Tag Archives: china

CDotD: Body Check Required to Work in China

A colleague from our Shanghai office rolled into town to complete his visa application to work in China, and was lamenting at how exhausting the procedure was.  I jokingly suggested that China needed bloodwork before they could let him through – and it turned out that was no joke! He actually DID need to provide blood for testing to complete his application for a work permit.  The purpose of it was primarily to ensure that he did not have AIDS.

But not only did he have to have his blood tested, but he also had to hook up to an EKG and get an ultrasound.  What they were testing, I have no idea.

I suppose I could see a reason to bar a person with AIDS from entering the country, but what about someone who was just not in good health? Why did they need to do all those other tests? And what could they discover from an ultrasound (of a male) that might be suspect??


From US Elections to China’s Appointments

Congratulations to President Barack Obama on his reelection.  That was a tough campaign and based on the popular vote, it was a close election, reflecting significant popular distaste in the previous 4 years.

But as the US is seeing no change in the top (there were quite a few important new candidates elected in Congress), China is about to see lots of change (well, sort of) this month!

President Hu Jintao will give up his role as party chief to anointed successor Vice President Xi Jinping in a once in a decade change!  (The president can serve up to two 5-year terms, and it’s usual that the first term is renewed.)  Today is the start of a huge handover of power to newly appointed leaders.  The process will take place over a week-long meeting behind closed doors (no elections, of course) among over 2,000 delegates, who will select a central committee, which then chooses the country’s highest decision-making body, the Standing Committee of the Politburo.

It won’t be until about November 15 before we will know who China’s new leaders are going to be, though there have already been some strong indications over certain positions.  Security in Beijing has been considerably beefed up during this time, and watch over political dissidents have similarly been increased.  Though the people of China don’t have any say or choice in the entire matter, it’s apparent  the government is concerned that they may express their views.

So whether or not you’re happy about Obama’s reelection or not, think about what government might be when you have no say, and consider how important it is to vote when you can!

So…What Are You? (Part II)

Identity is not only an issue in the US, apparently, but most definitely one in Hong Kong.  For the most part, it seems Hong Kongers try to distance themselves with China, and in its ugliest form, even be quite discriminatory against Chinese.   Rarely will a Hong Konger ever dare suggest they are to be considered equals to those on the Mainland.  But once in a while, you’d be surprised.

Most recently in the Olympics, I recalled feeling a bit of surprise when one Hong Kong athlete remarked that he considered himself a part of Team China, despite there being separate teams.  It would make sense to want to bask in China’s pride, where the nation once again brought back plenty of medals to celebrate, but yet I was really shocked that he’d make that statement.  (Sorry for no link – just saw it on the news one night!).

More recently in my own experience, I got wrapped up in the following “facebook fight.”  Unfortunately few others dared get involved (or maybe didn’t care), but I post it below for your entertainment or enlightenment.  Either way, I hope to get some public discussion on this one.  (I’ve changed the names for everyone’s privacy.)

PRC Supporter  about an hour ago near Hong Kong ·
You are granted 3 stars permanent residency of Hong Kong. The government gives away $6000 and you took it. Hong Kong is part of China. You still claim that you are not Chinese?
LikeUnlike · ·Unfollow PostFollow Post
6 people like this.

        59 minutes ago · “}’>LikeUnlike 

  • PRCSupporter

     Hoho tonight’s speech objectives raise a lot of questions in me.
    55 minutes ago · “}’>LikeUnlike
  • Expat-PR

     Go on – give me something to get my teeth into!!
    54 minutes ago ·UnlikeLike · 1
  • ME
     but getting permanent residency does NOT confer permanent residency in China.
    49 minutes ago · “}’>LikeUnlike
  • Expat-PR

     And getting PR is not the same as getting 3 stars
    47 minutes ago ·UnlikeLike · 1
    PRC Supporter
  •  Hong Kong is part of China. Disagree?
     44 minutes ago · “}’>LikeUnlike
  • PRCSupporter

