The truth about Hong Kong is too difficult for the western media to graspNov 17, 2022
Early November saw Hong Kong host a gathering of world financial/banking leaders, lay on a successful Fintech conference, and then host the first Hong Kong Rugby 7’s tournament since 2019, which Australia won!
Against the background of Hong Kong’s enduring Covid containment policy many concerns were raised as to the likelihood of these events being a success, I’m pleased to say that the naysayers were proven wrong and the week was widely acknowledged to be a success.
However, such an outcome did not sit at all well with the western media, indeed it is probably fair to say that this outcome really stuck in the craw of these publications and their masters.
First out of the trap was the Sunday Times, with its breathless claim that their valiant reporter, Oliver Shah, had managed to enter “Fortress Hong Kong” as “one of the first foreign journalists to visit” the SAR. Hmmm, actually the restriction on non residents entering HK were dropped some months ago, and were followed by the reduction and final removal of the hotel quarantine requirement, so much for the headline seeking claims by the Sunday Times, he would have been welcome to visit HK months ago.
Next out of the box was the Wall Street Journal, under the headline that “Wall Street Courts Hong Kong Strongman John Lee, U.S. financial CEOs will attend a Hong Kong conference featuring the man who has crushed dissent and the rule of law in the city”. This of course is not surprising from the WSJ, who pump out endless anti China rhetoric without the slightest attempt at preserving journalistic integrity.
Not to be left out, CNN, with the catchy headline “Hong Kong says it’s back open for business. Will the world buy it?” went with a selection of sound bites to the effect that such claims did not stand up to scrutiny.
And maybe there are others…
During the 2019 troubles long term Hong Konger’s like myself suffered a great deal of frustration as we watched the wildly unbalanced reporting of the unfolding violence in HK escalating into chaos, egged on by a western press and their leaders echoing without question even the most unbelievable claims of the protesters, claims that we could see with our own eyes were utterly without any basis.
Today, that frustration has been replaced by a sense of schadenfreude as we watch the western media debase its journalistic credentials pretty well every time they put pen to paper on the subject of Hong Kong, and probably for that matter on any of their writing about anything to do with China.
And just to set the record straight, while there is no doubt that Hong Kong has been doing it tough for most of 2022 there is a genuine widespread feeling that we are emerging from a difficult period in a steady and controlled manner. “Strongman” John Lee has made it very clear relaxing Covid restrictions will be a one-way street with none of the U-turns seen so commonly in the west and advising businesses that now is the right time to jump on the HK “train”, because once it pulls out of the station they will be left behind.
It is always said that one should never bet against Hong Kong, but it would seem that the western press has overlooked this truism and let themselves believe that they were reporting on the end of Hong Kong as we know it. So right now they are facing a difficult challenge, will they continue to up the ante and pump out deeper and deeper misinformation or will they be forced to come to terms with the reality and report it as they should. Indeed I would go so far as to suggest that when the day comes and the world recognises the duplicitous role the western press has played in hoodwinking the public at large Hong Kong will be remembered as the place where this downfall started.