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Chinese Websites Sell Fake Hong Kong University Diplomas Even Experts Cannot Detect

Hong Kong University (by Adon3465 via Wikimedia Commons) Chinese websites sell fake diplomas of major Hong Kong universities that even experts cannot recognize as forgeries. According to Hong Kong-based newspaper HK01 , there are a large number of websites in mainland China that sell fake diplomas of Hong Kong's eight major universities. An HK01 reporter asked Chong Yiu Kwong (莊耀洸), a Solicitor and Teaching Fellow at the Hong Kong Institute of Education, and Alexa Chow (周綺萍), a Human Resources Consultant, to examine two diplomas. One was a fake 2017 bachelor's degree in business administration from Hong Kong University (HKU), which the journalist had purchased from a Chinese website for 1,200 RMB. The other one was a real 2014 diploma from HKU. Both Chong Yiu Kwong, who is also a HKU alumnus, and Alexa Chow mistook the fake one for authentic. Ms. Chow explained that there are is no standard for how diplomas should look like. Their layout, colour, size and pa

Hong Kong Must Follow Xi Jinping Thought, Promote Patriotism, Says China-Hong Kong Liaison Office

The Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (via Wikimedia Commons) In an article published on Chinese state-run news outlet People's Daily on June 28, the Liaison Office of Chinese central government in Hong Kong argued that Xi Jinping Thought  must be applied to the former British colony in order to promote nationalism and solve Hong Kong's "long-term problems". The op-ed quotes a speech that Xi Jinping gave during a visit to Hong Kong in the summer of 2017 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the handover. "As a special administrative area under the direct jurisdiction of the Central People's Government, Hong Kong has since the day of the handover once again become part of the nation's system of government," Xi had said.  According to the Liaison Office , Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is "the most recent outcome of Chi

7 Reasons Why Hong Kong Is A Great Place To Live

Hong Kong skyline (by Aris Teon) In 2013 I wrote a post about 7 reasons why it's good to live in Taiwan  based on my one-year experience in the country. Now I would like to talk about another place which I love, and which I have perhaps loved more than any other: Hong Kong. When I was growing up in a small town in Southern Italy, I knew very little about Hong Kong. As a child I remember watching the handover ceremony in 1997, yet at that time I did not really understand much about what was going on. That is my first, vague memory of Hong Kong. Years later, when I was in my early twenties, I watched a short documentary about Hong Kong on Italian television. I was captivated by the energy and modernity of that exotic metropolis. I thought that some day I would like to visit it. However, it was not on my list of priorities. I wanted to go to Japan, mainland China, South Korea, far more than I wished to go to Hong Kong. In late 2011 I decided to go to Taiwan bec

A New Life, A New Blog - From Asia To Europe

Spanish steps, Rome (By 2pi.pl, via Wikimedia Commons) In 2012 I started 'My New Life In Asia' as a personal blog revolving around my every day experiences in Taiwan. During the first two years of this blog's existence, I published hundreds of articles - some personal, others about culture and history - and I found that blogging is a wonderful way of systematizing the process of understanding a foreign country, of sharing thoughts with people from all over the world.  In 2014, however, I gradually lost my commitment to blogging. My father got ill and almost a year later he passed away. Recently, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Worries, anxiety and stress have made made it impossible for me to blog the way I used to.  Between 2012 and early 2014 I was curious and carefree. I loved to read books about Taiwan and East Asia, combine that knowledge with my personal experiences, and then provide on this blog my own perspective and analysis. Since my fat

Hong Kong - Walk From Sai Ying Pun To Smithfield Public Library (Kennedy Town)

Yesterday I decided to take a walk from Sai Ying Pun to Smithfield Public Library, a small library in Kennedy Town.  People who like old architecture will probably not be interested in sightseeing in this modern area. But I love skyscrapers and densely populated cities, so I want to share some pictures with you.  Here is one of the very rare examples of an old Hong Kong building. That's how the streets of these Chinese-populated area looked like for decades, until the population increase compelled the government to tear them down and build giant affordable apartment blocks

Sun Yat-sen Memorial Park In Hong Kong

Although Hong Kong is one of the world's most densely populated metropolises, I don't find it as oppressive and suffocating as many other, even smaller, cities. The reason is because Hong Kong's urban planning maintained a balance between residential areas and nature. As a matter of fact, about "80% of Hong Kong's territory is still natural, or semi-natural." That's not easy to see if you spend all of your time in Hong Kong Island or Kowloon, but if you go outside of the main financial and shopping districts, you will be stunned by its gorgeous wild nature. But even within the skyscraper jungle that is Hong Kong Island, the British authorities tried to create parks and playgrounds so as to give residents a refuge from busy modern life. After the 1997 handover the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has so far upheld those policies.

