Sports officials again demand that Google change its search results so Hong Kong’s anthem (ie China’s) ranks higher than Glory to Hong Kong. Chances are that the net impact of making such a fuss is that the algorithms send even more Google searches to the homegrown protest tune. (On the bright side, we all learn – to our mild surprise – that this city has an ice hockey team.) Ignoring the incident is obviously not an option.
The same sort of eagerness leads education authorities decide that aspiring school principals must have a ‘sense of national identity’. (How do you prove/display it? Have a ‘Xi For Me’ bumper sticker on your car?) Perhaps more interesting is the qualities that are no longer needed for teachers to train as school heads…
…among them … “political astuteness,” determination to “protect the best interest of school members” and “resourcefulness and decisiveness” when working with a team.
I guess the ‘political astuteness’ implied some sort of impartiality, and ‘protecting school members’ could have involved respecting pro-democracy staff/students’ views. Not sure what was wrong with ‘resourcefulness and decisiveness’ – do patriots tend to lack them?
Some weekend reading (possibly paywalled, but at least you have quotes)…
NYT on Beijing’s rewriting of China’s time of Covid…
It was a “miracle in human history.” Every measure the government imposed was rooted in science, supported by the masses – and, ultimately, “completely correct.”
Washington Post on the reasons behind China’s plummeting birthrate…
In 2022, China had only about half as many births as just six years earlier… That sea change in childbearing predated the coronavirus pandemic, and it appears to be part of broader shock, for marriage in China is also in free fall.
Since 2013 — the year Xi completed his ascent to power — the rate of first marriages in China has fallen by well over half. Headlong flights from both childbearing and marriage are taking place in China today.
Nikkei Asia on other countries’ warming relations with Taiwan…
The increasingly divided geopolitical landscape — especially since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a year ago — has accelerated Taiwan’s emergence from the diplomatic erasure imposed upon it by democratic countries who once feared Beijing’s wrath. It is the biggest setback in decades for China’s attempts to isolate Taiwan, and Beijing is not happy.
…”Taiwan has benefited from China’s ‘wolf warrior’ diplomacy,” said former Chinese diplomat Chen Yonglin, who defected to Australia in 2005. “Xi has openly shown his ambitions, and his war preparations are bringing the U.S., the U.K., Japan and Australia together. When these countries change their attitudes, other countries are likely to follow. It’s a great opportunity for Taiwan to seize.”
I’m going to suggest that the Hong Kong ice hockey players reacted quickly because they couldn’t believe the anthem played wasn’t ‘O Canada’.
Decisiveness implies making decisions. Under the current system, they’re made for you.
“How do you prove/display it? Have a ‘Xi For Me’ bumper sticker on your car?”
Armbands! Third Reich styled armbands to wear on the sleeve of trench coats to advertise to the public A) you’re a patriot, B) you’re a bigwig or middling bureaucrat of some sort, and C) screams to the popo to please spare you a beatdown when there’s a crowded, tear gassed melee going down and you happen to have gotten caught in the middle of it whilst shopping at Donki.
The Washington Post article comes via the American Enterprise Institute, a libertarian think tank that puts out one of those nonsensical economic freedom indices that always places Hong Kong near the top. So perhaps take it with a grain of salt. The demographic statistics are real but the analysis does little to dig into the data and serves up your basic canned American hyperbole. It also egregiously leaves out the campaign of birth suppression being carried out in Xinjiang.
The first steep drop in China’s birthrates occurred in the 1990s as the One Child Policy kicked in and economic growth took off. That shrunken, gender imbalanced cohort has now reached adulthood. It would be surprising not to see another drop in births.
From a Diary
Wednesday 1 March 2083
This morning in the doctor’s waiting-room,
I met a chap. We met for coffee later.
I told him I’d been studying some images
From the early 2020s. “With masks?”
“Yes.” – “Those were very peculiar days.”
“Were you around?” – “I was two or three.”
“I was in my early teens. Masks…
I used to like –” I paused,
But it was easy chatting with him. “Black
Masks on girls, the black against their pale
Cheeks.” – “I was a child.
For me, they’re comforting.
A clean mask, pressing
On nose and cheeks and lips.
My mother there, my father.
I’m in my buggy, or playing on a slide.
“Do you collect? I asked.
“Well, yes.” – “Me too!
I knew it! I was sure we shared a secret!”
“I’m a Korea specialist,” he said.
He hesitated, too polite to boast.
“I’ve got a Shinsoon 24.” – “You have?
That’s a lovely mask,
And rare.” My turn now.
I hesitated too. “I’ve got a Gusset.”
“A Hong Kong Washable? O wip!” (a phrase
The kids are using). I added, modestly,
“In the original packaging.”
“O wip me out! You mortgage your apartment
To buy it? That’s a classic!”
Masks . . . we said, almost together. Strange
Days, officious people,
Alarm, control, surveillance.
Masks . . . Such a waste, so little use.
But also in those days
Simplicity (and our youth)
Now lost. “No, we can’t go back.” – “No.”
Glad to know that in patriotic Hong Kong what really matters for sports teams is only the rendering of “Arise! Ye who refuse to be slaves!”
The participating teams and the score are totally unimportant!
Did anybody actually report it?
I guess it was what you can see on the scoreboard in the picture.
Hong Kong – Iran 11: 1. Well done guys!
Methinks that the commies will obfuscate their population statistics and demographics to hide their virus deaths. Maybe the 850’000 reduction in the population announced a few months ago is part of this.