Monday, 1 November 2010

Hong Kong news 1 November

I have no internet at home and am relying on that provided by the coffee shop down the street. The speed of the internet here is about as fast as a blood clot and I don't have the paper on me, so we are going to be relying on the China Daily (a government controlled Chinese newspaper) and The Standard which is the Hong Kong equivalent of The Metro (in London).

The lead story in today's China Daily is the beginning of the census which is intended to work out how many people live in each house in China (which previous censuses? censi? have not done). How'sthe scale of things in China though? 6.5 million census takers are to process 400 million households and this whole speel will cost 700 million yuan (729 million ronts). The last census done in 2000 showed that the country contained 1.29 billion people.

Wen Jiabao proclaimed the New York Expo in Shanghai (I dunno - go figure) was a great event and blah blah which it obviously was, as I am told by Mike who attended it in June (while the rest of us were football befok). What we do know is that anything that the pro-democracy Jiabao says goes through loads of editing and the censorship department so I take what he is quoted on with a pinch of salt. Always.

The Prime Minister of Japan really knows how to piss China off. The two countries are already at loggerheads over disputed territories and now the PM has gone to visit Taiwan. Taiwan is an interesting place (nutshell version) as it was formed by a bunch of angry folks who left China after the commies won the civil war in 1949. Weirdly enough, Taiwan calls itself the Republic of China (the people who ran China before having their arses handed to them by thecommunists) and still sees itself as China's legitimate government. Imperialism (this knack of just renaming things) means we think they are two different countries with different names, but there has never been an official split between China and Taiwan. Oh, my point is that there is a bit of argy bargy between Taiwan and China, so the Japanese PM visiting there is bad PR.

Cafe de Coral is Hong Kong's largest food outlet chain and has finally decided to raise its workers' wages, but at the expense of a paid lunch break, which, according to The Standard is equivalent to a pay cut. This is the most capitalistic society in which I have ever found myself so I can't say I'm surprised. The people who feel the strongest about it have started a facebook group and an online petition about it which I expect to achieve absolutely fuckall.

Hong Kong is set to increase its investments in nuclear power with the intent to have 50% of its energy requirements taken care of by nuclear by 2020 (currently it is 24%) so the greenies had a protest about it yesterday. 50 protestors lay around Mong Kok and they gathered 900 signatures on a petition. In a city of 7 million people, most of whom don't give a flying wank about environmental issues, I would imagine that their achievements will compare neatly with the attempts of the people mentioned in the previous news item.

The Bledisloe Cup match between the rugby teams from Australia and New Zealand wasn't well supported by the Hong Kong public and the HK rugby board has given a whole load of ridiculous reasons for why only 26 000 people attended the game (stadium capacity was 40 000). None of them seem to be able to comprehend that tickets prices starting at HK$880 (R800) is bloody barmy. I love rugby and would have gone, but I refuse to pay that much. Hong Kong's next scheduled international fixture...? In 2013.

Hosting the 2023 Asia Games here in Hong Kong is still a hot topic in the news, with the drawback being the HK$40 billion it will cost in preparation. That's R36 billion. Nearly enough for a brand new arms deal.

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