David Beckham's Facebook Post 'Great 48 hours in China' Upsets Hong Kong Netizens

(source: Paulblank via Wikimedia Commons ) When it comes to China , the phrase 'words matter' is definitely true, as ex-footballer David Beckham discovered a few days ago. On March 23, the former captain of the English national team visited Shanghai to take part in events organized by a life insurance company, which had appointed David Beckham as its global ambassador. On Friday he travelled to Hong Kong to promote the company. At the end of his trip, Beckham published a Facebook post: 'Great 48 hours in China' Beckham's apparently harmless post, however, caused a backlash. Hong Kong netizens criticized the ex-footballer for implying that Hong Kong and China are one and the same thing. Hong Kong netizens wrote comments below the post to point out Beckham's error.

Visiting Missing Hong Kong Booksellers' Causeway Bay Bookstore

Yesterday I was walking with a friend in Causeway Bay, when she suddenly pointed at one of the countless colourful billboards that decorate the shopping district's building facades and said, "That's the bookstore of the missing booksellers !". The bookstore is called " Causeway Bay Books " (銅鑼灣書店) and it's located on the second floor of a building on Lockhart Road. I and my friend went upstairs and, of course, the bookstore was closed. Next to the entrance door there were messages written on the wall by sympathetic citizens.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Violates Airport Security To Give Hand Luggage To His Daughter

Hong Kong 's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying (梁振英) and his wife Regina Tong Ching Yee (唐青儀) allegedly used their political influence to violate airport's security regulations.  According to Apple Daily , on March 28 Leung Zung-jan, daughter of the Chief Executive , was waiting at an airport lounge for a Cathay Pacific flight bound to San Francisco. She then realised that she had forgotten her hand luggage outside of the security area.  Her mother, who had accompanied her to the airport, asked the airline's staff to bring the hand luggage to her daughter. Her request was turned down because, according to existing security regulations, passengers need to exit the security area and claim their luggage personally. Mrs Leung reacted angrily. "Do you know who I am?", she allegedly said. "There are no drugs or forbidden items inside [the luggage]". 

Hong Kong - Approval Rating of Last British Governor Higher Than That of any Post-1997 Leader

(photo by James Yuanxin Li via Wikimedia Commons ) According to the latest survey of the Public Opinion Programme of the University of Hong Kong (HKU POP), Chris Patten, the last British Governor of Hong Kong, enjoyed the highest ratings among political leaders of the city in the past 24 years.  Chris Patten was a member of the British Parliament with the Conservative Party from 1979 until 1992, when he lost his Bath seat at the general election ( Chris Patten: East and West. Pan McMillan 2012 , p. 13). British Prime Minister John Major offered him the post of Governor of Hong Kong . Patten's term of office as Governor lasted until 30 June 1997, when Hong Kong was handed over to the People's Republic of China.  The POP survey, released on March 29, shows that upon assuming office Chris Patten's rating was approximately 55% and at the end of his term in June 1997 it was 60%.  After the handover and the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Admini

Fascinating Video of Hong Kong's Festivities in Honour of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953

Hong Kong Government Censors the Word "National" in Names of Taiwanese Universities

Despite Beijing's pledge that Hong Kong's system would remain unchanged after 1997 , the institutions of Hong Kong are little by little aligning themselves with the national ideology of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).  According to local reports ,  the theatrical troupe  The Nonsensemakers  (糊塗戲班) was invited by  Hong Kong's Leisure and Cultural Services Department  to take part in an event in late March . However, the department asked that the name of the alma mater of one of the troupe's members, National Taipei University of the Arts, had to be changed and the word "National" had to be removed.  In a statement  published on their Facebook page, The Nonsensemakers explained: The Nonsensemakers were invited by the Leisure and Cultural Department to perform the piece " Three Novels: The Third Lie " from 18 to 20 March at the Tsuen Wan Town Hall . Because the Department was the organiser of the event, it was its responsibility to print

The Strange North Point Musician - A Hong Kong Story

If you are in Hong Kong and live in North Point, chances are you have seen that guy . Middle-aged, tall, scrawny, he has a long, wrinkly face, a long nose, blue eyes. Once he shook hands with me, and I felt the power of his sinewy arms. He is from the United Kingdom and, as far as I know, he has been living in Hong Kong for a few years. You might have seen him because every day he stands at the corner of a sidewalk - usually near North Point MTR Station - and he plays guitar. That is how he earns a living. If you ever heard him play, you know he plays badly, and his singing talents are even worse than his music. And yet he manages to support himself. At least he earns enough to stay at a serviced apartment in Fortress Hill. At night, after "getting off work", he goes to McDonald's next to North Point Station and drinks there a coffee, which he regularly pays using a bunch of the coins passers-by gave him. While he counts each coin, he talks to the staff who, embarras

