In the days leading up to Hong Kong’s annual budget, the government usually leaks details about a few planned measures the public will like – typically rebates, vouchers or other handouts. This year, with another huge deficit looming and mega-reserves semi-dwindling, we hear mostly silence. (The Budget announcement is today, by the way. Didn’t you feel the excitement?) Officials need to find ways to raise more revenue, rather than spend it. Apart from, perhaps, cuts to stamp duties in order to try to push up housing prices. And maybe extra funding for national security education, or some such. What we do know is that the Financial Secretary will come up with yet another way to attract yet more tourists into a city already experiencing a shortage of both space and labour…

The proposed monthly fireworks display will be different to those on major festivals such as the Lunar New Year and National Day, according to government sources.

The administration is considering holding monthly fireworks and drone shows above Victoria Harbour, as part of the measures said to be announced in Wednesday’s budget delivery to spur local tourism.

Government sources have indicated that the proposed monthly displays are different in scale and concept from traditional ones.

‘Different in concept’. Instead of going ‘boom!’, the monthly fireworks will go ‘bam!’ (except for a few that will make a squealing sound, thanks to the hamsters attached), and instead of shooting up vertically, they will go sideways, to signify Greater Bay Area integration opportunities. 

The tourism industry is not impressed, pointing out that people might get bored of the new attraction. (I once went to an international fireworks competition in Macau that went on for over three hours. It got very tedious.)

From an esteemed commenter

Fireworks cause extensive air pollution in a short amount of time, leaving metal particles, dangerous toxins, harmful chemicals, and smoke in the air for days.

Stephen Roach responds to criticism of his FT article saying Hong Kong is over…

I cited three reasons for saying Hong Kong’s glory days may now be over: a distinct loss of its high degree of political autonomy in the aftermath of the massive demonstrations of 2019-20; a weakening of Hong Kong’s economic underpinnings as a result of a protracted malaise in the mainland Chinese economy; and a squeeze from US-centric friendshoring that has forced Hong Kong’s East Asian trading partners to choose sides in coping with the crossfire of the Sino-American conflict.

While the pushback has been fast and furious, few have taken serious issue with the three points raised above. Instead, many have rested their case on Hong Kong’s long-standing resilience, a seemingly innate capacity for the city to reinvent itself in the face of near existential threats.

…Resilience this time will require a new-found political and economic policy autonomy that seems highly unlikely.

Xinhua joins in

…saying some Western news outlets and “so-called experts” had spread false claims to “achieve their sinister plot of using Hong Kong to contain China”.

“Their true objective is to shake people’s confidence, disrupt the economic development and social stability of Hong Kong, as well as hinder the implementation of Article 23 and Hong Kong’s progress from stability to prosperity,” Xinhua said, referring to home-grown security legislation the city must pass under the Basic Law, its mini-constitution.

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16 Responses to Pyrotechnics-vibes

  1. Stanley Lieber says:

    Hong Kong’s legendary resilience occurred during periods of civic freedoms and light-touch regulation under British rule and in the years immediately following its end, when a high degree of autonomy was a reality and hardworking, ambitious people could freely reinvent themselves and the economy.

    Those days are gone forever.

  2. dirtycanker says:

    The monthly fireworks displays will now be “artisanal”. Produced eight at a time on random street corners throughout Hong Kong’s districts, these small, uncomfortable and annoyingly awkward “flash boom” parties draw attention to the random street corner with five well-timed and colourful explosions. Then a guy on a mini-motorbike drives around in a circle rapidly and sings “hail to the glory of thine motherland o lord divine” or some other Christian hymn. These events will establish Hong Kong’s new position on the global map.

  3. MC says:

    Is it my imagination or has the South China Morning Pravda comment section turned into a series of complaints about the malign influence of the US/UK/foreigners in general? Perhaps not coincidentally, I was banned from commenting (for unspecified breaches of rules) a couple of weeks ago.

  4. Mark Bradley says:

    “Hong Kong’s legendary resilience occurred during periods of civic freedoms and light-touch regulation under British rule”

    This is what these dumb as dirt CCP patriots who are upset over being told the truth don’t seem to understand.

    You can tell the non stop negative news is really starting to get to these morons as they can see HK’s reputation absolutely shredded

    All these idiots had to do was shelve the extradition bill in 2019 and wait for the protests to die down like with Occupy Central. By taking the typical Leninist approach of doubling down and imposing the NSL because these paranoiacs can’t handle a local citizens protesting their local muppet proxies who infuriated the public by refusing to listen to valid concerns and being high handed while delivering terrible governance and being aggressive stupid they fell into the “burn with us” trap.

    Without the NSL, HK could have continued to be viewed as autonomous by the US and it could have continued to received US exports that are restricted in China. The chip ban would have been completely avoided. HSI would be more healthy though still affected by Xinnie going full retard with his tech sector crackdown. Another own goal. HK would have an overall better reputation even if they did do a 8 month teargas buffet.

    It’s been own goal after own goal from these unsophisticated knuckle draggers.
    Xia Baolong’s amazing advice? “Tell better stories”.

    At least that is an expression of dissatisfaction from Xia Baolong to their extremely stupid local proxies.

  5. Mark Bradley says:

    “Is it my imagination or has the South China Morning Pravda comment section turned into a series of complaints about the malign influence of the US/UK/foreigners in general?”