     PR cannot get $6000?
    43 minutes ago · “}’>LikeUnlike
  • ME

     Hong Kong is an SAR. Disagree?
    39 minutes ago · “}’>LikeUnlike
  • PRC Supporter
     ME: did you get $6000?
    36 minutes ago · “}’>LikeUnlike
  • ME
    Nope, I certainly did not!
    36 minutes ago · “}’>LikeUnlike

  • Expat-PR
     PR can get $6K but PR does not equal 3 stars
     35 minutes ago · “}’>LikeUnlike
  • Expat-PR
     I did.
    35 minutes ago · “}’>LikeUnlike
  • ME
     http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/china-denounces-hong-konger-trend/2012/01/10/gIQAmivNqP_story.html?socialreader_check=0&denied=1I guess you would be smearing Chung’s research as well, PRC Supporter.


    A recent survey found that fewer and fewer Hong Kong residents view themselves primarily as Chinese.
    34 minutes ago · “}’>LikeUnlike ·
  • PRC Supporter
     http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2012-08/22/content_15694833.htm. Read this. It is more updated.


    Hong Kong fishing vessel Kai Fung No 2 reached Hong Kong water on Tuesday evening.
    26 minutes ago · “}’>LikeUnlike
  • ME
    PRC Supporter, this article from the CHINA DAILY about the government’s official stance has little to do with 1) HK people’s sentiment, and 2) anything with your argument that collecting 6k makes you Chinese! Ruth cannot enter China under the same conditions as a PRC passport holder. I’m 100% American, and even with its ups and downs, and the regular embarassment I may face being American, that isn’t changing anytime soon.
    24 minutes ago · “}’>LikeUnlike
  • PRC Supporter

     ME: It is not about sentiment at all. It is all facts. You are sensitive about your own identity and you are sentimental. No one here ever ask to you claim that you are 100% American. You don’t have the responsibility to join the discussion of this topic. Calm down sweetheart. :D.
    16 minutes ago · “}’>LikeUnlike
  • ME

     I am completely calm! But what you say is entirely off point and don’t address what have been both Ruth and my points. I can participate in any debate I like — because I’m in HK, not China 😀
    14 minutes ago · “}’>LikeUnlike
  • Expat-PR

     I agree with ME- talking about identity IS emotional and China is not interested in any one individual’s particular sentiments on the matter – they have their own agenda. You have to be careful if you’re going to tackle this topic tonight – so easy to offend…
    11 minutes ago ·UnlikeLike · 1
  • ME
    For the record, I pointed out my own nationality for the purposes of demonstrating (1) what Ruth pointed out — the inherent link between sentimentality and identity, and (2) to also show that I need not be among the parties (Chinese or HKese) to find this interesting / involving.

    9 minutes ago · “}’>LikeUnlike
  • PRC Supporter
    ME: you are so legal. 😀 If you are so embarassed here why not go back home and find a job there? All I can see is a friend here all of a sudden claims that she is a 100% American. I feel sorry for the embarassment you had but this has nothing to do with this topic. Do you have PR in Hong Kong?
    7 minutes ago · “}’>LikeUnlike
  • ME
    I’m not embarassed about being American. I was referring to how it’s not necessarily so fashionable to be American, and yet I am still proud to call myself American. As for a job, I am not here because I am not employable in the US. As for wanting to go back – I most definitely do want to, especially with the evolving (or devolving) political climate in HK. And no, I do NOT have PR, nor am I particularly interested in it.
    5 minutes ago · “}’>LikeUnlike
  • PRC Supporter
    ME: so you don’t fit into any part of the topic. y u spend so much time discussing this???
    4 minutes ago · “}’>LikeUnlike
  • ME
     As I said, it’s still interesting! It touches on topics that are still relevant to anyone who cares about identity, ethnicity, and nationality. I would think you’d welcome more points of views and encourage debate! But that is certainly not the Chinese way!
    2 minutes ago · “}’>LikeUnlike
  • PRC Supporter

     Expat-PR: thank you for the reminder. ME: thank you for the comments. It is time to go. 😀
    about a minute ago · “}’>LikeUnlike
  • ME

     Yes, I see you definitely identify yourself as Chinese!