Another Student Commits Suicide in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Hung Hom Campus) (photo by Baycrest ) Another student has committed suicide in Hong Kong. According to local reports, on March 13 a 21-year-old female student  of Hong Kong Polytechnic University jumped from a window of her residence in Tseung Kwan O .  Her dead body was found at around 1 p.m. The student left one suicide note for the media and others for family members and friends.  This is the fifth student suicide in Hong Kong this month. Over the past ten years, more than 110 students have committed suicide  in the former British colony. 23 students have killed themselves since the start of the current academic year - the youngest of them was just 10 years old. Only four days earlier, a third-year student of Hong Kong Faculty of Arts had killed himself. He left a suicide note in which he blamed himself for not performing well enough. The 20-year-old student, surnamed Su, was an only son and lived with his parents in Wong Tai S

Hot Sale in Hong Kong - A Lucky Charm That Promises Wealth

This little figurine of a smiling man holding a gold ingot is a hot sale in Hong Kong at the moment. And judging by the number of luxury cars on the city's street, it is not that surprising. Perhaps it really works, so I am thinking about buying one. Getting wealthy for just 30 dollars (around 3 euros) is a pretty good deal.  The name of the figurine is 元寶財神公仔 (pinyin: Yuánbǎo cáishén gōngzǐ), which literally means: Doll of the Gold Ingot God of Wealth.  Shoe-shaped silver or gold ingots (元寶) were used as money in ancient China and they have thus become traditional symbols of wealth in Chinese culture. According to Vivien Sung, the yuanbao first appeared in the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD). In the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) they became an actual standard currency. Because the Chinese dumplings resemble the shape of gold ingots, they are also associated with wealth and are an auspicious dish to eat on New Year's Eve in various part of China (see Vivien Sung:

An Evening Walk in Hong Kong - From Sheung Wan to Fortress Hill

Hong Kong is a quintessentially futuristic city. For people like me, who love modern metropolises, simply strolling around among shiny skyscrapers, neon lights and billboards is an amazing experience.  Yesterday I had dinner at a vegetarian cafe' called Ovo Cafe' . It is located in the business district of Sheung Wan. I ordered an all-day breakfast set and a mango smoothie, very tasty (although quite expensive).  After my meeting, which ended at around 10 p.m., I decided to walk back to Fortress Hill. As you can see from the map below, this is a 5 km walk, lasting around 1 hour and 15 minutes. While I was walking I took a lot of pictures, and I want to share them now with all the people who are interested in Hong Kong.

Forbidden Vocabulary - How China Censors Taiwan and Hong Kong-related Words

According to Taiwanese media reports, China's Xinhua News Agency released a list of " forbidden words " related to Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong . Although recent reports have brought this topic to the attention of the Taiwanese public, an article listing Xinhua's guidelines had already appeared in November 2015 on China 's state-owned website People's Daily . The "forbidden words on Xinhua News Agency's news reports" (新華社新聞報道中的禁用詞) are divided up into 5 sections, the fourth of which is entitled: "Forbidden words touching upon our national territory, sovereignty , Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan". 

Hong Kong - Water Floods Tanner Road After Water Pipe Bursts

On July 8 between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., a pipe burst on Tanner Road , near North Point MTR Station , causing severe flooding. Traffic was disrupted and shops were flooded.

Treason, Secession, Armed Rebellion, Subversion And State Secrets – China’s Paranoia Takes Hold Of Hong Kong

On its 18th birthday, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) received an unwelcome gift from the Beijing authorities: a new sweeping national security law which, despite not applying directly to Hong Kong , is likely to raise pressure on the government of the former British colony to enact its own national security legislation. According to the controversial Article 23 of the Hong Kong Basic Law , the HKSAR "shall enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People's Government, or theft of state secrets". When the first Chief Executive of the HKSAR, the pro-Beijing magnate Tung Chee-hwa , tried to enact such laws, about half a million Hongkongers took to the streets . Popular anger ultimately led to his resignation in 2005. On July 1st, 1997, the British colony of Hong Kong was handed over to the People's Republic of China. The televised ceremony was watched by millions of people all ov

Why Hong Kong Should Accept Beijing's Universal Suffrage - And Wait

On Sunday 14, thousands of Hong Kong citizens marched from Causeway Bay to the Legislative Council to protest against the electoral reform package proposed by the government. Demonstrators held yellow umbrellas and wore yellow ribbons, powerful symbols of the Umbrella Revolution that rocked the former British colony last year. They protesters denounced Beijing's version of universal suffrage , demanding 'genuine' democratic elections for Hong Kong. If the electoral reform is passed by the legislature, Hong Kong citizens will for the first time vote directly for their Chief Executive. But critics argue that the democratic reforms are 'fake', as the candidates for the post of Chief Executive will be selected by an electoral committee.  On August 31, 2014, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress  (NPC) passed a decision on the implementation of universal suffrage, a concept enshrined in Paragraph 2 of Article 45 of the Hong Kong Basic