About Novel HKSAR Names
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Wild Swans author has written a new book on Empress Dowager Cixi
PUBLISHED : Sunday, 03 November, 2013, 5:02pm
Agence France-Presse in Hong Kong
Jung Chang says she does not enjoy arguments, but the latest book from the writer whose works are banned in China is proving to be typically contentious.
The Wild Swans author has offered a revisionist account of Empress Dowager Cixi, the concubine who ruled behind the scenes from 1861 until her death in 1908.
A powerful figure who unofficially controlled the Manchu Qing Dynasty for nearly 50 years, Cixi governed during a tumultuous period in which she faced internal rebellions, war and foreign invasions.
Cixi has since been portrayed as a cruel, hapless despot with an extravagant lifestyle, a conservative who suppressed reform in China for decades, who ordered the killing of reformists and put the emperor under house arrest for years until his death.
Having scoured Chinese language archives in Beijing, Chang instead argues that Cixi was instead a reformer who laid the foundations for China to become the economic superpower of today.
“I’m not one of those who relish a fight. I don’t enjoy it,” the 61-year-old author said in an interview.
“But I don’t want to write what everyone else is writing. I will only embark on a project if there is something new I can say. So I can’t reconcile these two things. If you open new ground you’re going to be attacked.”
I will only embark on a project if there is something new I can say. If you open new ground you’re going to be attacked
Empress Dowager Cixi - The Concubine Who Launched Modern China presents a figure whose leadership enabled the country to begin to “acquire virtually all the attributes of a modern state: railways, electricity, telegraph, telephones, Western medicine, a modern-style army and navy, and modern ways of conducting foreign trade and diplomacy.
“The past hundred years have been most unfair to Cixi,” writes Chang.
The Sichuan-born, London-based author says Cixi - and not reformist leader Deng Xiaoping who took power after the death of Mao Zedong - should be credited with launching the China of today.
“He didn’t create a new model,” Chang said of Deng. “He was returning to the model that had been created by the Empress Dowager.”
The book has received positive reviews, but critics have also cautioned against the level of Chang’s praise for a woman largely demonised by history.
“Historical facts seem to have been used only when they were useful and tossed away when they contradict the main theme of her work; that the heretofore-vilified Cixi had been a brave and forward-thinking reformer,” read a comment piece published in the South China Morning Post recently.
“It may be fashionable today to create a feminist heroine out of thin air, even if in fact there was none. Cixi was not a reformer”.
Chang says she sought to provide the context for Cixi’s ruthlessness, which went as far as ordering the poisoning of her nephew and adopted son Emperor Guangxu, while on her own death bed.
“Japan tried to make him the puppet and dominate the whole of China. The inevitable conclusion for me is that she killed him in order to prevent this scenario.”
While Guangxu’s successor Pu Yi became Japan’s puppet-leader in Manchukuo, the state it established after invading Manchuria, Chang argues that the entire country would have eventually fallen to Japan had Cixi not ordered the death of Guangxu.
The author admits that she did “develop sympathy” for Cixi, and some critics have accused the book of bordering on hagiography.
“I documented her ruthlessness,” said Chang. “Every killing is documented in the book. Let’s not forget she was a 19th century figure, she grew up in medieval China.”
Chang said she was drawn to the story of Cixi when researching her multi-million selling debut Wild Swans more than 20 years ago.
“My grandmother had bound feet and I had been under the impression because of the propaganda that somehow foot binding was banned by the Communists,” said Chang.
“I realised it had been banned by Cixi at the beginning of the 20th century. So this discrepancy between the little bit I knew about her and her reputation got me very interested.”
The book is the follow up to the explosive 2005 biography Mao: The Unknown Story which she co-authored with her husband Jon Halliday.
It won praise for challenging perceptions of Mao, the founder of the People’s Republic of China who instigated the Cultural Revolution in 1966 and whose rule is estimated to have caused tens of millions of deaths through starvation, forced labour and executions.
But it also faced strong academic criticism over its balance and scholarship. The author, who lost her father and grandfather to the Cultural Revolution, says such criticism is “totally unjust”.
Along with 1991’s Wild Swans her study of Mao is banned in China. Chang says she is permitted to visit her elderly mother on the mainland on the condition that she does not speak to the press, at public gatherings or visit friends.
