Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Hong Kong morning news 12 October

Today's finest from the South China morning post, with added editorial by Simon Williamson.

Today's image lovingly stolen from the Daily Telegraph.

I start today with the pro-Beijing SMCP’s opinion piece entitled “Did Liu Xiaobo deserve it?”, regarding his Nobel Prize for Peace which he will get to see when he gets out of prison in 11 years time. The opinion page of today’s paper has two articles on it which directly oppose each other. One is a bland highfalutin translation from Kaifang (Open) Magazine by Jin Zhong which says Liu is wonderful because he is pro-political reform and that this award is a golden opportunity for China to begin democratisation. The other column in the page is by Barry Sautman (political scientist and lawyer) and Yan Hairong (anthropologist) who claim that Liu, in statements made in 1988 and 2007, believes that the West is superior to China and therefore is the way that China needs to lean – risking oligarch-like looting of public organisations as industry becomes privatised. The second column maintains that the people of China will not ever choose the system Liu wants for them. Interesting stuff, but real surface and guessy arguments.

On the front page of the SCMP there is a story about the heads of the US and Chinese military meeting in Vietnam today and thawing frosty relations. China is getting pissy because the US is sending in more and more of its army into the Asia-Pacific region, and the US is getting whingy because China is making its army bigger and bigger quickly. I did a once-over of the NY Times coverage of the meeting and from the US view, dialogue seemed far more strained.

Donald Tsang Yam-kuen is the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Legislative Council (Legco) and he signed an order to build a landfill in a country park. This pissed off the greenies who began protesting and spiralled into a big mess. Now, Legco reckons it can overturn an order signed by Tsang... so because of this excess litter, the Hong Kong government (well, the little pretend government that China lets it have) could conceivably wind up in the equivalent of the Constitutional Court over who in government can do what.

Mystery attackers are giving law firms kak at the moment. A follow up to yesterday’s story about property gone wrong, this kind of thing also makes me smile a bit. Someone spray painted a law firm’s entrance with red spray paint last week, and then last night someone took an axe to the glass door of another firm. Police are looking for suspects. Umm... why don’t you just see who lost cases in the last month?

Bangladesh are pissed off because Hong Kong has excluded them from the legendary and famous Hong Kong Sixes cricket tournament due to be staged next month. This is probably because there isn;t much tourism, relations or money passed between the two countries, but if I learnt anything during the World Cup in South Africa, it was that there were loads more Honduran people who came over than I imagined...

China wants to host the Olympics again, but this time in Guangzhou. Different attitudes totally from Hong Kong which is still debating whether to enter into the race for the 2023 Asia Games.

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