Hong Kong is proud to help with the recruitment of astronauts, following an invitation that shows Beijing’s trust in the city. Or at least some of the city. Several million sighs of relief echo around the streets as non-patriots learn they will not be eligible to be sent up in China’s space rocket.
Much excited chatter about suitable candidates – for example, how about lawmaker Dr the Hon Elizabeth Quat, famous for her dazzling academic qualifications, including (surely) a PhD in astrophysics, or two?
A gushing Standard editorial advises…
As space missions involve highly sensitive state secrets for authorized eyes only, it can be expected that applicants will be subject to thorough background checks.
Which brings us to a Financial Times scoop revealing that China’s Foreign Ministry is asking foreign diplomatic missions in Hong Kong to disclose details of their consular and residential premises…
Officials want floor plans, details of rental or sale terms, as well as lease or sale agreements.
Scene at the NatSec police: “Hmmm… The Bolivians have converted their spare bathroom into a limbo-dancing studio. Better check it out.” Should keep them busy for a few months while they’re waiting for the next clampdown on subversive erhu-players.
They want floor plans in order to figure out to best spy on the said consulate via bugging devices, etc. They want lease details so as to blackmail the owners to either evict or not renew their premises. That will allow the CCP to put all sorts of bugging devices in the newer premises.
All this excitement about “HK’s first astronaut” …! We have one already… Bill Anders, command module pilot of Apollo 8, which flew around the moon in 1968 was born at Matilda Hospital in Hong Kong, and went to Peak School.
More importantly, they want the foreign missions to realize that Xianggang is just another Tier 3 city now, nothing special, and they should reconsider their very presence.
Potential recruits should … have engaged in the relevant fields for at least three years.
Airport baggage handler does not qualify as a payload specialist.
Good luck finding Hong Kong youngsters for that space job. They will insist on bringing their helper to cook their instant noodles and clean up after their mess.
I always underestood that in international law, embassies and consulates are the territory of the country they represent, not of the host country. Consequently an Arkell v Pressdram response to the Foreign Ministry’s request would not seem inappropriate.
@Low Profile: You would be correct.
My guess is the ChiComs want to know the layouts so they can proceed with their microwave bombardments (or whatever the final verdict was) on diplomats in HK next.
Whatever video you linked to today appears to have gone missing – Youtube tells me it’s “no longer available”.
Hong Kong families will be the predestined human species for colonizing Mars: They have vast experience in cramped conditions and can live, cook, shower, siht, sleep and fcuk in anything from 1.5 square meter upwards. And just imagine, maybe up to five families can be launched in one single rocket!
The Australian reply was, I have on good authority, ” Yuz caaants can go and get [email protected]!”