    It’s been like that for a few years. These are all 50c bots and other trash. It’s not genuine engagement. The primary purpose of these bots is to drown out any sensible comments made by real local HK people such as the commenter “Paul W” who was a moderate pro democracy HKer who I have observed gradually become more and more radical since Occupy and 2019.

  6. wmjp says:

    On security, the past-sell-by-date Elsie Leung said Article 23 “is not simply there to scare people”.

    Quite right, it’s there to terrorize and crush them.

  7. Load Toad says:


    Yes. The comments section of SCuMP has become very – predictable with comments by Patriots that seem very cut n pasted with minor modifications depending on the subject.

    They reinforce the belief that foreigners are not welcome and are the root of all evil.

  8. Chinese Netizen says:

    “They reinforce the belief that foreigners are not welcome and are the root of all evil.”

    While still clutching their overseas passports for juuuuuuuust in case.

  9. Mjrelje says:

    Great nod to you Mary :

    I always look forward to the YouTube link and today’s was brilliant. Great Balls of Fire indeed.

    Do, no ‘spicy’ taxes, the ultra rich get a teeny 1%, smokers get a below WHO guideline and we get fucking pyrotechnic ooh ahh.

  10. Seamus O'Herlihy says:

    HK$28 billion for the police and HK$13 billion for national security, but the HK$4 billion that supports the $2 fares for the elderly & disabled needs to be reviewed for cost savings.

    They are complete bastards.

  11. With patriots like these, who needs enemies? says:

    HKSARG “Problem”:
    Tourism revenue is down because foreigners are put off by oppressive regime, and Mainlanders don’t want to stay overnight because HK hotels are too expensive and their economy has been tanked by the CCP.

    HKSARG “Solution”:
    Rush in more oppressive security laws and reinstitute a 3% tax on hotel rooms, making HK hotels even more expensive. Propose monthly firework/drone display that most tourists will never see and will use up more than the 3% hotel tax revenue. Blame “foreign forces” when it all turns out to be another self-owning shitshow.

  12. Old Winston says:

    Just my bloody luck. Turning 60 in a couple of weeks and now they plan to pull the JoyYou card.

  13. @ Old Winston says:

    “Turning 60 in a couple of weeks and now they plan to pull the JoyYou card.”

    Don’t worry, lah. It will take The Bureaucracy several years to “reach a decision after careful evaluation” (by asking Beijing if they should ditch the giveaways to the possibly, er, maybe not actually that patriotic)

    By which time here’s hoping you will be hunkered down in Puerto Galera, if you’re lucky, or Brisbane if you’re hard up.

  14. Mary Melville says:

    Re Seamus: The cost of the bus pass is a fraction of the handouts our universities are gifted with. Every week there is an announcement that one of them is constructing yet another facility on FOC government land and to the tune of billions.
    HKU has wiped out most of the slopes and trees in Pokfulam, with more expansion plans in the pipeline.
    Baptist just announced that it would fancy relocating to Northern Metropolis just as it has embarked on, yet another, campus redevelopment.
    City having built over every slope and flower bed on the campus now has a large farm out in NT with a herd of moo cows to …………………………. make ice cream.
    CUHK has expanded at the same rate as it has contracted the rights of its students.
    EdUHK is building the New Academic Building, all the better to accommodate is extensive NSL re-education programme
    Lignan has a Strategic Plan to expand its facilities.
    Metropolitan has been approved a plan to strip a hill side in Ho Man Tin to build what is effectively a thinly disguised revenue generating medical centre.
    PolyU, having surrounded the campus with barbed wire and walls that make Trump’s Border Wall look puny, has embarked on a redevelopment that wipes out the at grade swimming pool and add multiple stories to any building on campus that can bear the load.
    Science & Tech wants to establish another medical school, more cement and handouts.
    The newly baptised Saint Francis Uni has already jumped on the gravy train by looking for hundreds of millions to build a new campus.
    VTC is developing a large campus on land that was originally intended to provide a district park for overcrowded Kwun Tong even though it already has a facility in nearby TKO and the transport network in East Kowloon is swamped. This when it should be concentrating on serving the educational needs of the thousands of students to be decanted to estates in NT as the URA proceeds with its gentrification of inner-city suburbs.
    All this costly development when demographics indicate that the number of students will continue to fall and universities should instead be concentrating on how to better utilize existing facilities.
    But then Education Hub is trendy and will attract lots of ‘international students’ while ensuring that local low-income elderly and the disabled can have an affordable option to get out and about has no appeal for our decision makers.

  15. A Poor Man says:

    Mary – You forgot to mention the no-show Visiting Professor positions at HKU that come with ca. $200K/month compensation!

  16. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Mary: “All this costly development when demographics indicate that the number of students will continue to fall and universities should instead be concentrating on how to better utilize existing facilities.”

    Have you factored in anticipated big growth bump in matriculating mainland students? Have a friend in the “education” business across the border who regularly sends kids to Oz, NZ or the States whose own daughter, despite holding a US passport, decided to enroll in a HK uni rather than her so-called home country (which she barely even knows and has no roots) because it’s conveniently closer to mommy, granny and gramps.
    A lot more like that in the Motherland: going to uni “abroad” (HK) but not wanting to experience foreign languages, new experiences and lack of decent Chinese food.

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