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Showing posts from March, 2016

Hong Kong - Approval Rating of Last British Governor Higher Than That of any Post-1997 Leader

According to the latest survey of the Public Opinion Programme of the University of Hong Kong (HKU POP), Chris Patten, the last British Governor of Hong Kong, enjoyed the highest ratings among political leaders of the city in the past 24 years. 
Chris Patten was a member of the British Parliament with the Conservative Party from 1979 until 1992, when he lost his Bath seat at the general election (Chris Patten: East and West. Pan McMillan 2012, p. 13). British Prime Minister John Major offered him the post of Governor of Hong Kong. Patten's term of office as Governor lasted until 30 June 1997, when Hong Kong was handed over to the People's Republic of China. 






The POP survey, released on March 29, shows that upon assuming office Chris Patten's rating was approximately 55% and at the end of his term in June 1997 it was 60%. 
After the handover and the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). the office of the Governor was replaced by that of the Chie…

Fascinating Video of Hong Kong's Festivities in Honour of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953

Hong Kong Government Censors the Word "National" in Names of Taiwanese Universities

Despite Beijing's pledge that Hong Kong's system would remain unchanged after 1997, the institutions of Hong Kong are little by little aligning themselves with the national ideology of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). 
According to local reports, the theatrical troupe The Nonsensemakers (糊塗戲班) was invited by Hong Kong's Leisure and Cultural Services Department to take part in an event in late March. However, the department asked that the name of the alma mater of one of the troupe's members, National Taipei University of the Arts, had to be changed and the word "National" had to be removed. 
In a statement published on their Facebook page, The Nonsensemakers explained:
The Nonsensemakers were invited by the Leisure and Cultural Department to perform the piece "Three Novels: The Third Lie" from 18 to 20 March at the Tsuen Wan Town Hall. Because the Department was the organiser of the event, it was its responsibility to print out the booklets. The orga…

Chinese Website Censors Taiwanese Scholar Because He Used The Words "Republic of China" and "President"

On 18 March Tong Zhenyuan (童振源), professor at National Zhengzhi University, visiting professor at Berkeley University and ex vice committee chairperson of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, was invited by the Chinese website The Paper (澎湃新闻网) to answer netizens' questions. However, about one hour after the beginning of the question-and-answer session, the broadcast was interrupted and taken down because Tong had used "sensitive words" which belong to the forbidden vocabulary of the People's Republic of China (PRC). 
The Paper has a section called "Ask Questions" (問吧). Tong Zhenyuan had been invited to answer netizens' questions regarding the future of Cross-Strait relations and the possibility of peaceful reunification. Some netizens asked why young Taiwanese people endorse independence and why Taiwan does not recognise China.  





Tong received over 200 questions and replied to 50 of them. However, during the session he was warned by the staff of the we…

Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg Meets Representative of China's Communist Party in Beijing

On March 19 Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Facebook, was received in Beijing by Liu Yunshan (刘云山), member of the Politburo Standing Committee and of the Secretariat of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
According to Chinese media reports, Liu Yunshan said that the internet is a new common home for mankind and that shaping the future of the cyberspace community is a common responsibility of the international community (互联网是人类共同的新家园,构建网络空间命运共同体是国际社会的共同责任). "Chairman Xi Jinping's 'Four Principles' and 'Five Propositions' regarding the administration of the World Wide Web have received widespread approval", Liu was quoted as saying. He added that over the past twenty years China's internet has grown following "the path of development and governance with Chinese characteristics" (中国特色的发展治理之路). 
Liu praised Facebook's advanced technology and management model and expressed his hope that the US company "might strengthen its exchanges wit…

China is the Republic of China, says Ma Ying-jeou At Press Conference in Allied Guatemala

On March 13 Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou began an official trip to the central American country of Guatemala, one of the few states that maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan
On the website of the Central American Parliament (Parlamento Centroamericano) Ma Ying-jeou is called "President of the Republic of China (Taiwan)". According to Taiwanese reports, other sections of the website called him simply "President of China (Taiwan)". At a press conference, Ma Ying-jeou clarified which country he represents.
"As far as the relations between our two countries are concerned", he said, "China means Republic of China".
Democratic Progressive Party legislator Luo Zhizheng (羅致政) criticised Ma's response, wondering if the Foreign Ministry could accept "Republic of China" as the country's official name.




