Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Signs of Hong Kong

This week finds me attending the Pacific Rim Policy Conference - an annual gathering of free market think tanks from around the region plus a few political operatives like myself. During our bus tour today on the way to dinner at Watermark Restaurant two posted signs caught my attention.

One of these signs made me laugh while the second sign frightened me a little. The sign that made me laugh said --

"Let's join hands to ensure food safety" -- Centre for Food Safety

Join hands? Wait a minute, my church suspends having the congregation shake hands to greet each other ("sharing of the peace") during the flu season so it seems very unwise to encourage people to "join hands" for food safety. I prefer we just don't touch at all :-)

On a more serious note the second sign read --

"One world, one dream" -- 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

Perhaps the Red (ok, perhaps just "pink" lately given their economic reforms yet still repressive) Chinese leaders we simply trying to convey the "Olympic Spirit" with this banner campaign slogan but my initial read sent up a red flag. "One world" -- under Chinese leadership? This is not how I want to live nor do I believe I share their "one dream" but then again I might be reading to much into the message.

However, if the Communist Party of China creates free and fair elections to replace its politburo-drive police state then I am happy to talk about dreams we can share for our world. With the 2008 Olympics set for August China has very little time to be prepared to welcome the world with open arms and open access to the country but I fear another Tianneman Square-like demonstration will occur.

Overall it is great to be visiting Hong Kong so I look forward to more postings on this subject this week.


No comments: