DC elections not to be confused with so-called democracy

The Hong Kong government sets up a team to counter ‘smears and disinformation’ over the forthcoming patriots-only District Council elections…

Constitutional Affairs Secretary Erick Tsang said such teams have existed in the past, but the current one has been made stronger, in light of “special risks” associated with the upcoming polls.

…The public will only get to choose 88 of the 470 future councillors, but Tsang said the number of directly elected seats has no direct link to “so-called democracy”, adding that this will come through consultations and meetings.

The administration might also send officials to knock door-to-door to promote the polls.

HKFP finds little interest among voters in Yau Tsim Mong South. ‘Like a restaurant menu where the government has already decided what you’ll eat’. Of the six on the ballot, three are South Asian in origin (the pro-Beijing DAB have been co-opting members of that community in the area back for quite a few years). They were the only ones who agreed to be interviewed. And they also seem to be doing a harder job campaigning. But who would put money on any of them winning one of the two seats? (Prediction: there will be fewer brown people on Hong Kong’s District Councils than in the UK cabinet.)

Which brings us not very elegantly (it’s Monday) to…

The UK is perplexed as to why net immigration has reached all-time high when the country is supposed to be an economic disaster. A TV news chart shows Hongkongers are the cherry on the top.

Some other things…

Time profile on DPP presidential nominee William Lai Ching-te and the forthcoming election and Beijing’s ramping-up of pressure …

These tactics alone underscore that China and Taiwan share a language and history, but precious little else. Taiwan ranks 10th in the world (and top in Asia) in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2022 Democracy Index. China sits in 156th place. Taiwan’s politics are messy, partisan, and febrile; China is ruled by Beijing’s secretive Zhongnanhai leadership complex. China has banned Pride since 2021 in a crackdown on LGBTQ rights; in October Lai became the highest-ranking Taiwanese official to attend Taipei’s parade, saying his support was natural given his commitment to “freedom, democracy, and human rights.” Compare this to China, where online censors even scrubbed out “overly effusive” tributes following October’s death of former Premier Li Keqiang, lest the grief foment social unrest.

The Standard editorial today calls it for the DPP. So does the SCMP’s obviously miffed Alex Lo, who denounces the DPP as ‘secessionist’…

A three-way race will favour Lai and his running mate Hsiao Bi-khim, a former de facto representative of Taiwan in the United States. Both are card-carrying advocates of independence for the island. If they win, we are looking at some interesting times ahead.

They do not ‘advocate independence’; they state that Taiwan is already independent. And if you want to test their belief, visit the place and judge for yourself. Why the obsession with restoring Qing empire boundaries?

An excellent thread on what makes Taiwan’s Waishengren (KMT-era Mainland immigrants and their descendants) so pro-unification and more anti-American than anti-CCP. Author is a 3rd generation WSR convert to Taiwanese identity.

An FT story (maybe paywalled) on the ASPI report on China’s foreign loyalist social-media influencers…

“If they don’t say good things about China or how they enjoy being here, these foreign influencers will not be able to gain popularity in China. Nor will they gain any commercial value,” the manager added. “This is true even for beauty bloggers or lifestyle bloggers, unless they are already very famous when they enter the Chinese market.”

A thread on the influencer pipeline…

The PRC’s censorship regime cloisters its ppl in an info environment that’s cut off from the rest of the world & primed with a nationalistic ideology. Nationalism sells, & foreigners know it. It’s a shortcut to viral fame.

The guy smashing his iPhone after buying a Huawei is Bart Baker, a US YouTuber known for creating parody videos of famous songs. He left his 10M+ YouTube subscribers in 2019 to operate exclusively on Chinese platforms where his content style took a dramatic turn.

…But the foreigner-loves-China schtick has worn thin for many Chinese viewers. In Chinese internet slang, those who are seen to be praising China to attract views are said to be using a type of ‘wealth password’ (财富密码)—a formula or shortcut to internet fame and fortune.

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14 Responses to DC elections not to be confused with so-called democracy

  1. Chinese Netizen says:

    Former so-called de facto representative of Taiwan in the United States?

    Taiwan Jia You!

  2. Reactor #4 says:

    Yesterday, I bumped into a team of polling ambassadors on one of the Outlying Islands (a team of about 20 people dressed in white wind-proof jackets). I told them that I was upset that HK was having elections because I didn’t believe in democracy. They were somewhat taken aback, particularly by my statement “Do we really want HK, and China, to descend to the depths of the modern-day West, with never ending election-cycles, corrupt and self-serving leaders, crap governance, high taxes, and woke nonsense”. Having induced a state of collective shock, the pack quickly scurried off. Marvellous.

