China’s Moneybag Friends at Harvard University

China’s Moneybag Friends at Harvard UniversityThe level and sources of funding from China-linked tycoons and institutions for Harvard University is opaque and prodigious, and calls into question just how the dons at the US’s most prestigious educational institution handle the influence and remain unfettered academically and intellectually. Harvard is not unique in being a soft but influential voice on China…

The Unaffordable City

The Unaffordable CityThousands of stunning skyscrapers, a glittering sea view of Victoria Harbor and enticing night life in Lan Kwai Fong are not the whole of Hong Kong. Behind the glamorous facade of this first-world city there exists third-world living quality with which almost 200,000 people contend daily. The 26-year-old Cartal Tsoi, for instance, lives with his…

Sleeping With the Fishes (or the Lawn) in Hong Kong

Sleeping With the Fishes (or the Lawn) in Hong KongA man in black burns offerings in the Garden of Remembrance in Cape Collinson, at the easternmost point of Hong Kong Island. Ashes float in the misty rain. On the edge of Hong Kong’s busy downtown, the garden, surrounded by stately walls and abuzz with insects, is always peaceful and serene. There are several walls…

How Carrie Lam Beggars Belief

How Carrie Lam Beggars BeliefShe may be Beijing’s openly preferred candidate for Chief Executive of Hong Kong, but lifetime bureaucrat Carrie Lam has a lot to learn about politics. Indeed she seems to have a lot to learn about how 99% of people in the territory live. Since declaring her candidacy for the top job earlier this month, Lam…

Asia in 2016: Hong Kong

Asia in 2016: Hong KongJust as the aftershocks of the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement demonstrations of 2014 had calmed down, the Year of the Monkey began in Hong Kong with a violent surprise. In February, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department cracked down on popular but unlicensed street food vendors in Kowloon’s gritty Mong Kok neighborhood, prompting an angry response…

Hong Kong Debaters Win on Points

Hong Kong Debaters Win on PointsWhen Team England—a variegated group of articulate high school students – won a stirring victory against 54 competitors at the World Schools Debating Championship in Stuttgart, Germany two weeks ago, defeating Canada in the final, Hong Kong played a surprising role in the win. Both of the past two Team Englands have had one or…

The Plight of Hong Kong’s Domestic Workers

The Plight of Hong Kong’s Domestic WorkersEarly in the morning on a street in Hong Kong’s Central district, workers rushing to offices, hands occupied with briefcases and Starbucks, pay little attention to a woman in dark colors holding a package. “I am waiting for my friend from the Philippines to give her something to carry to the Philippines to give my…

Racism Rears its Head in Hong Kong

Racism Rears its Head in Hong KongOfficially-sponsored racism in Hong Kong has taken another leap forward this month with the announcement that the government is considering abolishing visa-free access for visitors from India and Indonesia. Ethnic cleansing aims to reduce the attractions of the city to Asians not carrying the superior Han genes. The visa news coincided with a visit to…

Malaysian Rapper Namewee Pulls in Horns for HK Concert

Malaysian Rapper Namewee Pulls in Horns for HK ConcertControversial Malaysian rapper Wee Meng Chee has become the latest to join a growing number of artists and brands facing stern Chinese limitations on their performance in return for a bite of China’s US$150 billion entertainment and media industry. Wee, whose stage name is Namewee – a pun on his name in Putonghua – posted…

Art Becomes a Commodity

Art Becomes a CommodityWhile astronomical prices for art have been around for decades, today business opportunists have commodified art as never before -- dealers who see art only as a means to make profit. In this new world, art trading globally is in excess of US$66 billion and growing exponentially, as more institutions become involved. Art is no…
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