China, China, China, I love China…

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The 45th President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump, was recently asked in an interview why he seems to be obsessed with China? He responded by saying he hardly ever mentioned China in the run up to his election. That prompted those amusing folks at the Huffington Post to pull together this video.

Absolutely. Hilarious.

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恭喜發財 – Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year – 2017!

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Wishing all a vintage 2017 – hope it is a year of love, health, innovation, inspiration, remuneration, peace and adventure!

Carpe diem.

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Hong Kong LegCo Elections 2016: Salus populi suprema lex esto?

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To say that tomorrow (Sunday, 4 September 2016) may prove to be a watershed in the life of the SAR is to underplay the moment in time. The elections for the Legislative Council will set the scene for what is a vulnerable time, as Hong Kong moves from its teenage years and into adulthood. But, will its parent allow its charge to make its own way or will it seek to retain control over the choices it makes for that adulthood?

With both unsubstantiated and also flagrant influential factors being bandied around in the media, in the hustings, on the campuses and streets – the sap is high in the SAR. The memories of the yellow umbrellas in 2014 and hushed (and, sometimes, shouted) references not to an autonomous Hong Kong but rather to an “independent” Hong Kong abound. Beijing describes the murmurings of cessation as “poisonous” and as the Hong Kong-based publisher and political commentator, Bao Pu, observes the stark and hopeless route to independence being:

To gain independence, the only way is for Hong Kong to have an independent army and fight with the People’s Liberation Army and win. I think that scenario is non-existent,

So, those murmurings of teachers being asked to prevent subversive questions in the classroom, allegations of Guangdong-based “relatives” of HongKongers strong-arming the right way to vote, the spate of non-party line publisher “extended visits” to the Mainland, attacks on editors, purchase of media by Mainland loyalist corporates (like Alibaba and SCMP), questions over the HK Police’s “protect and serve” post-2014 pepper-spraying still lingering, ICAC’s independence being probed, gathering clouds circling the ever-more marooned independent judiciary, Hong Kong University’s objectivity queried in terms of student council nominees, ballot box tampering risks, mobilization of elderly HongKongers to the pro-establishment camps, polarization in society between youth and elderly, all betraying underlying cultural frictional tectonics – it may be an earthquake is coming?

I hope not. I love Hong Kong and feel privileged to be a resident here. After the Joint Declaration and the return to Chinese sovereignty under “one country, two systems” model in 1997, a permanent new dawn was set for the SAR. The majority of HongKongers wanted that and still do. Some form of suffrage came with that dawn which eclipsed the British colonial governance. Young KongKongers require a re-boot of the model to make it accessible to them. Suppression requires huge effort and resource. Why not channel that energy into looking after and nourishing the communities of Hong Kong.

I attended an insightful lunchtime speech given by former Chief Secretary, Anson Chan, last Tuesday at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club – she discussed much of the above.

The much-bandied “on a journey” descriptor is oft rolled out. But that boils it down nicely. Both China and its Hong Kong SAR are on journeys – both separately and jointly. For me, the common ground between parent and child is what should be emphasized and form the focus – with a priority being the well-being and welfare of the citizens of Hong Kong. The cost of living crisis, environmental and sustainability issues, need for consensus on social and health care infrastructure and access to the same, celebrating diversity, maintaining the “Asia’s World City” epithet, remaining truly open for business on a transparent basis, and, seeking to enjoy the journey.

Whatever the outcome, following tomorrow, unity and a focus on the welfare of the people of Hong Kong should be fundamental to all concerned.

Salus populi suprema lex esto.

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Le burkini: a national debate

Copyright: LECTRR©LECTR

Artists in France have been protesting against the French various local governments’ burkini ban by drawing cartoons that have been shared widely on social media.

Quite a debate and need to strike a commonsensical balance, in my view.

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FCC – classic colonial HK photograph

imagePhotograph (©FCC) taken in the 1970s from the 14th floor of Sutherland House, an office block in the heart of Hong Kong, then home of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC). The men’s room, noted John le Carré, “provided the Club’s best view of the harbour” in his 1977 masterpiece, The Honourable Schoolboy.

The photograph is currently displayed in the men’s room of the current FCC on Ice House Street, Central (where your host attended a lunch today!).

 

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Kai Tak Sports Park – Wow!

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Kai Tak Sports Park – What do you think?

The HKRU have launched their comms around the KTSP mega project. See above link.

It looks and feels amazing even from the rendering above. Hong Kong rightfully seizing back from, what some quarters have described as the blighted, the Sports Hub down in Singapore the mantle of the premier sports and entertainment hub destination in Asia. When coupled with the now finally moving West Kowloon Cultural District, we will have in Hong Kong along our majestic Victoria Harbour a plethora of crown jewel infrastructure the envy of the globe.

I am so excited about the development and benefits it will bring all of us here in Hong Kong.

I hope we can all get behind the Home Affairs Bureau consultation and development generally, giving it the support it deserves. There will be infrastructure, recreation, dining and parks for all our communities to enjoy and use.

I just hope – and in my response for comments I raised – they work up an integrated transport access plan. To get to Kai Tak from many parts of HK (Island, Lantau, NT, Western districts of the peninsula, etc.) requires multiple public transport changes. We must make sure that accessibility development runs in parallel with the stadium and park infrastructure so that they are co-terminal on completion of the respective other parts.

What a project to be proud of #HomeKong 🇭🇰

 

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