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Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The Economist Depicts a Handcuffed Hong Kong

The statement about the extradition protests in Hong Kong on this week's cover of The Economist is rather . . . arresting.

Cover of The Economist depicting the word "Hong Kong" using handcuffs
Source


It seems safe to say that it won't be easy to get a complete copy of this issue in China. The image has all the stronger of a punch to me given that I spend most of my time in mainland China. I often associate Hong Kong with the greater freedoms and protections available there. An article in the magazine helps to explain the use of handcuffs on the cover and how the extradition law could negate important aspects of what Hong Kong offers:
With the threat of extradition, anyone in Hong Kong becomes subject to the vagaries of the Chinese legal system, in which the rule of law ranks below the rule of the party. Dissidents taking on Beijing may be sent to face harsh treatment in the Chinese courts. Businesspeople risk a well-connected Chinese competitor finding a way to drag them into an easily manipulated jurisdiction.

That could be disastrous for Hong Kong, a fragile bridge between a one-party state and the freedoms of global commerce.
More at The Economist in "The Rule of Law in Hong Kong".

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Students, Tear Gas, and Masks: Today's Hong Kong Extradition Protests in 42 Tweets

people protesting proposed extradition law in Hong Kong
Photo taken by Chung-wah Chow of the protest in Hong Kong today before police cracked down

The march in Hong Kong two days ago against a proposed extradition bill was not the end.

Today in Hong Kong people continued to protest. Today in Hong Kong the police responded with tear gas and more.

Below is a series of selected tweets covering a variety of topics regarding the protests that I shared after checking into Twitter this afternoon. They are presented here in the order I shared them, not the order in which the tweets originally occurred, with the exception of the first two since they provide overviews of what has motivated then protests. As usual, if you are viewing this post through an RSS reader and the images, videos, or referenced tweets don't tweets appear, try viewing the original post.

The last tweet was made not long before publishing this post. As it indicates, the protests haven't ended. What will happen next isn't at all clear.

















































Added note: Although there were relevant reports, the word "blood" in the original title was changed to "masks" since none of the above tweets directly mention them.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Protesting Against Extradition in Hong Kong

There was a big march in Hong Kong today:
Over a million people have joined a mass protest against the Hong Kong government’s controversial extradition bill, according to organisers. . . .

The protesters marched towards the legislature over an issue that has underscored divisions in society over trust in the legislature and the Chinese judicial system.

Hong Kong’s government first proposed legal amendments in February to allow the city to handle case-by-case extradition requests from jurisdictions with no prior agreements, most notably China and Taiwan.
To add to the many already out there, with permission I will pass on some photos of the protest shared by friends in Hong Kong. A few were shared publicly, and those are attributed. Most were shared privately, so out of care and such they aren't attributed.


"let Hong Kong be Hong Kong" sign


protest over Hong Kong's proposed extradition bill


protest over Hong Kong's proposed extradition bill


protest over Hong Kong's proposed extradition bill


protest over Hong Kong's proposed extradition bill


protest over Hong Kong's proposed extradition bill


protest over Hong Kong's proposed extradition bill


protest over Hong Kong's proposed extradition bill


protest over Hong Kong's proposed extradition bill


protest over Hong Kong's proposed extradition bill


protest over Hong Kong's proposed extradition bill


protest over Hong Kong's proposed extradition bill


protest over Hong Kong's proposed extradition bill
Source: Chung-wah Chow


protest over Hong Kong's proposed extradition bill
Source: Chung-wah Chow


protest over Hong Kong's proposed extradition bill
Source: Chung-wah Chow

Friday, May 17, 2019

Taiwan Passes Same-Sex Marriage Bill Today: A Look Back at the 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade

people holding up a large waving rainbow banner at the 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade


Big news today out of a Taiwan:
Lawmakers in Taiwan have approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, a landmark decision that makes the self-ruled island the first place in Asia to pass gay marriage legislation.

The vote came almost two years after the island's Constitutional Court ruled that the existing law -- which said marriage was between a man and a woman -- was unconstitutional. The panel of judges gave the island's parliament two years to amend or enact new laws.

On Friday -- only a week off the two-year deadline -- lawmakers in Taiwan's Legislative Yuan passed a bill making same-sex marriage a reality. It will go into effect on May 24.
Over eight years ago, I shared some thoughts about stumbling upon the 2011 Taiwan Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Parade in Taipei:
Seeing people freely and openly march for a social cause in a land rich with Chinese culture felt surreal. Nothing like this was possible in mainland China where I had been living for over five years. The parade also brought to mind several friends who had repressed their sexuality but felt comfortable during their college years to "come out".
I then shared a personal account to demonstrate one way that decreasing LGBT discrimination would not only obviously benefit the LGBT community but heterosexuals as well. While I still agree with the main point I wanted to make, I later wished I had expressed myself much better (reading it makes me cringe now) and, perhaps more importantly, done so in a separate piece. That way a post which included a video and numerous photos could have been much more focused on the people who had marched and rallied.

