Some ‘recommended reading’ for the weekend

The Hong Kong government faces police recruitment woes

Long-serving officers have left and generous incentives are not enough to fill vacancies in what is today seen as a brutish arm of the Chinese state…

… Who would want to be a policeman when the whole society despises the profession?” said Prof Chung Kim Wah, a social scientist formerly with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

But it is taking seriously its duty (must be buried away in part of the Basic Law somewhere) to recommend books for its citizens.

Lu Xun and George Orwell have been pulled from Hong Kong school libraries. You can read The True Story of Ah Q (it’s short and funny) at, um, See also The Ugly Chinaman by Bo Yang (which is actually banned in China). Excerpts translated by Don Cohn (where is he these days?) here.

Presumably also prohibited in Hong Kong, Inside the Red Brick Wall – a documentary movie…

…edited in a fluid, linear fashion by the anonymous Hong Kong Documentary Filmmakers collective [taking] audiences through a week plus-long siege on the university campus at a cinematic pace unhindered by overt editorializing.

…The audience is given privileged access to the frontlines of the activists faceoff with fascist law enforcement, who use a variety of advanced weaponry to maim and subdue the protestors while dispersing their roadblock. 

The nightmare that is iSquare – what happens when the Psychopaths on Acid Architects team up with Hong Kong property developers to design a mall/office complex…

Imagine visiting the mall for the first time with an invite to a dinner on 28/F. You arrive at MTR/F, no elevator there; so you take an escalator to LG, still no elevators; so you take another escalator to G/F, still no elevators, so you decide to go up as many floors as you can with any escalator you can see. You may arrive at 6/F and 7/F, only to find out that there’s no more escalators going up, still unable to find elevators of any sort.

Hong Kong’s role in enabling trade with sanctioned Russia…

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Hong Kong has doubled its integrated circuits exports to around $400 million worth of semiconductors in 2022, second only to China and far exceeding any third country in the volume of semiconductor trade with Russia.

WSJ (probably paywalled) on Beijing’s recent clampdown on Western research/due diligence companies…

Putting [state-security czar Chen Yixin] in charge is part of a broader push by Xi to displace technocrats whose backgrounds in economics and finance once made them key to establishing China’s credibility with global investors and businesses. While Xi has been gradually shifting the priority of the Communist Party’s political agenda from economic development, what’s emerging is an entire government apparatus geared toward domestic security.

Chinese authorities punish a comedian and promotions company for a joke that obliquely references the military. (They’ve now arrested the guy.) Interesting video on the scandal here. China Media Project looks at the state performing-arts organization that controls entertainment.

Q&A with Andrew Batson on China’s economic and security situations.

Two pieces on Taiwan’s 2024 elections, from J Michael Cole and ASPI Strategist

Whether it be Lai Ching-te or Hou You-yi, understanding the next president of Taiwan will require some work from an international community that has grown comfortable with and sympathetic to Tsai. Her progressive politics are accessible and familiar to interested international observers.

Guardian review of a British Museum exhibition of the late Qing – a few quibbles, but interesting.

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12 Responses to Some ‘recommended reading’ for the weekend

  1. Nury Versace says:

    “It was not by making yourself heard but by staying sane that you carried on the human heritage.”

    Orwell might be right.

    After burning all books written by my namesake, just to be on the safe side, and having a few Victory gins enlivened by saccharine flavoured with cloves at the Chestnut Tree cafe, I also read the Guardian article. The article offers a glimmer of hope for everyone thinking that Hong Kong people are all unprincipled turncoats, over-adapted Philistines who never got the message despite all their Western liberal education.

    How sad that the judiciary and civil service offer no solace for those of us who don’t quite believe in Xi thought. Naturally, it’s difficult to believe in such things normally when I am having double girl oil massage on my balcony here in Palm Beach. The message of all that education never seeped through it seemed to the civil servants filling out their request forms for education allowances, furniture allowances and transport allowances.

    It also never got through to the hanging judges now delivering sentences which no appeals court in the common law jurisdictions would uphold because everything about these laws these people are convicted on goes against everything the judges have ever studied: the primacy of the common law above all.

    Ah well. It will all come out in the wash. Justice also grinds slowly but it grinds extremely fine. Just like the pepper mills at Gaddi’s for all those barristers prosecuting on a fiat.


  2. Nury Versace says:

    #Reactor #4

    I haven’t been to Mainland China in thirty-five years. The Italian gentleman’s review of Chungking makes me want to stay away. What a nightmare modern China seems to be. Greedy, nasty, ugly and noisy. Yuck! Thanks for warning me.

  3. Mjrelje says:

    Christ you watch some shit Retard #4

  4. Justsayin says:

    I’m reading Indelible City this weekend after it was mentioned earlier in the week

  5. Red Dragon says:

    Cloaca #4

    I’m afraid to say that I found your “recommended viewing” rather dull.

    Incidentally, why didn’t you label the Italian chap an “Eyetie”?

  6. steve says:

    So reactionary #4 is now hawking tankie stuff. That’s on brand.

  7. Mjrelje says:

    Can we devise a threat warning?

    – severely condemns (CE today)
    – Slams
    – Lashes out
    – resolutely opposes
    – Spits their baby dummy

  8. Joe Blow says:

    If one considers the fact that 80% of the current CCP power structure are direct descendants of the corrupt power elite that ruled China before WWII (same mandarins, bankers, industrialists, gangsters, politicos) then it is not so difficult to understand that they all worship at the CCP altar that is essentially the replacement of the old imperial system. Same same forever. Don’t hold your breath if you are expecting change anytime soon.

  9. Low Profile says:

    @Reactionary #4 – so we’re supposed to form an opinion on a city based on the first impressions of a guy who admits he’s only been there a week? Seriously, why do you bother?

  10. ondaiwai says:

    I’m guessing Reactor #4 has a Mainland spouse or partner, who is completely immersed in the ‘Good China Story’ ecosystem, where the CCP propaganda is the correct though to have, and anything critical of China is ‘against China’.

  11. Mary Melville says:

    Re iSquare – buts its Rocco Yim design-la, the Zaha of Honkers, perceived style over function. Check out the Zaha Innovation Tower at Poly U, if you can stomach security that puts Stanley and Lai Chi Kok to shame, for appalling waste of space. Exceedingly ugly and difficult to maintain. One can only imagine the costly to resolve issues that will surface as the building ages.
    Back to iSquare, putting the refreshment outlets at the back in windowless caves with the enormous glass wall overlooking the once fabled ‘Golden Mile’ given over to escalators has deprived the district of popular outlets with views over the street and as the developer will have, belatedly recognized, the premium such venues command.
    Tips for anyone heading to the upper floors, use Exits C1 or 2 and look for a long escalator near the M&S Nathan Road door. This goes directly to lift lobby.
    Use the dedicated iSquare MTR H exit and you end up being transported to an escalator spaghetti junction with no idea of how to get out or to get anywhere. As for arranging to meet up with friends inside ……………………… better meet at MTR.

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