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.