Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Olympics, Tung, and the Marco Polo Bridge

So many ideas for a post. At first, I thought I might discuss how Hong Kong's former as well as current masters will be staging the Olympics, and how Hong Kong participated for the first time in 1954 (link to a speech by Anson Chan). Best wishes to London, hope they take the opportunity to finally get the old Tube working properly.

Then, I thought I'd point out that our former Chief Executive, the Honourable Tung Chee-Hwa, has his birthday today. Happy Birthday, Mr. Tung. You're a nice man, too bad your term in office didn't go so well. At least you got the democrats and the pro-Beijing forces in Hong Kong to agree on that much. I wonder though, how all the fortune-tellers and numerologists in Hong Kong and China missed an incredible coincidence and very ill-starred omen. Tung Chee-Hwa was born on the same day as the Marco Polo Bridge Incident (7 July 1937). For students of Chinese history of any stripe, you'll know that it sparked off the Sino-Japanese War, the single most cataclysmic event in modern Chinese history. If that didn't ring any warning bells, well then...

(This photo, by the way, was taken by a LIFE magazine photographer in Shanghai 1937, shortly after the outbreak of hostilities. It was possibly after the KMT bombed its own city accidentally while targeting the Japanese. It is allegedly somewhat doctored, as the parents of the child were apparently cropped out of the photo. I discovered this fact on Wikipedia's editorial page for the Nanjing Massacre, which is embarrassing in the extreme as to how people are still arguing whether or not it happened).

Main post of the day to follow.

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