By ‘intense’ we mean ‘a bland, boring and predictable snooze’

Interesting transliteration: How does ‘Wing Tai’ (‘eternal peace’) become ‘Jan Noel’ – even assuming the ‘J’ is pronounced ‘Y’? Is Mr Shih’s background Shanghainese, Fujianese, Southeast Asian, or typo-prone?

The DAB’s chair says the upcoming District Council elections will be ‘more intense’ than in the past…

“This is a competition among patriots. This is an election that involves competing on political platforms, ability and service… so I think this election will be more intense than in the past,” he said.

How can an ‘all-patriots’ race offer genuinely different political platforms? By definition, all participants support government policies. (Since we have never heard of most of the prospective candidates already semi-campaigning with leaflets in my district, we can’t comment on the range of their abilities.)

Most of the 470 DC members will not be elected by the public, but chosen by the authorities directly or via government-appointed local bodies. Anyone hoping to be a candidate for the 88 publicly-elected seats will need nominations from members of those local bodies – whose contact details are not public. Cynics will wonder whether in practice these committees will receive lists of hopefuls to approve. An additional (and surely superfluous) change merges the old single-member neighbourhood constituencies into much larger two-member ones, so a candidate who loses can still get a seat. If the last LegCo elections are any guide, the number of candidates will be so low that most will get a seat anyway. Officials will urge us not to infer ‘intensity’ from the turnout rate.

There was a time when elected representatives would help out constituents like the restaurateurs whose businesses are currently suffering because of the government’s performative checks on imported Japanese produce. As HKFP reports, restaurant owners now keep quiet…

Y, the director of a Japanese izakaya in the Wong Tai Sin neighbourhood, said the restrictions had brought significant inconvenience. He asked to stay anonymous as he feared reprisal from the authorities.

…Y said that if restaurateurs spoke their mind, it could get them into trouble. He added he had read news reports of small businesses becoming victim of increased checks from government departments after being seen as critical of the authorities.

“This pressure [to stay silent] reflects that society no longer tolerates us expressing our views,” he added.

Some links – no typhoon stuff or Hamas horrors – from the weekend…

Willy Wo-lap Lam on the extreme risks involved in a Chinese invasion of Taiwan…

Hostilities against Taiwan will plunge the regional and global economies into crisis. Nevertheless, Xi could use such an action to harness the long-cultivated nationalism of the PRC’s disgruntled public. He will be able to declare martial law, which will give an even freer hand to the supreme leader to lock up real and potential enemies. These would include increasingly large numbers of protesting, unemployed blue-collar workers, as well as unpaid civil servants, and bank customers unable to withdraw money from their deposits.

…However, it is the uncertainty at the top of the PLA  Rocket Force and the Equipment Development Department which are currently most determinative, suggesting that such an event is at least not an imminent possibility … Without a victory over Taiwan, Xi’s status as the “Mao Zedong of the 21st Century” in the CCP pantheon could be threatened. The likelihood would then increase that the Party core responsible for country’s failure to improve the economy, expand its global clout, and upgrade its military prowess could be driven from power some time in the coming decade, though how that might unfold cannot be predicted at present.

Also from the Jamestown Foundation – senior officers’ trust deficit in PLA captains leading to ‘nannies on submarines’

…For decades [lack of trust and confidence] manifested in an unofficial practice (which has never been stipulated in official regulations) of dispatching additional commanders—who are also Party members—on every mission alongside boat commanders. Experts have criticized the policy for constraining the autonomy, and thus the efficacy, of the boat commanders.

Anti-US netizens pushing a weird blood libel thing about American treatment of panda bears…

Many also blamed the zoo for the death of Ya Ya’s mate, Le Le, with accusations swirling online — despite no evidence — that zookeepers had stabbed the bear and sold his eyeball.

(Reminiscent of late 19th century Chinese fears that Western Christian missionaries were stealing children’s eyes?)

CMP looks at China’s outraged response to US charges that it runs disinformation campaigns…

Look more closely at China’s response to the Department of State report and a revealing pattern emerges. Far from refuting the report’s allegations, the official response from the MFA and state-run media makes the case. It demonstrates systematic control of the narrative by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership at home, even as it employs state-run channels and non-transparent propaganda accounts to reach audiences abroad.

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8 Responses to By ‘intense’ we mean ‘a bland, boring and predictable snooze’

  1. Reactor #4 says:

    It’s fantastic not having to live with a forthcoming election. Notably, the US presidential race has been rumbling along for the best part of three years, with the polling day still nearly 13 months away. Tellingly, neither candidate is up for the job. The incumbent is barely functional, while the orange-blob challenger is a deranged narcissist. Elsewhere, the UK electorate has a ‘choice’ between parties led by Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak. Whoopy-4kin-doo.

  2. steve says:

    @ Reactionary #4

    Nice to see you back, but if you’re just going to repeat the same old anti-democratic blather, and be almost impossibly simpleminded about it, why bother? Back under the rock with you, posthaste.

    Oh, and fans of Tom Clancy (ugh) will recognize the practice of installing a party official as auxiliary commander on submarines as a throwback to the good old Soviet days that Reactionary is nostalgic for. At least the movie version had Sean Connery as the only Russian navy officer with a Scottish accent.

  3. Low Profile says:

    @not you again – if you think “the incumbent is barely functional”, you’ve been falling for the orange blob’s propaganda. Former US Secretary of Labor Robert Reich says: “I have worked for two Democratic presidents (Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton) and advised a third (Barack Obama). In my view, Biden is the most progressive and effective of them all.” Since Time magazine named Reich “one of the Ten Best Cabinet Members of the (20th) century”, I think we can safely assume his opinion is better informed than yours.

  4. Steve Mc Garret says:

    I thought you were describing reactor#4

  5. Mary Melville says:

    Beats me why they are bothering with the ‘election’ in my hood when we already know that the post is going to the DAB Designated Survivor. She has been operating from a shadow office on Austin since the 2019 rout awaiting the orchestrated comeback.

  6. FU Russian Warship and fake DAB councillors says:

    @Steve, fun fact, in Clancy’s book, the party official aboard Red October was named Putin.
    @Mary, yeah same over here and all over the city. If dems had lost and tried this “alternative peoples parliament” approach they’d have all been jailed (again).

  7. MC says:

    @Low Profile, even by Robert Reich’s standards that is astonishing bullshit.

  8. Sam Clemens says:


    100% correct!

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