As for whether or not her latest book will be banned, Chang says she expects sensitivity given what she sees as parallels between Cixi and a modern leadership looking to calibrate the pace of change in order to maintain control.
“In both cases there have been decades of economic development,” said Chang.
“She faced the same problems. A door has been opened, people have rising aspirations. And so where do we go from here?”
To earn enough stamps for all seven saucepans on offer, Wellcome customers must spend up to HK$115,200. Time for honesty, blogger says
PUBLISHED : Sunday, 27 October, 2013, 5:30am
Wellcome saucepans offers are not so free. Photo: SCMP
They're smart and shiny, stylish, glass-lidded, they look as if they'd add a measure of practical panache to any Hong Kong kitchen … and best of all, they're free.
There's a catch, of course: what shoppers might not realise about the German-branded set of seven "free" saucepans Wellcome is offering in its latest promotion is that they will need to spend up to HK$115,200 at the store to get their hands on the set.
Collecting enough "Happy Stamps" - handed out at the rate of one for every HK$60 spent - to get the smallest of the pans will cost a customer HK$10,800 at the checkout at regular times. The biggest will cost HK$22,800.
What's more, while they are advertised in fliers handed out to shoppers as being "German Woll Stainless Steel Kitchenware Collection" and carry the Woll brand, small print on the same leaflets reveals the saucepans are actually made in China, apparently under licence.
Customer Jo Dehaney highlighted the cost of the "free" saucepans in her Sai Kung Living blog after standing in a long queue at her local branch of Wellcome with time for a spot of mental arithmetic.
"I thought 'Oh good - free pans'," she wrote later on her blog. "I started thinking about which ones I would find most useful, but the queue was long, and I was bored, and before long I started calculating how much these fine German, made-in-China cookware pieces were really going to cost me. The results were staggering."
The smallest saucepan, a 16cm 1.5-litre casserole pot, which the promotional leaflets say has a "standard price" of HK$1,280, costs 210 Happy Stamps - equivalent to grocery spending of HK$12,600 at regular times.
The biggest, a 24cm 7.9-litre stockpot, which has a standard price of HK$1,980, costs 380 Happy Stamps - for which a shopper would have to spend HK$22,800.
To get the whole set of seven saucepans - valued by the Wellcome leaflets at HK$10,360 - a customer would need to collect 1,920 Happy Stamps which, at HK$60 per stamp, would cost HK$115,200 in shopping.
Double stamps are given out for spends of HK$350 or more at weekends and extra stamps are given for "bonus buy" items, so a canny customer who times their visits and always spends over HK$350 could bring down the total cost to HK$57,600 or less.
But Dehaney argued that it was at the very least cheeky of Wellcome to describe the items as free.
"They use words like 'happy' and 'free', but it's nonsense," she said. "The stamps aren't particularly happy and the saucepans most definitely aren't free.
"I think they should just try being honest with their customers instead of coming out with gimmicks like this. People are already realising that it's better to go to small shops. The prices in supermarkets in Hong Kong are just too high."
Wellcome, owned by the Dairy Farm Group, declined to give an interview to the Sunday Morning Post about the promotion and instead issued a statement in response to questions from the newspaper through the public relations firm GolinHarris. The statement said: "We are … committed in ensuring that customers have sufficient information to make informed decisions about their purchases by providing sufficient product information via multiple channels such as newspapers and electronic media."
Monday, 09 September, 2013 [Updated: 7:58AM]
Danny Mok email@example.com
A body found yesterday near a walking trail at The Peak is believed to be that of missing schoolgirl Janet Ng Chun-yee, who disappeared last Sunday.
Janet Ng Chun-yeeThe discovery was made by firefighters at about 3pm on a hill off the Governor's Walk, which skirts around Victoria Peak Garden. Police believe the girl died a few days ago.
The rescue crew had been searching for 16-year-old Janet, who was last seen at a restaurant on Yee Wo Street in Causeway Bay on the afternoon of September 1.
She had been dining with friends from St Clare's Girls' School, the elite school she attended. She asked them to join her on a trip to The Peak but they declined, so she went alone.
Police said the height and clothing of the body matched the description of Janet. Nothing suspicious was found, nor was there a suicide note.
However, Janet had sent several instant messages via WhatsApp to her classmates on September 1 at about 2.30pm saying she was "on the way to hell", and "I will die today".
One of her classmates replied: "You want to kill yourself just because the school has been [painted] pink. You are really silly."
Another friend said: "You could just leave the school. Do you really need to die?"
Janet replied: "Forget it. You guys don't understand this."
Later, at about 6pm, Janet sent a photograph to her brother Dicken Ng, taken near Victoria Peak Garden, with the message: "Super beautiful Victoria Peak Garden".
That was the last message she sent before she apparently switched her phone off.
Janet's family reported her missing on September 2.
Police and the Civil Aid Service searched the area and other places where Janet went.
Lucia Lau Fung-yi, the principal of St Clare's, said last week that Janet was a lively and cheerful girl and there was no sign that she would try to commit suicide.
This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as Body found on Peak maybe missing schoolgirl
Monday, 14 October, 2013, 1:56pm
Sandy Li firstname.lastname@example.org
Home prices in Hong Kong have now surpassed the 1997 peak.
The pegging of the Hong Kong dollar to the US dollar has been blamed for creating artificially low interest rates that contribute to the city's sky-high property prices.
However, some analysts warn that Hong Kong's real estate market would face immense challenges if the peg is removed.
Average home prices have soared more than tenfold from HK$700 per square foot in 1983 - when the Hong Kong dollar was pegged to the US dollar - to HK$7,244 last month, based on gross floor area, according to data compiled by Midland Realty.
"When our currency was pegged to the greenback, it marked the day when we sacrificed our role and ability to set interest rates," said Midland Realty chief analyst Buggle Lau Ka-fai.
Hong Kong's property market has experienced wild swings over the past three decades. It began a sustained upward trend from 1983, hitting a peak in October 1997. But home prices then plunged 70 per cent and entered a prolonged downward trend after the Asian financial crisis. Prices bottomed out in August 2003 and have since climbed again. Prices have now surpassed the 1997 peak by 17.6 per cent, prompting the government to launch a string of measures to rein in the red-hot market.
"Property prices have shot up whenever we see devaluation of the US dollar as our assets become more affordable to overseas investors," Lau said. "As Hong Kong is an import economy, it will boost our inflation and encourage investors to buy properties as a way of hedging against rising inflation."
A case in point was the 26 per cent appreciation of the yuan against the US dollar over the past 10 years, which sparked a buying spree by mainlanders looking for new homes in the city and sent prices to new heights until the Hong Kong government imposed a 15 per cent buyer's stamp duty in October last year.
Andrew Lawrence, the managing director of real estate equities research at Malaysian investment bank CIMB Securities, said the impact of cheap housing credit could be seen by comparing property transaction volumes with mortgage approvals.
Before 2009, about 75 per cent of property transactions required a mortgage, yet following the drop in mortgage rates nearly every property transaction had been mortgage-funded, Lawrence said.
"Homeowners have become ever more reliant on debt to fund their property purchases," he said.
Mortgage interest rates have dropped to 2.3 per cent from a high of 10 per cent in 1990 and 2000.
Asked how Hong Kong property prices would be hit if the city abandoned the peg, Lawrence said the question was what currency it would be repegged to.
"It will most likely repeg to the yuan, which would mean we would have to adapt to the mainland's high interest rate," he said. "It would effectively impose a significant change in terms of interest rates."
But Lawrence said that was unlikely to happen until the yuan became fully convertible, and by then the Hong Kong dollar would be replaced by the yuan. "There will no Hong Kong dollar and we will be trading in yuan," he said.
This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as Currency link to blame for soaring property prices
Pursuit of fitness rather than just superficial beauty has paid off for 46-year-old
Sunday, 06 October, 2013, 1:55am
Alvin Sallay email@example.com
Beauty being skin deep, Anna Christianne Ho decided a long time ago that she would prefer to devote her energy towards having a truly healthy body instead of one just pretty on the surface. Ten years later, her efforts paid off when she won a silver medal at the Asian Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship in Vietnam last month.
Think bodybuilding and the stereotypical images are Arnold Schwarzenegger flexing his biceps and grunting "I'll be back", or of Lou Ferrigno bursting his shirt and turning green with rage. So, on the lookout for a ripped female giant, I was surprised when my subject walked into our Starbucks rendezvous rake-thin and with a mischievous smile on her face.
