mary Jane says:

    Oh 4FFS @Jackme. If they hadn’t been buying it from the British they would have found it elsewhere. They were off their tits with the pipes long before the gunboats arrived.

  12. justsayin says:

    ‘Wonton Destruction’ seems like a good name for a HK heavy metal band… or what the CCP is doing to HK…

    I wonder if the People’s Daily and Global Times got invites to the party tomorrow?

  13. dimuendo says:

    As to the Unofficials I was around in the later years of Lydia Dunn and SY Chung etc. They were free to, and did give, their views. Does not mean the views have to be adopted.

    Huge mistake British made was allowing Percy Craddock a very major role in the negotiations. He had lost whatever spine he had, having been roughed up in the sacking of the British Consulate in 1967. Reported the mainland appointed two of those who had manhandled Craddock to sit opposite him at the handover negotiations. Remember only 15 years apart.

    While never a fan of the Joint Declaration it was not bad, if the mainland prepared to implement, which it largely did for several years.

    There was no real alternative. The most important decision was made in 1898.

    Thatcher refusing to hand back/cede HK Island and Kowloon was never viable.

  14. so says:

    Because Government House doesn’t have a verandah, Peng Liyuan’s shoes will get wet, as will the shoes of everyone else attending the banquet.

  15. Just following orders says:

    “There was no real alternative. The most important decision was made in 1898.”

    Agreed, but there was an alternative to the way that Perfidious Albion treated its colonial subjects in terms of BN(O) status and what that meant and allowed etc. etc. The British Government’s behaviour towards the Hong Kong people was exactly the sort of behaviour that the Irish, the Scottish Nationalists, the Indians et al love to use to fuel their hatred of the UK. Shameful stuff.

  16. Mark Bradley says:

    “ Hemmers, long time fan of the blog but I always feel a bit of vomit arising when pictures of occupying heads visiting the colonies with a cheering throng are brandished as some sort of evidence of better times.

    For one, the baseline is markedly different. How’s are the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha’s viewed in the UK back then versus now? Globally I think you’ll see a trend towards disestablishmentarianism, particularly hereditary ones that have rafts of scandals.

    Second, it’s insulting. You might well make the case that British occupation of HK helped it avoid the worst excesses of the Cultural Revolution etc but let’s not forget the harmful role colonial occupiers played; from the aggressive drug trafficking campaigning of opium which caused immeasurable harm to countless individuals, the racist and highly discriminatory policies of colonial rule not to mention the wonton destruction of priceless cultural artifacts in the Summer Palace.

    In your attempt to paint a clear picture of the present, let’s not sugarcoat the past with inaccurate, racist, and just wrong, recollections of the past.”

    Says a lot about communist thuggery that British imperialism, its racism (and it is racist, that the guardian article displays it in shocking bluntness) and its sovereign Queen are considered more desirable than CCP rulers. The Queen is treated like a legitimate ruler by the locals due to the lax security compared to that cunt Xinnie.

  17. Bluebottle says:

    “The trouble I’ve caused is hard to make up for, so maybe a permanent ban is the only option. My current knowledge is not enough to make a living, so in the future I will learn a craft, work honestly, and not do nebulous things like this any more.”

    From the fake Wikipedia article. Words to live by.

  18. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Mark Bradley – I guess it all just comes down the the base human nature of attraction and likeability, no?
    The waxwork, shoe polish headed goons from up north, with their stage managed western suits, and clipped pinky nails nonwithstanding, are simply still nothing more than organized crime toughs that elbowed, subverted, and crushed to get to where they are in a system that’s only 73 years-old and entirely built on corruption, thievery and patronage. At least Uncle Deng Littlebottle wasn’t a pretentious prick.
    The Queen had a lot more time between the previous and today’s well oiled Royal machinery.

  19. Low Profile says:

    When the Queen visited the then new HSBC building, I popped out from my office nearby to see her. There were certainly a few cops and bodyguards in her ensemble, but people were free to get quite close, and there was nothing like the paranoid security clampdown surrounding Xi’s visit. Draw your own conclusions.

  20. justsayin says:

    While I am not at all a fan of the Brit royals, they’re better than the CCP.

    Let’s not play false equivalency games.

    25 years later, are things better for HK? Simple question.

  21. Kwun Tong Bypass says:

    @JackHoff
    How come I feel always a bit of vomit arising whenever the „patriotic“ motherland is treats Hong Kong like it’s one of their colonies?
    And by the way, I read of similar attitudes demonstrated in Africa.
    Colonialism with Chinese characteristics?
    Or ist because we just do not understand China?

  22. Red Dragon says:

    dimuendo

    Quite so. Craddock was a prize cunt.

  23. HillnotPeak says:

    It felt more like Hitler visiting Paris in 1940.

  24. Low Profile says:

    Oops, I meant entourage, not ensemble. Though given that the whole monarchy shtick is basically a form of show business, ensemble (“a group of musicians, actors, or dancers who perform together”) may not be too far off.

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