Some mid-week links

Among many other things, 2017 should be the year that Western democracies started to wake up to systematic Chinese Communist Party infiltration of their academia, media, legislatures and other institutions (latest episode here). Patriotic Hongkongers are playing their part in this clunky wannabe soft-power effort, as we know from tycoon Ronny Chan influencing the Asia Society. And now here’s a look at former Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa’s China-United States Exchange Foundation, which seems to be dabbling in a lot of particularly snooze-worthy stuff – but maybe that’s the cunning plan.

To update from yesterday: apparently it’s not LGBT but LGBTQ, except actually there should be an ‘I’ there too, and an ‘A’ – except in fact it should be LGBTQQIAAP. An excellent if lengthy Atlantic piece on how Trump won on white racism, period, quotes this (perhaps waspish) definition of political correctness…

…an extremely dramatic and rapidly changing set of discursive and social laws that, virtually overnight, people are expected to understand, to which they are expected to adhere…

The concept merges into hyper-correctness and plain pedantry – but forcing a change in commonly accepted nomenclature is also a power-struggle tactic. A few decades back, China’s official English-language publications expected the world to adopt ‘Xianggang’ instead of ‘Hong Kong’. When they gave up, did they feel humiliated at failing to force the Mandarin-Pinyin rendering upon foreigners, and indeed having themselves to kowtow to the colonial oppressors’ Anglicized Cantonese? If they did, we never noticed.

Speaking of decades ago, I was perusing some of those Olde Hong Kong photos and noticed a late-50s/early-60s picture of Wanchai (halfway down). I instantly sensed, in a subliminal déjà vu way, that the location was the junction of Johnston and Hennessy Roads. But why? A look at the scene today through Google Street View provides a clue…

Things come and go, but government zonings for filling stations never change.

 

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