"Everyone expects a bodybuilder to be sprouting muscles but in my case it is more about muscle definition and tone, as I'm in one of the smaller weight categories," Ho says. "In Hong Kong, women are all generally of a smaller size and as such we compete in the model physique category or, like I do, in the athletic physique category."
If it was boxing, she would be competing in the lightest weight category. Weighing around 47 kilograms, Ho excelled in the Ho Chi Minh City event, which drew 350 contestants from 27 countries. She was just pipped to the gold by a Thai competitor.
"It was amazing. I only returned to Hong Kong from living abroad last year and I soon found myself in the thick of it all, winning a local competition. It was a great feeling to stand on the podium representing Hong Kong."
Bitten by the bug, she has now set her sights higher and will represent Hong Kong at next month's World bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championships in Budapest, Hungary, along with two other medal winners at the Asian competition - Josephine Yeung Ka-yin and Zico Hau Kin-man, bronze-medal winners in model physique and men's fitness respectively.
It all began for Ho, 46, soon after her second child was born 10 year ago. A yoga and fitness practitioner, she decided bodybuilding would suit her passion for healthy living.
"It is a lifestyle I chose. In Hong Kong, most women focus on beauty. They want to be thin rather than healthy," Ho said. "But being beautiful on the outside does not really help - what matters is to take care of your heart, lungs and other organs. A healthy workout is better than just paying attention to your skin."
As she is a physical trainer by profession, the healthy workout was readily available, and it was just a matter of taking the next step to become a bodybuilder.
"It's all about discipline, especially your diet. We bodybuilders have to be very careful about what we eat. While it is not so bad on a daily basis, when it comes closer to competition time, you have to make a lot of sacrifices, the biggest being water intake."
While she tries to cut down as much as possible on salt, sugar and oil in her normal diet - "I occasionally fry an egg with three drops of olive oil" - Ho as a habit drinks alkaline water ("it helps detox your body"), eats a lot of protein ("mainly fish") and maybe a slice of rye bread. A piece or two of dark chocolate is a treat and when she really wants to indulge, she will go for a piece of creamy Japanese cheesecake.
"If you train yourself and make it a habit, it becomes easy. If you have been eating dessert all your life, try to cut it by half, and then another half and before you know it the benefits will start showing."
Ten days before the Asian championships, Ho cut down her water intake drastically, making do with 800 millilitres a day to increase her muscle definition and "vascularity". "Your veins jut out and you become more ripped," she says.
A member of the Hong Kong China Bodybuilding Association, Ho admits her sport struggles with an image of being riddled with doping and steroids.
"Even though the sport is practised by a small handful and is overshadowed by drug scandals, the Hong Kong China Bodybuilding Association would like to raise awareness, not only of its health and fitness benefits but also so we can portray the correct body image which our vibrant population, especially the youth, should try to adopt," says Ho.
Ho stresses that she and all other athletes are constantly being monitored by the Hong Kong Anti-Doping Committee, and that they are clean.
"We have to undergo random urine tests taken out of competition and I'm pleased to say that we are all clean. This is all about living a healthy life and why would you want to dope yourself?" she says.
Jimmy's Kitchen has lost none of its old-world charm, writes Janice Leung Hayes
When it opened in 1924 in Shanghai, the restaurant we now know as Jimmy's Kitchen was named The Broadway Lunch. But it didn't take long for regulars to start calling it "Jimmy's", after its founder Jimmy James, a former US navy officer.
Four years after its hugely successful debut in Shanghai, Jimmy found a partner, Aaron Landau, to open a branch in Hong Kong. Although it was shut during the Japanese occupation from 1941-45, Jimmy's Kitchen in Hong Kong has survived for longer than the original, and is one of the oldest restaurants in the city. James closed the Shanghai flagship in 1948 (it was revived in 2010), but the Landaus kept the flag flying here.
The restaurant opened close to Hong Kong's ports, on Lockhart Road in Wan Chai, mostly serving sailors. In 1934, it moved to Theatre Lane in Central - this time with Aaron Landau's son, Leo, taking charge. It moved again in 1975, to Wyndham Street, where it remains.
The operation also expanded to Tsim Sha Tsui, with a branch on Hankow Road opening in 1969.
Its clientele were British and American navy and military officers, and later, as the military presence declined, expatriates.
