‘Honey Badger’ Cummins, it transpires, is a rugby star and reality TV personality. And now, some say, an apologist for an oppressive regime, not to mention its idiotic Covid restrictions.
…critics say the ads depict a Hong Kong that no longer exists after COVID-19 restrictions saw many of its top restaurants shut down including one visited by Cummins during the campaign, Tung Po Kitchen.
This is in the context of a major tourism relaunch, alongside a campaign to reverse the brain drain (thanks to the San Tin Technopole Hub-Zone) and the much-hyped forthcoming ‘financial summit’. Officials’ desperation to somehow bounce back offers rich pickings for the PR floozies. But on the bright side – the Oz promo was shot pre-Covid, so we can be sure the avalanche of marketing exercises and celebrity endorsements to come will be far more in tune with reality, and not all misleading or offensive, right?
‘Honey Bear’ also says ‘come to Hong Kong to watch the Civic Party possibly disband’.
You mean it hasn’t already? What is the purpose of a formal opposition political group under a one-party state, where democrats are jailed for trying to win elections, and elections themselves are now rigged by a candidate-screening process (such that barely 30% of voters bother to cast a ballot, and urging a boycott has been made a crime)? Either you expose your members to greater risk of persecution on subversion or sedition charges, or you become co-opted as token ‘centrist’ stooges. Under these circumstances, abdication/absence/invisibility is noble. Clinging on looks tawdry.
From InMedia, why 4,000 Hong Kong teachers quit in 2020-21. If the salary of one high-school department head – HK$90,000 pm – is typical, leaving is no small deal.
UnHerd on Xi’s Putin and other problems…
While [Xi’s] own position appears relatively unthreatened, the same can’t be said for his plan to pack the Politburo (the CCP’s top 25 leaders) with his protégés and factional allies, ensuring his path to lifetime rule and completing his personality cult. Xi’s economic mismanagement and strategic misstep of personally linking himself too closely to Putin have exposed him and his political faction to internal criticism in a manner that was almost unthinkable even two years ago.
In the Nation, Maya Wang of Human Rights Watch on the Vatican’s deal with Beijing…
By renewing a secretive deal with Beijing, the Vatican is effectively endorsing the Chinese government’s perversion of religions and is dangerously close to being complicit in the country’s deepening rights abuses.
Spot the censorship: Mainland edition of a history textbook versus the original English-language version.
Following Biden’s recent remarks, Gerrit van der Wees on why you should ignore blather about US ‘strategic ambiguity’ on Taiwan…
Many in the press and think-tank world mistakenly equate “current policy” with “strategic ambiguity.”
The Carnegie Endowment offers helpful hints on how to tell if and when China is about to invade Taiwan.
What’s On Weibo explains why Chinese netizens call Russia ‘vegetable goose’.
On sort-of out-of-area matters, Timothy Snyder on how the war in Ukraine might end…
The scenario that I will propose here is that a Russian conventional defeat in Ukraine is merging imperceptibly into a Russian power struggle, which in turn will require a Russian withdrawal from Ukraine. This is, historically speaking, a very familiar chain of events.
…regime survival has depended upon two premises: what happens on television is more important than what happens in reality; and what happens abroad is more important than what happens at home. It seems to me that these premises no longer hold.
A local angle: a yacht (over half the length of the SS Titanic) belonging to Russian sanctioned billionaire tycoon and buddy-of-Putin Alexei Mordashov has moored in Hong Kong.