Olympic Coverage in Hong Kong – and Chinese Taipei?

The Olympics are on and I am pleased to say that Hong Kong worked out its controversial public television coverage issues such that two channels will show the Olympic games on tv for all to see, despite the time zone preventing us from watching the key events at decent hours (the opening ceremony aired at 4am!).

What I find interesting is that in Hong Kong there will be more coverage of all kinds of sports — and not just swimming and gymnastics.  Being an ex-fencer, I was thrilled to see this original Olympic sport featured on television.

But while I was excited to see television coverage of my normally overlooked sport (in America, that is), I noticed, the coverage was not of the top athletes, but rather was of the local athletes. 

Hong Kong actually has 42 athletes in 13 sports representing the SAR in this year’s games.   Sports not only include a few representatives in fencing, but also badminton (a no-brainer considering how popular it is in HK), archery, judo, shooting, even weightlifting, among others.  Given that Hong Kong will only compete in 13 sports, this might be why time is set aside for sports like fencing or shooting (which I saw each of on television last night).

Not only is special effort made to cover the local athletes of Hong Kong, but once their turns are done, there is some effort to feature other nearby Asian athletes, including China and a country represented by the letters “TPE”.

TPE? Isn’t that the airport code for Taipei? Why Taipei and not Taiwan?  Well I don’t exactly know the answer to that last question, but it turns out that since the civil war in China, the Republic of China, a/k/a Taiwan, is most commonly known in almost all sporting events as Chinese Taipei.

According to my ever-cited Wikipedia, both the ROC and PRC, it’s the one name that both countries (I’m calling Taiwan a country) can agree on using.  The usage of ROC, is confusing for fairly self-explanatory reasons and creates an obvious ambiguity concerning Taiwan’s political status.  But what’s wrong with calling yourself Taiwan?

Well the Chinese don’t like it because it connotes independence from PRC, whereas the Taiwanese apparently dislike it because it somehow suggests subordinance to the PRC!

In any case,  watch the public teleivison coverage of the Olympics in Hong Kong — you’ll get exposure to less popular sports and learn something about international relations!

Finally a Favorite, But…

When a law student, you get to read lots of US Supreme Court (a/k/a “SCOTUS” – though I’ve always despised that acronym) cases, and you begin to pick your favorites — of course I always loved the ladies (Sandra and Ruth), definitely enjoyed many a Breyer opinion, as well as the hallowed Rehnquist.  So when I came to Hong Kong, I wanted a new favorite.  It took me some time to familiarize with cases, and I have to admit I am still far from knowing the “classics” in terms of opinions here, but I did finally find my favorite — the Honorable Mr. Justice Kemal Bokhary!

He is both brilliant and witty, and a true defender of human rights.  He is what we need in Hong Kong as we fight the Red Tide that is no doubt coming, but also all the while seeping in bit by bit every day since the handover. 

But alas,justas I got to know and love Justice Bokhary, I learn that he has reached the statutory retirement age, and despite there being discretion to permit those reaching such age to continue employment, he is forcibly being retired, only to make way for the elevation of who many legal community members would wholeheartedly agree is the entire opposite of everything Justice Bohkary stands for.

This is unfortunately, one of those ways that Red Tide seeps in.  But this was not going to be surprising, considering that Justice Bohkary stood up to Beijing when it usurped the Court of Final Appeal’s decision in a right to abode case.  Of course, he lost that one.   So for those who ask what one country, two systems means — well, it’s not quite what it’s advertised to be!

And trust me, no one is glad to see him go.  And what’s worse, the other two permanent CFA judges will similarly reach the age of 65 in the next two years, so those of you who can do the “math,” can you tell me what to expect?

I’m definitely bummed out, especially considering that one of my cases will be heard before the CFA come next Spring.  But alas, I won’t see my favorite in action.

For more interesting reading, check this article out.

Cantophiles – Cantonese is Here to Stay!

Followers of my blog will know that I am a staunch Cantonese supporter. Thought I’d share this interesting piece coming out of CUHK on a specialist on Cantonese: