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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

(photo by James Yuanxin Li via Wikimedia Commons ) 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 Admini

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

Out Takes - Videos of Old Hong Kong

The transformations Hong Kong has undergone since the end of the Second World War are simply astounding. 

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

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

Tong Zhenyuan (credit: Wikipedia ) 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

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 stre

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

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 " To

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, embarras

Another Student Commits Suicide in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Hung Hom Campus) (photo by Baycrest ) Another student has committed suicide in Hong Kong. According to local reports, on March 13 a 21-year-old female student  of Hong Kong Polytechnic University jumped from a window of her residence in Tseung Kwan O .  Her dead body was found at around 1 p.m. The student left one suicide note for the media and others for family members and friends.  This is the fifth student suicide in Hong Kong this month. Over the past ten years, more than 110 students have committed suicide  in the former British colony. 23 students have killed themselves since the start of the current academic year - the youngest of them was just 10 years old. Only four days earlier, a third-year student of Hong Kong Faculty of Arts had killed himself. He left a suicide note in which he blamed himself for not performing well enough. The 20-year-old student, surnamed Su, was an only son and lived with his parents in Wong Tai 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:

Chinese Traveller Opens Airplane's Emergency Exit to "Take a Breath of Fresh Air"

(photo source: Wikipedia ) In order to take a a breath of fresh air, a mainland Chinese traveller opened the emergency exit of a China Southern Airlines plane during take-off, causing a 1-hour delay.  According to media reports, the incident happened on Wednesday 9 at Chengdu Airport. A plane of China Southern Airlines bound to Urumqi was preparing to take off when a passenger, surnamed Nan, suddenly opened the emergency exit . Cold air immediately entered the aircraft causing panic among the 130 passengers on board.  The man had been allocated seat number 41A, next to the emergency exit. Later he explained that he felt it was stuffy inside the plane and he wanted to take a breath of fresh air. The airport ground crew rushed to the aircraft to close the emergency exit from the outside. Afterwards, they took down the passenger's personal details and carried out a safety check. The plane took off one hour after the scheduled departure time.   This is only the la

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.

China's Plan for a Beijing-Taipei Express Highway

Beijing-Taipei Express Highway (photo by ASDFGHJ ) Over the past thirty years China has launched a series of ambitious infrastructure projects. After creating the world's largest high-speed railway network (19,000 km, accounting for 60 percent of high-speed trains mileage globally), last year Beijing came up with an overwhelming plan to build an undersea railroad to the United States.  For China , however, infrastructure has not only economic but also political implications. So with the famous Qinghai-Tibet Railway , which, according to the government, is promoting the " integration of Tibet with the interior of China".   The Beijing-Taipei Express Highway , which is currently under construction, will serve a similar purpose: advancing the one-China principle .  The project was announced on January 13, 2005 by the Ministry of Infrastructure of the People's Republic of China (PRC), which pledged to expand the country's highway network so as to

"Taiwan is not abroad", says Chinese Tourist

Kenting National Park ( source ) On March 1 a mainland Chinese traveller protested when she was classified as a "foreigner" (外籍) during a booking procedure at Taiwan's Kenting National Park.  The tourist had applied for an entry ticket to Longkeng and Nanrenshan Ecological Reserve Areas.  Recently a new entry booking method has been introduced, limiting the daily number of visitors. According to the new system, 100 Taiwanese and 50 foreign nationals are allowed to visit the two areas each day.  Tourists from mainland China are classified as foreigners.  According to Taiwanese media reports , yesterday a mainland woman from Guangdong Province protested. "I don't think that coming to Taiwan means going abroad", she said. She argued that Taiwan's culture is similar to that of the mainland and she could speak with everyone whenever she went. "Taiwan is part of the mainland" (台灣是大陸的一部分), she added.