Week concludes on correct note…

Anthem-Gate rolls on. The HK Baseball Association (yes, it exists) diligently reports a video of a 2010 game recently being redubbed with the Prohibited Wrong Tune on a YouTube site with 126 followers. Google tries to explain its search engine to the government. (Among other things you can Google – this.)

And rectification of schools continues. Officials issue a 30-page list of over 70 positive and negative rules for teachers – a not-so-subtle blend of professionalism and NatSec. Education Secretary Christine Choi sounds like she wishes the list could have been longer…

When asked if teachers can discuss topics such as the “white paper protest” in the mainland recently, Choi said: “Why do teachers have to discuss issues happening in society? What’s the meaning of explaining the meaning of a sheet of white paper to Primary One students?”

But she later clarified that this did not mean teachers cannot mention those topics, saying it is unprofessional for teachers to be influenced by emotion and occupy students’ lesson time. “There is no reason for a teacher to use some fake and ugly materials and intentionally occupy lesson time,” Choi said.

Time for a lapse in correctness. Not sure how this must-read made it past the SCMP’s quality control – maybe she’s out of town.  A HKUST politics professor skewers Beijing’s and Hong Kong’s approaches to Covid… 

Now that the mainland’s zero-Covid policy is in tatters, Hong Kong would look even more foolish if it were to maintain the rest of its pandemic restrictions.

…The mainland’s zero-Covid U-turn should be a wake-up call for analysts and commentators who believe Chinese authorities are pragmatic, adaptive, and capable of taking the long view.

…[China’s] vulnerabilities are largely the consequence of the zero-Covid strategy that created the delusion that the virus could be eliminated, and led to scarce resources being allocated to Covid-19 suppression – mass testing, centralised quarantine facilities, and lockdowns – rather than to mitigation, which includes increasing the vaccination rate, and ramping up hospital and ICU capacity.

He also diplomatically targets the deaf-cum-patriotic governing process for denying…

…the importance of maintaining cognitive diversity and having a (healthy) debate over policy alternatives – at least internally, if not publicly.

Which brings us to a translation of China Daily’s front-page commentary officially announcing that henceforward ‘Lying Flat is the New Zero-Covid’ – it’s all one big carefully planned continuum under the perfect leadership of the CCP.

Some riveting links for the weekend…

Nikkei asks whether or when China can overtake the US economy in size? Not for, er, a few decades…

Over the long term, labor shortages stemming from the country’s dwindling population will act as a drag on its economic growth…

Things don’t look much better on a per-capita basis, either. Beijing’s officials are targeting per-capita GDP of roughly the level of Spain (‘mid-developed’). This chart shows the country being left behind by Japan, Taiwan and South Korea (three of the few countries to ever escape the ‘middle-income trap’) and veering toward Brazil/Argentina territory. (Worth reading the whole thread on the Nikkei article starting here.)

A long, dry academic paper on how popular nationalism can influence Chinese government policymaking…

It argues that popular nationalists can play a bottom-up politicizing role on previously marginal policy issues such as immigration, surprising and constraining the state. Such politicisation further limits both public and elite policy debate, impairing state information gathering and exacerbating the tension between Chinese policy actors’ desire to both control and understand public sentiment.

Chinese nationalism versus science: thread on researcher pushing idea that modern humans evolved in East Asia rather than Africa.

Making it up as they go along – a review of Frank Dikotter’s China After Mao: The Rise of a Superpower, about China’s post-1976 economic development…

…in China, capital has remained a “political good, distributed by state banks to enterprises controlled directly or indirectly by the state in pursuit of political goals”.

(Is Dikotter still at HKU?)

HuffPost on the plucky little Lithuanians

China sees Lithuania’s stand as an offensive and inappropriate gambit by a minor player that deserves a sharp response to keep other nations in check. 

War On The Rocks asks whether Beijing is really planning to invade Taiwan. (In a nutshell – no.)

Foreign Affairs on why Taiwanese see no point in declaring an independence they already enjoy in practice. Quick but comprehensive summary of the article here

It is easy to understand why unification is so unpopular. Over the last four decades, Taiwan has transformed itself into a liberal, tolerant, pluralist democracy while China has remained a harsh autocracy, developed an intrusive surveillance state, and executed a genocide against its own population. Unifying with the PRC would mean the end of almost all of Taiwan’s hard-won political freedoms, something that was made manifest when China forcibly integrated Hong Kong into the mainland despite its promise to allow the territory to remain self-governing under a formula called “one country, two systems.” And many, or perhaps most, Taiwanese people would not want to unify with China regardless of the nature of its government. Taiwan has its own history, culture, identity, and sense of national pride.

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6 Responses to Week concludes on correct note…

  1. Babe Loose says:

    Rumour has it HK is looking to be an Asian baseball hub. Once the sport completely disappears from Japan, Nation of Taiwan and the ROK.

  2. Babe Ruth says:

    “Baseball” is not a sport.

    Rounders in long trousers is not sport.

  3. Joe Blow says:

    CWB was swarming with PTU randos this morning.

    What’s up?

  4. Not The Joe says:

    Joe. Joe.

    What’s up, Joe, is not you, Joe.

  5. Mary Melville says:

    Contingency plan set for by-election December 16, 2022

    Electoral Affairs Commission Chairman David Lok chaired the first meeting of the Crisis Management Committee today, ahead of the Legislative Council Election Committee constituency by-election to be held on December 18.
    The commission is working with different bureaus and departments in preparation for the by-election, drawing up security and crisis management plans to deal with different circumstances that may arise during the poll.
    During the meeting, the commission was briefed by the Constitutional & Mainland Affairs Bureau and government departments, including the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer and Police, on the assessment of different situations and deployment for polling day.
    The Security Bureau, the Registration & Electoral Office, the Information Services Department and the Department of Justice briefed the meeting on the by-election preparatory and co-ordination work.
    Mr Lok said a time slot has been suggested to the Election Committee (EC) members according to the five EC sectors to which they belong, to vote at the polling station. A poll card and other electoral documents including the EC member’s name badge have been delivered to each of them.
    In light of COVID-19, a number of anti-epidemic measures will be implemented in the polling station and central counting station. EC members with a fever or respiratory symptoms will be directed to a special voting compartment to vote.
    Concerning the arrangements in the central counting station including the media centre, all entrants except exempted people must comply with the Vaccine Pass requirements.
    Mr Lok said the Crisis Management Committee will assist the commission to closely monitor the situation on polling day and handle situations in which different incidents may affect the by-election.
    Additionally, the electoral affairs chief and Secretary for Constitutional & Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang today inspected the on-site rehearsal for by-election staff at the polling station and central counting station at the Convention & Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai.
    Noting that most of the preparatory work was near completion, Mr Lok encouraged staff to make their best endeavours to ensure that the polling and ballot counting would go smoothly and efficiently on Sunday.

    Strewth, as the Bard said ‘Much ado about nothing”. There are at most 1,500 eligible to vote. Joe Public does not have a clue who is running, and could not care less apart from cringing at how much all that OT is depleting the reserves.

  6. Kwun Tong Bypass says:

    @Joe Blow

    Blue sky? Fresh air?

    Probably because we have yet another of those F A K E . E L E C T I O N S so that in a few years’ time every Hongkie will convincingly tell you that the F A K E . E L E C T I O N S are actually not F A K E . E L E C T I O N S, like every Singkie tells you that the little red pimple’s F A K E . E L E C T I O N S are actually not t F A KK E . E L E C T I O N S

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