Monday, December 19, 2011

Stanley Cemetery Plaque, Hong Kong

Stanley Cemetery, Hong Kong

Defence of Hong Kong, December 1941

This month i.e. December, 2011, marks the 70th anniversary of the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong. The colony was considered an outpost of the British Empire which it was hoped could be held for as long as possible. British, Canadian and Indian troops tried in vain to thwart the attack which came from the Chinese mainland. Xmas Day marked the ultimate surrender of the garrison. Nearly 300 of the 2000 Canadians died in the 17 days of fighting. Many more were to die over the subsequent 4 years in the brutal internment camps the Japanese ran. Coming to the defence of a beleagured Hong Kong was a heroic moment for Canadian Forces but is also one of their saddest historical memories. News has just broken that Japan, in December 2011, has formally apologized, after all these years, for its treatment of the internees. Here is a plaque in Stanley, a community on the south side of Hong Kong Island, denoting where one of the last acts of resistance played out and marking a cemetery where many of the garrison are buried.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Guangzhou National Day Anniversary

Honey Pot

There may be a honey pot at the end of the Chinese rainbow. My recent return from a trip of discovery to southern China, including Hong Kong, has presented me with a stack of newspapers my neighbour collected in my absence. Browsing through them, two China related articles caught my eye, one dated at the start of my trip, the other just days ago. In September Conservative MP Bob Dechert, parliamentary secretary to Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, was outed for his “friendship” with a female journalist at Xinhua, the Chinese state news agency. Now in December a former Canadian diplomat warned at a high level conference that China more than any other nation entraps foreign diplomats, politicians, scientists and businessmen with honey pot sexual encounters. Blackmail for information, what is new under the sun? The Chinese peruse social network sites and visa applications sifting for potential victims. Too bad I don’t have state secrets to sell!