Hong Kong’s pointless flight suspensions policy is scrapped, at least for a while. It’s a new balance: going from one balance between science and stupidity to another. Once the government officials’ kids are safely home from their boarding schools in the UK, maybe they’ll go back to suddenly suspending airlines. As an expert points out, the compulsory hotel quarantines – and the shortage of hotel rooms – are the main barriers to inbound travel. Earliest rooms are available: late August (HK$1,600 a night at the hitherto unheard-of Cordis* in Mongkok).
Authorities strike another new balance – between believing fruit and vegetables can carry Covid and not believing it. The balance seems tilted against Taiwanese produce.
Some weekend reading…
The Christian Science Monitor delivers its 25th anniversary elegy for Hong Kong a bit late – but it’s a fairly good one…
“Hong Kong has gone from being such a free city to such a tightly controlled system,” says Jeffrey Wasserstrom, author of “Vigil: Hong Kong on the Brink” and history professor at University of California, Irvine. “This is part of a larger story of forced assimilation, the energy that’s put particularly on the physical edges of the People’s Republic of China to sort of rein in forms of diversity.”
Signs of things to come: The FTU urges everyone to contrive patriotically anti-Japanese sentiment on the anniversary of the Marco Polo Bridge incident.
Transit Jam on the lack of transparency over Hong Kong’s HK$350 million plans for electric ferries…
Hong Kong’s electric ferry strategy is based entirely on one 2017 consultancy report penned by mystery consultant Transus, a firm which has left no trace of its existence other than the ferry strategy report.
Joint (and brief) speeches by the bosses of MI5 and the FBI on the threat posed by China, starting with the UK service’s Ken McCallum …
The most game-changing challenge we face comes from the Chinese Communist Party. It’s covertly applying pressure across the globe. This might feel abstract. But it’s real and it’s pressing. We need to talk about it. We need to act.
Pretty blunt – it’s not often Western officials even mention the CCP by name. Guardian report.
Long read for history fans – in Asia Pacific Journal, academic Geoffrey Gunn explains what Ho Chi Minh was doing in Hong Kong’s Victoria Prison in the early 1930s.
VOA report on how impoverished Laos owes China billions in infrastructure loan repayments, and it doesn’t have billions. (Little mention of what might have induced Lao officials to sign contracts for an inappropriate mega-project like high-speed rail in the first place.)
*Just been reminded that had a staycation there two years ago.
The Enforcers Came Down
The enforcers came down like a wolf on the fold
And the poor little lambs, who were not very old,
Were huddled in herdlets to blather and weep.
Oh, innocent lambkins! Oh, terrified sheep!
But up came their friends who by Therapy teach
(Sedition, Secession, Collusion, and) Speech,
And with pictures so cute and with stories so light
They taught timid lambs how to guard and to fight.
The policemen came down like a wolf in a tale
And pounced on the teachers and put them in jail.
Portentous, a court case is now being made,
Though giggles are heard when a video is played.
A sceptical reader who reads this might feel
The subject is nonsense, it cannot be real.
But, solemn, the judge and the lawyers reveal
A modern-day butterfly crushed on a wheel.
“The FTU urges everyone to contrive patriotically anti-Japanese sentiment on the anniversary of the Marco Polo Bridge incident.”
Hong Kong? Do ANYthing ANTI-Japanese??? Shit, I’d bet most HKers would rather be loyal to the current emperor or Tojo himself than have to deal with the lacquer headed northern crew and their stooges in Hong Kong.
Careful when you’re asking locals to take sides between “Kawaii culture”, manga, Japanimation, Japanese porn and foodie trips to Japan OR tainted gutter oil, melamine laced milk, beating innocent house pets to death with sticks to curb Covid spread and sickeningly patriotic films about the Korean War.
BTW did anyone catch this inspired rant?
You forgot to mention futinari – led – bukakke fests (still preferable. much.)
Also don’t forget the nat sec po po special – nuru massage.
Chinese netizen: Wow! I am now a Pie fan. More political reporting should be like this.
Knownot, brilliant. My mother used to recite the original Byron when I was a child and I still remembere the first stanza. Thank you.
The mystery consultant, Simon KW Ng, who produced the ‘Transus’ electric ferries report was at one time a staffer at Civic Exchange:
The format of the documents on the linked website is the same as for the ‘Transus’ report.
WRT the Laos debt. Is that what happened to Sri Lanka who owed $7B this year alone and defaulted? Can we see a pattern here?
It is not only civil servants kids, Leggers, and probably Excos, have also been griping about getting hotel rooms for their darlings.
And while on the subject of ‘its one rule for us’
Coronavirus: charges dropped against 3 chiefs of Hong Kong Scout Association accused of hosting banquet that violated social-distancing curbs
Trio were accused of organising retirement banquet last year with at least 100 guests at Hong Kong Scout Centre
Prosecution applied to Kowloon City Court to withdraw charges of organising a prohibited group gathering.
According to the media reports at the time a number of police officers attended knees up at the venue during Covid restrictions.
And as with Witman’s partygate only the cooks and bottle washers get charged.
“WRT the Laos debt. Is that what happened to Sri Lanka who owed $7B this year alone and defaulted? Can we see a pattern here?”
Not only is that the pattern, it’s the PLAN.
@Tim Hamlett: Agree totally. NY Times publishes his videos every once in a while as well.
I think your head picture is due to an update. Out should be the old hag, smiling unnecessarily (where she is now? Maybe resting in Dongguan or Shunde?) and in the new kid in town, including his facemask. Of course the top boss should be more prominent, enlarged dare I say, or you could be accused of NSL violation
Fckuing quarantine hotels colluding with scalpers? You can get rooms from Mongkok “travel agents” in hotels reporting no vacancies on the government website!
Paul Lam already establishing that he is going to be even more useless than his predecessor. EU resolution “slanderous”; false Nat Sec letter to English lawyers “smear tactic” and his main job is educating about the NSL and basic law rather than sorting out the appalling mess created by his department and the rabid imagination of his prosecutors (Sheep saga)
Innovation requires dissent.
As much as I’d love to blame China for Sri Lanka’s dire situation, I think the Rajapaksa family must take much of the blame: greedy, thieving, power hungry, self-serving bunch of criminals.
the Rajapaksas were and are Chinese puppets all along, but so far neither their masters haven’t said a word in their favour, nor state media invoked the usual “colour revolution” trope. Also no special “fish supply” flights from Kunming have reached Colombo yet
escaped the nine dash line 2 weeks ago. never looking back.