The ‘Night Vibes’ rejuvenation extravaganza initiative-cum-scheme is launched to modest and perhaps rushed fanfare. The video clip shows a small stage occupied by rather unenthusiastic (let’s say insufficiently rehearsed) nocturnal skateboarding dancers. Attended by Financial Secretary Paul Chan, Allen Zeman, etc, etc. A standard box-ticking HK Civil Service event launch – just like the ‘Hello Hong Kong’ one, but in the dark.
Perhaps it’s supposed to boost tourism, but the sudden obsession with the nightlife economy looks more targeted at local consumers, who simply don’t go out as much as they used to.The Covid era – working from home and semi-shuttering of bars and restaurants – changed people’s evening schedules and killed off many outlets. The prolonged travel restrictions ended all tourism and pushed many higher-earning residents to emigrate. Many, especially younger, Hong Kong people will go to Shenzhen for a night out because it’ll cost maybe a third what they would pay in Hong Kong.
As numerous critics point out, officials trying to launch ‘night bazaars’ are trying to create synthetic versions of the very activities and buzz they have deliberately eradicated over the years – whether it’s through disapproval of fishball vendors and other street food, the phobia about outdoor dining, bans on ‘unauthorized gatherings’, or the dismantling of neon signs.
Doing my bit – Chiuchow dinner last night…
NGO Liber Research Community finds dozens of possibly illegal structures/garden extensions at luxury developments like Redhill Peninsula.
Interesting aerial photos. (Some might think that if you had a house with a backyard that adjoins a patch of unused and otherwise inaccessible scrubland, wouldn’t you ‘borrow’ some of it too? Preferably not on a crumbling clifftop.)
It’s also interesting that the NGO is still operating despite the NatSec system, and even gets interviewed by government-run RTHK. A few months back, it was criticized for ‘smearing’ government housing and infrastructure projects, but maybe the government is happier about going after wealthy old-style establishment types’ illegal structures. These people’s friends do not run Hong Kong anymore.
Some (allegedly) interesting reading for the weekend…
China Media Project on China’s recent proposed law against ‘clothing that hurts the feelings’, which has run into criticism domestically…
What does it mean to hurt the feelings of the Chinese nation? Many Chinese are asking exactly that question. Opened to public comment for 30 days, the draft amendment … has drawn a torrent of criticism. Public intellectuals, influencers, and ordinary netizens have lined up across social media to lay broadsides into the new language.
“Who decides what the spirit and feelings of the Chinese nation are?” asked Tong Zhiwei, a law professor in Shanghai.
Also includes a useful discussion on a shift from ‘hurt feelings of the Chinese people’ to ‘…Chinese nation’.
From a year ago, but suddenly relevant after the news about a Chinese ‘spy’ in Parliament, a paper by the Council on Geostrategy on United Front activities in the UK…
…Hong Kong-British and their families that have recently moved to the UK via the generous British National (Overseas) visa scheme are among the prime targets of CCP interference and narrative warfare. Consequently, [government should] ensure Hong Kong-British and their families are integrated into local communities and that younger generations of Hong Kong-British growing up in the UK do not fall prey to the CCP’s discourses – such as the absurd United Front ‘anti-Asian racism’ narrative prevalent in the UK.
For followers of Taiwan’s election – Frozen Garlic on the three-way race in which all candidates would struggle to step into Tsai Ing-wen’s shoes and none can get a majority of the vote. (Watch Beijing send a ‘warning’ that drives voters to the DPP.)
An academic paper on how China sees the world – through visual portrayals of noses. This is packed full of weirdness, including Tang Dynasty figurines of barbarians, comparisons with Nazi portrayals of noses, and ‘de-orientalizing’ plastic surgery for Korean War casualties. A relatively normal extract…
Through the high-bridged nose/big nose distinction, we can see the PRC’s hierarchy of good and evil Euro-Americans. This was confirmed after the onset of the Sino-Soviet split in 1960, when Chinese propaganda posters drew Russians with ugly big noses, rather than handsome high-bridged noses.67 Importantly, Chinese posters used evil images of the Other to construct the proper communist Chinese self. Although ideologically Maoism was radically egalitarian, these images show how the CCP was ‘engineering emotions’ to construct a new social hierarchy in foreign affairs. As the images show, the posters first work to include Russians and exclude Americans, and then later work to also exclude Russians after the Sino-Soviet split. The reassertion of close ties between the PRC and Russia over the past decade has seen the reappearance of Chinese images of beautifully high-bridged nosed Russians and ugly big-nosed Americans. This is important, because such images are more than propaganda for the masses: as Campbell argues for the role of self/Other relations in US foreign policy-making, such images shape the realm of possibility for Chinese policy-makers as well.