Ma On Shan to become ‘Belt and Road’ country

Property tycoon Lee Shau-kee is donating HK$50 million to the Li Po Chun United World College at Ma On Shan for a Belt and Road Learning and Resources Centre. In plain English, let’s call it the Xi Jinping Shameless Shoe-shining Building. The school gets money, the Henderson Land dynasty performs a nauseatingly gratuitous kowtow to the Communist Party – just a plain everyday harmless prostitution win-win.

But some spoilsports have to complain that the deal contradicts the internationalist UWC ideal of political neutrality. Now comes a student petition.

The school might want to think ahead. The ‘Belt and Road’ brand is already tarnished as a cover for debt-trap diplomacy. At some stage, Xi or a successor might ditch the tag, if not the whole grandiose neo-colonial strategy. Then the college ends up being lumbered with an embarrassing and defunct symbol. It would be like having a Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution Institute or a Dolce & Gabbana Chair of Creative Studies. At least try to get re-naming rights.

Not all parts of Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing plutocratic empires are in such an obsequious mood. The tycoon-owned Standard produces a moderately scathing editorial about the Eddie Chu Hoi-dick disqualification as a blow to rule of law. The writer asks when school teachers will have to pass ideology tests.

Beijing’s officials are pushing the Hong Kong government into deep water. The local administration uses desperate administrative contrivances to kick Eddie Chu off a ballot while at the same time it is hounding Benny Tai and his fellow Occupy-Umbrella veterans on weird charges in the courts (epic on-the-spot reports of the trial here) – and the world is now watching because of the expulsion of a Financial Times editor.

This thread from another FT correspondent broaches the subject of Mainlandization as a turn-off for locally based international financial and other corporate interests.

This is where the Hong Kong administration starts to struggle with what, for want of a better word, we’ll call its ‘conscience’. The Communist Party commands the Hong Kong government’s loyalty through fear. But the local leaders’ true passion is for the glowing admiration of investment bankers, the World’s Freest Economy Award and the US Hong Kong Policy Act.

While kicking out an FT guy/white man is a bit close to the bone, it’s hard to imagine hedge funds fleeing to gleaming bustling Taipei anytime soon. But even the mere hint of it makes the Hong Kong government sweat. So please voice any concerns discreetly.

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10 Responses to Ma On Shan to become ‘Belt and Road’ country

  1. Docta Derisio says:

    Er…

    1. Lee is an old very old extraordinarily rich man who doesn’t need to shoeshine anyone.
    2. You’re just having a go at someone who doesn’t even know when his diaper is wet.
    3. It’s the Liberals and the expats who won’t go home who are in the deep water. China owns the lake.
    4. It’s THEIR problem not yours or ours.
    5. Er…
    6. That’s it!

    PS: Fear. You don’t know what it means. Ask your mates who bomb Yemen and Somalia and Syria if they know. Or even ask the starving kids in those places. Fear indeed.

    PPS: Remember. Hong Kong is at last getting what it deserves. Hurrah!

  2. hoc quomodo buccellatum friat says:

    On the tales from the trial —in light of the rather flattering charges laid by the Chinese Communist Party via its Muppet Government on the “ringleaders”, it is informative to remind ourselves how they really were when it all kicked off: not so much ringleaders as completely-out-of-the-loop non-starters, showing off their Key Opinion Leadership chops by wailing “Not here! Not now!” to the student masses who completely ignored them.

    Occupy Central won’t start early, says Benny Tai, after student clashes with police leave dozens injured

    Occupy Central co-founder Benny Tai Yiu-ting refused to launch the civil disobedience movement earlier than scheduled after student protesters called for immediate action following a night of clashes with police at government headquarters which saw dozens injured.

    “Different people have different views. Some people want it to come earlier, but some people want to stick to schedule. After consideration, we will not be press ahead earlier than scheduled,” he said.

    Occupy Central is expected to be launched on National Day, October 1, after Tai this week spoke of “a grand banquet” in Central while others were marking “the big day”.

    He also said he does not plan to move the Occupy Central venue to Tamar at this stage.

    Students earlier chanted “Occupy Central now!” and “How can you face the students now otherwise!” as Benny Tai Yiu-ting and Occupy Central co-founder Dr Chan Kin-man addressed them at around 10am.

    I suppose the charge of “inciting people to incite people to calm down for two days and then protest more meekly and quietly somewhere else” is even less catchy.

  3. Old Newcomer says:

    Why aren’t the police who launched the first teargas attacks in the dock for starting the whole thing? They played a bigger role in bringing people out on to the streets than the Occupy Three.

  4. steve says:

    Docta D, the state of mind (or lack thereof) of any specific tycoon is irrelevant. The point is that such nonsense as the Belt & Suspenders Centre is simply part of their job these days, as a class. If it isn’t this one ponying up, it’s that one. And your empty speculations of whether this particular tycoon is in his drooling dotage are nothing more than that. Please don’t imply that you have inside info.

    Beyond that, you’re treading awfully close to wumao whataboutism here. Ewwww…..

  5. Stanley Lieber says:

    It may be hard to imagine hedge funds fleeing to Taipei, but Singapore is looking better and better to them every day.

  6. dimuendo says:

    Old Newcomer

    The police are increasingly sacrosanct. Watch what happens in the appeal of the masked seven who kicked the water/liqud dropper. Would vastly prefer HK police to those oop north, but as you say the tear gas brought thousands on the street, including my wife who is as apolitical as you can get. I have never yet heard an explanation as to why the police had tear gas in the first place, nor who authorised its use, and who actually decided to use it. I supeect that if the tar gas had not beeen used , Occupy would have been a damp squib, as per the three current defendants, who are just being tried to warn all others.

    Much of the “dissatisfaction” however should not be laid at the door of the police but rather the Department of Injustice and those who are so hard up as to take their briefs. Who devised the inciting to incite charge?

  7. On the beat says:

    @dimuendo – the order to fire tear gas was reportedly sanctioned by an expat officer (ex Royal Navy, I believe) based in the Wan Chai HQ, He defended it in the scump later. And towards the end of the protests can be seen in Mongkok personally seizing upon Joshua Wong. He comes across as a particularly obnoxious plod.

  8. odaiwai says:

    The article defending the use of Tear Gas is here: https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1609835/ive-no-regrets-about-tear-gas-says-top-police-officer-who-ordered-its

    The officer was not identified, but it’s pretty clear from context that he’s not Chinese:

    “After the interview was conducted, police asked that the officer’s name not be disclosed.

    With 26 years’ experience in the force, he said he regarded himself as a Hongkonger.”

  9. Chinese Netizen says:

    A Hongkonger with an exit strategy and means. Unlike the vast majority of Hongkongers.

  10. dimuendo says:

    On the beat and Odaiwai

    Thank you for your respective contributions as to the person who decided to use teargas on the day. However it does not answer who authorized the police to have tear gas , unless we are now at the stage where the police carry teargas as a matter of routine at every demonstration.

    As mongkok occupy suffice to say the police were not particularly good, including senior gwailos, some of them being acutely hostile to people who were clearly not involved in he Occupy.

    In so saying I am not commenting on the Mongkok riot which I did not witness.

    The best march I ever ever been on was 2003, where the police were nowhere to be seen, being essentially swamped. The lesson they took from that, rather than the peacefulness, was that in subsequent marches they have to be seen to be high profile and assertive, starting with the two WTO marches, which has not improved matters.

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