South China Morning Post Shows its New China Stripes

South China Morning Post Shows its New China StripesAlibaba’s Jack Ma has made an immediate impact on his new acquisition, the South China Morning Post. Concerns are rising that the newspaper, considered one of the most authoritative in Asia on China despite its drawbacks, is going to become a cheerleader for Beijing. The front page on April 5 led with an innocent enough…

Beijing Blows Hot Over Hong Kong’s Nationalist Party

Beijing Blows Hot Over Hong Kong’s Nationalist PartyWill China prevail upon the Hong Kong government to use a sledgehammer against the tiny if vocal minority calling for the territory’s independence? The announcement last week of the formation of the Hong Kong National Party stirred the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Beijing’s representative in this Special Administrative Region into self-righteous wrath, calling…

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…

South Africans Want Arms Factory in Hong Kong

South Africans Want Arms Factory in Hong KongMystery surrounds a series of reports in defense magazines that the state-owned South African weapons manufacturer Denel is teaming up with a Hong Kong-based defense equipment manufacturer to establish a “military factory in Hong Kong as a springboard into the Asia-Pacific market.” According to a Defense News article on Feb. 14, Denel and its joint…

China SOEs Snap Up Overseas Chinese Media

China SOEs Snap Up Overseas Chinese MediaChinese state-owned enterprises are extending their tentacles ever deeper into the overseas Chinese media, including in Hong Kong. In a move that should be a worry in Malaysia as well as in Hong Kong, the Malaysian timber barons who control Hong Kong-and-Malaysia listed Media Chinese International have entered into a provisional agreement to sell their…

HK By-election Turns Into Referendum, Beijing Loses

HK By-election Turns Into Referendum, Beijing LosesThe depth of unpopularity of Hong Kong’s government, confirmed by a Feb. 28 by- election result, has shown once again that threats and bluster from Beijing do not work. It has also raised the once-unlikely prospect that one of the least unpopular ministers, Financial Secretary John Tsang, could become a candidate for Chief Executive in…

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…

Publish and Perish: Long Arm of Chinese Censors Reaches Across Borders

Publish and Perish: Long Arm of Chinese Censors Reaches Across BordersIn an unprecedented attack on press freedom, five men – owners and employees of a publishing house in Hong Kong – disappeared. Three were arrested in mainland China and two abducted from Hong Kong and Thailand, appearing subsequently in mainland China. No charges have formally been laid, but the actions appear to be part of…

Missing HK Publisher’s ‘Confession’ Has Beijing’s Fingerprints

Missing HK Publisher’s ‘Confession’ Has Beijing’s FingerprintsIn the grand tradition of Stalinist show trials, many weeks after the event Beijing has presented a televised explanation for the disappearance from Thailand of one of five employees of a Hong Kong publishing company, Causeway Bay Books. The company has been producing gossipy – and popular – books on mainland leaders and other sensitive…

Chinese Officials Kidnap Another HK Publisher

Chinese Officials Kidnap Another HK PublisherHong Kong’s autonomy has taken another dive with a major threat to free speech. The territory’s citizens now find themselves subject to kidnap by official thugs from the mainland under mysterious circumstances. The territory’s government is highly embarrassed and makes noises about finding out what may have happened but has gone no further than say…