Missing the feather-hat guy? Not really

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 31 Aug 2020

Sometimes I get so bored explaining to people overseas that Hong Kong has not been destroyed by Chinese communists that instead I just give them the answers they expect to hear.

Q: So sorry to hear about Hong Kong.

A: Yes, it's terrible, even our job titles have changed. CEOs are now "unit leaders" and workers like me are "the proletariat."

Q: I read that they killed freedom of the press.

A: Yes, the media's totally vaporized. We can now only choose from four official Chinese professions: Evil Official, Princeling, Copycat and Noble Peasant.

Q: Wow! You must really miss the British era.

A: Yes. Hong Kong's British leader wore swan feathers on his head. Now that defines greatness.

Q: Since 1997, your city has been run by Hong Kong people. Have they achieved anything at all?

A: Well, Hong Kong is statistically the healthiest place on earth, has the lowest crime rate, is the richest city in Asia and has the world's highest level of longevity. But other than that, no.

* * *

TAIWAN LAST YEAR: Radical protesters from Hong Kong will be welcomed with open arms.

TAIWAN LAST WEEK: Criminals attempting to enter Taiwan illegally will be prosecuted with the full force of the law.

* * *

Yikes! Coronavirus found on street! Children in Hong Kong were yesterday finding the pictured items on the city's pavements. Don't panic. It's a tree seed and it always appears around this time of year.

* * *

Great news! Former Hong Kong lawyer Gordon C Chang has announced that America is about to topple the Chinese government.

"Regime change is our only realistic China policy," he said at the weekend. Whatever Chang predicts (he wrote the book The Coming Collapse of China in 2001), the opposite happens.

* * *

The Hong Kong government really does have terrible PR skills. If they want people to sign up for Covid testing, all they have to do is point out that it's free - while businesses offering the exact same thing charge HK$1,800 a person, or HK$7,200 for a family of four. Who can resist a freebie like that?

* * *

Two weeks ago, China launched a campaign to encourage people to be less wasteful with food, and witty readers joked that Western media would struggle to turn that into the latest outrage.

They've done it! On Saturday, CNN printed artwork showing Chinese diners surrounded by surveillance cameras with a mean spirited headline saying "Authoritarian China now wants to control meals too."

"I guess this is China's next human rights violation," laughed Amanda Yip.

* * *

Big news for parents: Hong Kong government rules mean that cinemas are forbidden to sell those wildly overpriced buckets of popcorn and fizzy drinks, so in a couple of months you'll have saved enough money for a Lamborghini.

* * *

Former Hong Kong resident Daniel Dumbrill visited a school in Tibet yesterday. The good news was that allegations Tibetans were not allowed to speak their own language were not true.

In fact, students from Han Chinese backgrounds were having compulsory lessons in the Tibetan language.

* * *

Writer James Felton was interested to see a newspaper headline at the weekend which said: "Thousands of anti-lockdown protesters gather in London to claim coronavirus is a hoax."

He said: "This will be a massive relief for the 835,000 dead."

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