So to finally rectify my mistake to a degree and to provide some more context and color for what happened today in Taiwan, without further ado I will share here the video and 16 photos I shared before plus 14 more photos I haven't previously shared of a parade eight years ago in Taipei that was part of paving the way to a long sought and significant gain in rights for many.




2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade


young man holding a sign and dressed up in a maid's outfit at the 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade


people holding up a large waving rainbow banner at the 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade


Photography on the street at the 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade


2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade


2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade


2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade


2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade


2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade


young women hold signs that say free hug and LGBT at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade


young women hold signs that say "Follow Your Heart" and "Equal Love" at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade


paraders carrying signs at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade


paraders at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade


police policing  at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade


two young men with rainbow flags at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade


"LGBT Fight Back! Discrimination Get Out!" sign at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade


same two young women who are dressed with minimal covering and vines at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade


two young women holding hands with Chinese writing on their backs at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade
The young woman on the right has “我是夏娃” written on her back.
It translates to "I am Eve".
The other has "我爱夏娃" which translates to "I love Eve".


Android Robot mascot and people wearing shirts with two Android Robots holding hands and a rainbow flag at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade


group standing behind the sign Promise Giver Christian Action Network


two young women with rainbow stripes painted on their left cheeks


man in bondage outfit at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade


man dressed up in colorful women's clothing and wearing a large wig at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade


stage at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade rally


2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade rally


2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade rally


2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade rally


Young men being photographed at 2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade


2011 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade


Monday, April 8, 2019

A Cantonese Opera in Hong Kong About Donald Trump

About a month and a half ago in Hong Kong, as I left the Yau Ma Tei metro station I noticed an advertisement for the new Cantonese opera "Trump On Show".

Trump On Show advertisement


Yes, this really exists:
Start with a performer playing President Trump. Then bring in a long-lost brother who was raised in China.

Throw in castmates portraying a ping-pong-loving Mao Zedong, a deal-seeking Kim Jong Un, Ivanka Trump and Mao’s power-hungry fourth wife.

They are singing. Opera. In Cantonese.

And, well, it’s complicated.
For more about those complications, read Mary Hui's piece about the Trumpian opera in The Washington Post, which includes some perspectives from the opera's creator, Li Kui-ming:
Li also studied the president’s quirks and habits — his penchant for fast food and television-watching habits — to develop Trump’s character.

Li, however, was struck by similarities between Mao and Trump.

“What they share in common is they both started a cultural revolution,” Li said.
Oh boy.

Trump wasn't the only Republican U.S. politician that I recently noticed in Hong Kong. Admittedly, it was a bit confounding to turn around at a bus stop in Kowloon Bay and think "Is that really Dick Cheney?".

Vice movie poster ad in Hong Kong


I don't expect to attend any "Trump on Show" performances, which opens April 12, or have anything worth saying about the movie "Vice". So this post is probably all you'll find about them here. I will update if I see any indications of a Hong Kong musical about George W. Bush though.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

An Apparent Mismatch for a Name: Mini Jumbo Wuzhou Buses in Guangxi, China

Hong Kong formally names its minibuses, like the one which appeared in the previous post, "public light buses". Wuzhou, a city in the Chinese autonomous region Guangxi, also has minibuses. But instead of "public light bus" they have another name on them.

mini Jumbo Wuzhou Bus (梧州珍宝巴士)


The "Wuzhou" and "Bus" parts of the name "Jumbo Wuzhou Bus" make obvious sense. "Jumbo" is less clear, though, since these are minibuses. If that is the jumbo size then what's the mini size?

A larger bus can help begin to clear up the mystery.

full-sized Jumbo Wuzhou Bus


They have the same name on them, which is the name of a bus company. This is clearly stated in smaller Chinese print elsewhere on the buses.

Jumbo Wuzhou Bus logo


Like buses in Hong Kong, some buses have advertising.

full-sized Jumbo Wuzhou Bus with advertising


However, you won't see advertising quite like what's on the minibus in the previous post. Hongkongers have greater political rights and more freedom of speech than people in mainland China. The "Tell Right From Wrong, True From False" slogan was part of a campaign for the Labor Party's attempt to win a 2018 Kowloon West by-election. But China still limits Hongkongers' rights to a degree that leads some people to claim Hong Kong doesn't have real democracy. These limitations were evident in Kowloon West election when the Labor Party's original candidate, Lau Siu-lai, was barred from running due to her previous stances regarding Hong Kong's self-determination.

Back to more mundane matters . . . in Wuzhou there are buses in between the mini Jumbo Wuzhou Bus and the regular-sized Jumbo Wuzhou Bus in terms of size. So here are two mini-plus Jumbo Wuzhou Buses:

two mid-sized Jumbo Wuzhou Buses


The word "珍宝" in the Chinese name for Jumbo Wuzhou Bus would often be translated as "treasure". But it is also a loanword in Cantonese meaning "jumbo" because of its similar sound to the English word. Like in Hong Kong, Cantonese is a commonly spoken language in Wuzhou.

I can't shed more light on what inspired the choice of "jumbo". But if you want to dig more, it might be worth looking into the Guangzhou buses with a similar name and logo.