Warning signal: Political trust, typhoons and the myth of the ‘Li's field’ in Hong Kong

Yee Hang Mathew WONG, Ying-ho KWONG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

This article examines the discourse of ‘Li's Field’ in Hong Kong, named after tycoon Li Ka‐shing and used to satirically denounce the government‐business political nexus. The discourse challenges the apparent reluctance of the weather agency to decide that a typhoon is strong enough to warrant a city‐wide suspension of business activities, which would obviously be detrimental to capitalist interests. In comparison to the earlier period characterised by political trust, institutional and political factors in recent decades have intensified the impression of government‐business collusion and the erosion of political trust. Li's Field is a case illustrating how political distrust can spill over into bureaucracy, challenging the traditions of bureaucratic neutrality and meritocratic and scientific policymaking. This article provides an analysis of the ‘field’ with primary interview data, media discourse analysis and secondary data. This study contributes by exploring political trust in politicians and bureaucrats, and how the former spills over into the latter. Copyright © 2021 Victoria University of Wellington and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAsia Pacific Viewpoint
Early online date08 Feb 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 08 Feb 2021

Citation

Wong, M. Y. H., & Kwong, Y.-H. (2021). Warning signal: Political trust, typhoons and the myth of the ‘Li's field’ in Hong Kong. Asia Pacific Viewpoint. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/apv.12301

Keywords

  • Bureaucracy
  • Government-business relations
  • Hong Kong
  • Political trust
  • Weather warning systems

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