An Anniversary

Since my last blog, we continued our eating and drinking and I had cut more cakes, albeit symbolically at times, and today marked our 14th wedding anniversary, which historically and traditionally has been represented by ivory, as Su had broadcast on Facebook this morning. However, ivory has now become an issue because of poaching and animal rights related matters. Instead, the elephant has fast become the symbol for the 14th anniversary, reflecting the stability, patience and dignity inherent in a long marriage. The traditional ivory colour remains the theme colour for the anniversary nevertheless.

We had decided to spend the day quietly and privately, not only because we would be having a month-long visit to UK and France from next week, but also because we needed time to sign up a new tenant for the Conduit Road flat, which had been left unoccupied for more than one year. Nevertheless, Su decided to give ourselves a treat at home and called up her seafood vendor early yesterday for some goodies. I had lunch with a brother after which I went to the bank to tidy up matters related to the lost credit card. I came home to find that Su was making her way to Conduit Road. She asked me instead to pick up the goodies so that she could continue with her chores at Conduit Road. She also told me that Eva would join us for dinner. We last saw Eva at our Mei Foo flat in 2019, and somehow Eva had offered to purchase for us phone cards for our impending trip to Europe. It turned out though to be a very long dinner and Eva caught the last train to Nam Cheong station on Tuen Ma Line, but not before demolishing with us three bottles of champagne, a 1kg plus lobster from Western Australia and some aged beef. Su also sold her a copy of my memoir, duly autographed by me of course, as a reward or penalty of being our friend for nearly two decades.

I move from our anniversary to a subject much talked about in the media recently, namely tension between US and China. Politicians and commentators have coined new words and phrases, from de-coupling to de-risking, referring to the bipartisan policy of the USA seeking to stop China rising to become a more significant and powerful nation or superpower in the economic, technology, military and other fields. Kishore Mahbubani who published in 2020 “Has China Won?” in which he discussed the Chinese challenge to American primacy and somewhat predicted that it would be an inevitability, has gone on YouTube recently to elaborate on some consequences that the world can expect, through observing what top world leaders have been doing in recent weeks. He said the challenge from the geopolitical contest between the US and China will intensify in the next ten years. While the US is determined to stop China’s economic development at the price of damaging its own economy and the people’s livelihood, leaders of the world including Spain, New Zealand, France, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, Brazil, the EU and others have been trooping to Beijing to cement ties with China. His reading is that China is unstoppable. It follows that the US policy to decouple with China would end up with the US decoupling with the rest of the world and many of these countries are her allies, which is a situation entirely different from the days when the US was dealing with the rise of the Soviet Union.

Mahbubani said that It is a dangerous situation, but is somewhat inevitable. Meanwhile, French President Macron’s warning that states in Europe ought not be anyone’s vassal had precipitated in an outright backlash in the form of a joint statement from the G7 ministers, which attracted in turn a strong response from Beijing. We live in interesting times indeed, rather dangerous at times though. Once again, it depends on where one is coming from and on which side one chooses to be. In recent months, we have seen lots of people, including many young people, flocking to UK on the premise that they don’t have faith that Hong Kong would have a future. As I had said before, Hong Kong has never been for the faint hearted. In the final analyses, decisions between global powers, and for that matter, decisions of governments, are not up to the average person to influence or fathom, and very often will have nothing to do with or bear any relevance to democracy. One must choose the city or the country one wants to live. I am content with Hong Kong and will not leave the place.

I would probably not post any letters before June. Until then, I wish you all well.

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