Martin Ho Kwok-leung, began working at the TST branch, but is now the captain of Jimmy's Kitchen in Central. Ho started at a time when long lunches were the norm. "Our clients were mostly expats. They had wine with their lunch, then something stronger with their cheese at the end of a meal. They'd still be here at 4pm."
Nowadays, the lunch crowd has cleared out by 2pm, but Jimmy's old-world charm remains intact. "We renovated in 2006, but the decor has been preserved. For instance, the bar is still at the front," Ho says, gesturing to the wrought iron divider that separates the bar from the entrance.
The Western comfort food menu is largely unchanged, Ho says. "Many young diners don't know what some of the dishes are," he says. "I have to explain them."
Ho, 71, says the only thing that keeps him from retiring is his customers: "Some have been coming here for four generations. Others who have left Hong Kong call me as soon as they come back. It's truly heartwarming to see them."
Jimmy's Kitchen, South China Building, 1-3 Wyndham Street, Central. Tel: 2526 5293; Kowloon Centre, 29 Ashley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: 2376 0327. Open: Central, noon-3pm, 6pm-11pm; Kowloon, noon-2.30pm, 6pm-11pm
Will forger who has just started 12-year stretch said to be 'joyful' in his lucky cell No 7 and is happy with what God has in store for him
Friday, 19 July, 2013, 10:28am
Patsy Moy firstname.lastname@example.org
Prophecies, mystical numbers and holy voices have left jailed feng shui conman Peter Chan Chun-chuen "joyful" after his first two weeks behind bars - and he has already started writing a book, according to one of his visitors.
Chan, who recently renounced geomancy for Christianity, was not desperate to get out; rather the man jailed for 12 years for forging the will of the late billionaire Nina Wang Kung Yu-sum believes his fate is in God's hands. But he has filed an appeal.
Peter said he was completely satisfied with what God has arranged … and he has no immediate desire to leave Stanley
The friend who went to see him in Stanley Prison spoke to the South China Morning Post on condition of anonymity. "Peter said he was completely satisfied with what God has arranged … and he has no immediate desire to leave Stanley," his visitor said.
The friend described Chan, 53, as "joyful" after meeting many Christians in the prison who had prayed for him and comforted him, and he had not been ill-treated by other inmates. This is contrary to earlier reports that Chan was depressed and feared violence from other inmates.
According to the friend, Chan said he had been told in February by a prophet from India that God would prepare something "unusual" for him in July. Chan was sentenced to 12 years in jail on July 5 for forging a will he claimed was Wang's.
The friend described how the prophet was said to have stressed the importance of the number seven.
"Chan said that when he arrived at his cell, it was July 7 and 7pm. And the cell number? Seven.
"He told me that when he first stepped into the cell it was very dark and the light was not on. But inside it seemed very bright and a voice told him the No 7 cell would be his study to equip and prepare himself. "Peter told me he was very touched at that moment," the friend said.
Yesterday, the Correctional Services Department refused to disclose the number of Chan's cell, nor is it known on what day he was assigned to it.
Chan had another religious experience on his way to the prison, according to the friend.
"Peter recalled that when he was inside the prison van, the Holy Spirit had spoken to him to remind him to keep peace of mind," he said.
"The Holy Spirit told him that nothing was beyond his ability to shoulder and God had arranged a guiding angel to walk the path with him."
With leave to appeal yet to be granted, Chan told his friend he had started writing a book and planned to spend his time in prison studying theology, philosophy and English.
Chan, who picked up fung shui from a book, was once worth HK$2.7 billion after becoming Wang's fung shui guru and, the court heard, her lover.
Chan said Wang regularly gave him cash payments of between HK$300,000 and HK$1 million, boosted considerably by three mammoth payments of HK$688 million each.
Now he earns HK$70 a month gluing envelopes. His friend said he would get his first wage in the middle of next month and planned to spend the money on stamps so he could write to people, including his friends from the church.
The forged will made Chan - who was known as Tony before he became a Christian - sole beneficiary of Wang's HK$83 billion estate. But in a drawn-out legal case, Wang's Chinachem Charitable Foundation was ruled the real heir.
Tuesday, 18 June, 2013, 4:26am
Laura Zhou email@example.com
A young television anchor who exposed a philandering State Archives Administration official, has accused the Communist Party's General Office, where the man previously worked, of trying to cover up the scandal.