  3. Old Mind Doctor says:

    No canvasing activity hereabouts (Southside Island). In 2019 DC elections we had the pro-dem candidate down here in the village twice for a ‘town hall’ – sitting out area – meeting, passionate in his ideas for improving the better relaying of local interests to government (and relocating the odd bus stop). Personable chap. Elected by 88 majority.

    This time, as yet, not a squeak from any of the four – I think – candidates running. Some posters up. One or two have Regina gurning in the background.

    I’m itching to vote, but for whom?

  4. tabloid journo Mike Lowse says:

    All you property investors out there have of course (by now) heard about the Tseung Kwan O apartment that has sold under 5 million. I bet the neighbors in that block are not amused. But have you also heard about the apartments in Causeway Bay and North Point that are up for sale at a 25% discount. Yes children, Japanese-style deflation has finally arrived in the Big Lychee. What took it so long? Anyway, if you want to cash in on your 425 s.f. shoebox, don’t wait-and-see 1 year: it may be MUCH less worth then.

  5. Chinese Netizen says:

    “corrupt and self-serving leaders, crap governance, high taxes, and woke nonsense”

    CCP in a nutshell.
    (the “woke” being forced Winnie adoration and studying his so-called thoughts)

  6. Mary Melville says:

    The reason for three EM hopefuls in YTM is because the government has always tried to balance the interests by ensuring that there is a presence from each sizeable minorityincluded in activities, reps from the Indian, Pakistani and Nepali consulates rock up to all the ra ra gatherings .
    At least one of the EM candidates has strong DAB connections.
    Not surprising that ‘Haywood’ did not respond to HKFP interview request. His manifessto is completely in Chinese with a tiny pamplet in English and one of the SEA scripts inserted as an afterthought. Does he seriously believe the Chinese will vote for him?
    Chris Ip posted a very sparse pamplet, unlike the usual DAB voluminous reach out. This is of course because he is the Designated Chair of the council so no need to expend energy or resources.
    So far I have been spared any encounters and even banners are conspicuously sparse.
    That the Cameron /Nathan junction is pest free is proof of the low key approach in the hood.

  7. True Patriot says:

    The ignorant talking to the brainwashed and/or naive. No wonder they scurried off….

    In a few years, when this second Marx-Leninist (with Chinese characters) spook will be over, who knows, maybe the current patriots will be put into the slammer for smearing the majority of Hong Kong people and for spreading disinformation about democracy and the West.

  8. MC says:

    “Hong Kong government sets up a team to counter ‘smears and disinformation’”

    Ah bless! They think people care.

    “Yesterday, I bumped into a team of polling ambassadors on one of the Outlying Islands…”

    One for the Didn’t Happen Of The Year Awards (https://twitter.com/_dhotya?lang=en), although you forgot to add “and then everyone applauded”….

  9. wmjp says:

    I’m itching to vote, but for whom?

    All of them.

  10. wmjp says:

    god will sort it out…

  11. ondaiwai says:

    “That the Cameron /Nathan junction is pest free is proof of the low key approach in the hood.”

    Over here in the Eastern District we have to run the gauntlet of bored paid elders handing out calendars just to cross the road. And the flags and banners! Flegs!

  12. Choosey Susie says:

    @ Old Mind Doctor
    Thanks to HKSARG, it’s a comfortingly dilemma-free election:

    If they’re worth voting for, you can’t vote for them;
    If you can vote for them, they’re not worth voting for.

  13. James says:

    Mary, why did you have to alert the authorities to the lack of election interest in TST….
    “After encouraging civil servants to vote in the District Council (DC) election, the Civil Service Bureau (CSB) Volunteer Team switched from government buildings to busy Tsim Sha Tsui this evening (November 27) to carry out their promotion. The volunteer team encouraged shopkeepers and members of the public to cast their vote in the DC election and distributed leaflets to them, calling on them to vote on December 10 to elect DC members who will serve the community.”

  14. Mary Melville says:

    Re James: What a shame I use another exit, nary a pest in sight, and missed the action. Credit should go to HKFP rather than my obscure posting.
    Admin should give advance warning, nothing warms the cockles more than seeing our public servants, hopefully on unpaid OT, facing the indifferent hoi polloi.
    Also if someone comes to your door to solicit voting, is this not an offence? The ICAC leaflet inserted with the poll card appears to infer so. The caller would not be a candidate and is therefore interfering with the residents right to make an independent decision.

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