Thursday, 7 October 2010

Hong Kong morning news - 7 October

Brought to you by the South China Morning Post (SCMP) and The Standard.

Bias alert: The SCMP is pro-Beijing and The Standard is kind of a pro-China nationalist paper, but it's a crap tabloid so you can't really tell.

This chap is Xie Zhenhua, National Development and Reform Commission deputy chief. The one who said the stuff in the first news item. Image from SCMP.

China shat all over the USA regarding climate change and told it to pull its socks up. According to the SCMP, Beijing has reformed its own policies in progressive fashion, and also only produces a quarter of the carbon emissions per capita of the USA. That being said, China has about four times the population of the US so the per capita argument works well for Beijing. Mother Nature though... well she doesn't give a shit how much pollution there is per person. She's into totals, I'd imagine.

On the front page of every paper I have bought since our arrival in Hong Kong has detailed the new social care health plan being touted in Hong Kong. Much like the troublesome too-positive effects that the NHS has on Britain, Hong Kong's excellent and affordable healthcare means that an ageing population is not dying, and is becoming a real strain on public health finance. The details of the new healthcare plan seem to be to get middle-upper to upper class folks to get off social care and into reduced medical aid packages, but the details still all seem to be pretty fuzzy.

Hong Kong does not have import taxes on beer and wine (although looking at the prices you'd never think so) but has a 100% tax on spirits. Some chap called Thomas Bohrer thinks this is grossly unfair and is on a mission to change it. So here's waiting for a "fairer" tax affecting the price of wine and beer... betcha...

The greenies are fighting Legco (Hong Kong's parliament) about expanding a landfill into a country park, and the bunny-huggers seem to have won as the government has declared that it won't begin dumping in the new zone until January 2012 (it was due to begin next month). I can't see why Legco has delayed this. SCMP reckons it's to win more support for the landfill, but whoever in their right mind thinks that they can win support for a landfill? Has it ever been done before?

A security guard appeared in court yesterday for accidentally shooting his gun into the roof of a shopping centre last Sunday. This is only notable because his name is Play Boy Choy Chi-wai.

The University of Hong Kong expects 6.2% GDP growth this year, up from the 5% it predicted earlier.

Angela Merkel has told Wen Jiabao that Germany will do everything in its power to have the EU recognise China as a market economy, but there are restrictions which have to be fulfilled, including China removing the much condemned policy of toying with its currency value. China overtook Germany as the world's number one exporter last year. Wen Jiabao is off to visit Italy next where Berlusconi is sure to do some sucking up.

Interestingly, and this was in the paper a few days ago, Singapore and Hong Kong are going to be replaced by Shanghai and Shenzen as the world's first and third busiest shipping ports respectively. Singapore is going to be knocked into second place by Shanghai and Hong Kong is due to drop into fourth as Shenzen carries on climbing.

The Standard informs us that a 97-year old woman was bitten on the toe by a rat - the 7th such attack this year. Eeeek! What an amazing piece of news.

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