Mainland Applications to SAR Universities Down, US Slams HK Rights Record, Budget Airline Grounded
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Mainland Applications to SAR Universities Down 40 Percent
Applications for university places from the mainland have fallen sharply this year, say the city’s colleges. Baptist and Lingnan Universities have reported that mainland applicants are down 40 percent, while Poly U has reported a 34 percent drop in applicants. Chinese state media have been quick to blame last year’s Occupy protests. The People’s Daily wrote that “politics is invading universities in Hong Kong,” saying that HKU’s law school was an example of “politicization” in the SAR’s universities. It also cited the fact that “anti-locust” protests have made Hong Kong a less hospitable place for mainlanders.
Our take: We don’t need no education / We don’t need no thought control...
US Slams Hong Kong Rights Record, China Unimpressed
The US State Department has released its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, in which it notes limited press freedom and violence against the media in the SAR, and highlights “the limited ability of citizens to participate in and change their government through the right to vote in free and fair elections.” The SAR government responded by telling the US that they “should not interfere” and that “constitutional development is entirely an internal affair.” China has reeled out its usual response, denouncing the US for police brutality, violent crime, torture and drone strikes while reminding them that “money is a deciding factor in US politics.”
Our take: Classic deflection techniques. Learn from the masters…
Budget Airline Grounded in SAR
The Air Transport Licensing Authority has rejected an application from budget airline Jetstar to operate out of Hong Kong. The Authority said that the airline’s principal place of business was not in the SAR, and so it would not comply with the Basic Law. The application was opposed by Cathay Pacific, Dragonair and Hong Kong Airlines. Chief Executive Alan Joyce of shareholder Qantas said that “when aviation markets across Asia are opening up, Hong Kong is going in the opposite direction” and that Hong Kong travellers “have lost out”. The airline is backed by Qantas, Hong Kong-based Shun Tak Holdings, and the Shanghainese China Eastern Airlines.
Our take: You know what’s good? $500 plane tickets. Bring on the budget flights already!