Wang Peiling (王珮玲), spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry, reiterated that "Republic of China" was the official name of the…

Taiwan's "Touch Me Party"

In Taiwan, nightclubs are traditionally a matter of controversy. In a country where public ethics and reality often clash, the media tend to portray nightclubs as places of perversion and loose morals. Whoever has experienced Taiwan's night scene knows that what goes on in nightclubs can be quite extreme. But while pleasure - and specifically sexual pleasure - as an element of nightclub life cannot be ignored, the way in which one judges the individual freedom to enjoy oneself is entirely subjective. 
A new type of nightclub party has recently hit the headlines in Taiwan. According to local reports, Rave Club, a popular nightclub in Taichung City, has announced on its Facebook page that on March 18 it will organise a so-called "Touch Me Party" (摸摸派對). This type of party seems to have originated in South Korea. Although Taiwan's media have noticed this phenomenon only recently, the club has been holding such parties for about a year, as pictures of "Touch Me Parti…

The Strange North Point Musician - A Hong Kong Story

If you are in Hong Kong and live in North Point, chances are you have seen that guy. Middle-aged, tall, scrawny, he has a long, wrinkly face, a long nose, blue eyes. Once he shook hands with me, and I felt the power of his sinewy arms.
He is from the United Kingdom and, as far as I know, he has been living in Hong Kong for a few years. You might have seen him because every day he stands at the corner of a sidewalk - usually near North Point MTR Station - and he plays guitar. That is how he earns a living. If you ever heard him play, you know he plays badly, and his singing talents are even worse than his music. And yet he manages to support himself. At least he earns enough to stay at a serviced apartment in Fortress Hill. At night, after "getting off work", he goes to McDonald's next to North Point Station and drinks there a coffee, which he regularly pays using a bunch of the coins passers-by gave him. While he counts each coin, he talks to the staff who, embarrassed, s…

Hot Sale in Hong Kong - A Lucky Charm That Promises Wealth

This little figurine of a smiling man holding a gold ingot is a hot sale in Hong Kong at the moment. And judging by the number of luxury cars on the city's street, it is not that surprising. Perhaps it really works, so I am thinking about buying one. Getting wealthy for just 30 dollars (around 3 euros) is a pretty good deal. 
The name of the figurine is 元寶財神公仔 (pinyin: Yuánbǎo cáishén gōngzǐ), which literally means: Doll of the Gold Ingot God of Wealth. 
Shoe-shaped silver or gold ingots (元寶) were used as money in ancient China and they have thus become traditional symbols of wealth in Chinese culture. According to Vivien Sung, the yuanbao first appeared in the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD). In the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) they became an actual standard currency. Because the Chinese dumplings resemble the shape of gold ingots, they are also associated with wealth and are an auspicious dish to eat on New Year's Eve in various part of China (see Vivien Sung: Five-Fold Happiness: C…

An Evening Walk in Hong Kong - From Sheung Wan to Fortress Hill

Hong Kong is a quintessentially futuristic city. For people like me, who love modern metropolises, simply strolling around among shiny skyscrapers, neon lights and billboards is an amazing experience. 
Yesterday I had dinner at a vegetarian cafe' called Ovo Cafe'. It is located in the business district of Sheung Wan. I ordered an all-day breakfast set and a mango smoothie, very tasty (although quite expensive). 


After my meeting, which ended at around 10 p.m., I decided to walk back to Fortress Hill. As you can see from the map below, this is a 5 km walk, lasting around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
While I was walking I took a lot of pictures, and I want to share them now with all the people who are interested in Hong Kong.