Ji Yingnan, a 25-year-old anchorwoman on the China Travel & Economic Channel, said yesterday the State Archives had passed on a message from the General Office asking her to "seek formal channels" to solve the case, instead of "expanding [negative] influence".
Ji said that exposing her affair with Fan Yue, a deputy director-general of the State Archives' policy and legal affairs office, had been her last option. "It forced me to leap out through the window and try the side door."
She posted details of the affair on her verified Sina Weibo microblog on Friday, saying Fan gave her 10,000 yuan (HK$12,500) daily, and bought her an Audi worth 700,000 yuan in late 2009 and a white Porsche worth more than 1.3 million yuan last summer. The posts were soon removed and she has been banned from microblogging - on Sina and Tencent - since Friday.
Ji said she tried "formal channels", for example, reporting the case to the party committee of the State Archives Administration, the secretariat bureau of the party's General Office and the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection in the past few months, but had been either blocked by security guards or had her reports ignored.
The Friday post sparked questions on how a mid-level official could fund such a lavish lifestyle.
Ji said that when they met in 2009, Fan told her that he managed an information technology firm in Beijing. She later discovered that he was a civil servant, but was told that he worked in a department that dealt with confidential affairs and was not allowed to tell her more.
State Archives Administration spokesman Guo Siping, who is also Fan's supervisor, told Xinhua that Fan had resigned, but "what the female whistle-blower described was not completely true, even though Fan did have problems", Zhongguowangshi, a Xinhua microblog reported yesterday. The post was later deleted and related report removed from the Xinhuanet.com news portal.
Calls to the State Archives went unanswered yesterday.
Monday, 10 June, 2013 [Updated: 4:57PM]
Clifford Lo firstname.lastname@example.org
Police are making a public appeal for help in tracing a 23-year-old mainland tourist who went missing in Hong Kong last Friday.
Huang Dongze left L’hotel in Yeung Uk Road, Tsuen Wan, last Friday at about 4:30pm with his parents but got separated from them, polce said on Monday morning.
Hours later, his family sought police help in finding him.
Huang, who came to Hong Kong on June 4 for a sightseeing trip, is about 1.78 metres tall, has a medium build and weighs 65 kilograms.
“He has a long face, yellow complexion and short black hair,” police said in a statement. He was last seen wearing a black T-shirt, black trousers and black sports shoes.
Anyone with information as to his whereabouts should contact the regional missing persons unit of New Territories South police at 3661 1171 or any police station.
In the case of another missing person, the body of a Hong Kong man, Ng Fei-chuen, 61, was found at a hillside near Nga Choy Hang Tsuen off Cape D’Aguilar Road in Shek O at about 12.30pm on Monday.
Police said their initial investigation found nothing suspicious.
Ng went missing after he left his home in North Point on Saturday.
Feng Shanshan won accolades when she returned home after becoming China’s first winner on the LPGA Tour, and now she returns to Locust Hill to defend her LPGA Championship, the second major of the season.
The 23-year-old Feng, coming off a runner-up finish in last week’s ShopRite LPGA Classic in New Jersey, will be trying to extend a streak of eight consecutive LPGA majors won by Asian players in the tournament beginning on Thursday.
Her LPGA Championship triumph in Pittsford, New York, thrust Feng into the spotlight.
She held a news conference at the airport upon her return to China, another one in Beijing and another in her hometown of Guangzhou and topping her list of “coolest things about being a major champion” came at a special awards ceremony in January.
“I was named best non-Olympic athlete in China,” Feng said ahead of Thursday’s opening round.
“I was sitting with so many of the Olympic players in China and I was the first golfer to be nominated. I think the government is paying more attention to golf.”
Feng had seven other top-10 finishes last year. This year, she has posted four top-10s from eight events and feels a switch to different clubs helped her to the runner-up finish last weekend and boosted her confidence.
“My iron shots were really accurate and my short game was pretty good. So I would say the clubs helped a lot,” the world number seven said.
Competition in the 144-player field will be keen, including a trio of South Korean winners of the last three major titles.
World number one Inbee Park, winner of this season’s opening grand slam, the Kraft Nabisco Championship, reigning US Women’s Open champion Choi Na-yeon, and British Women’s Open winner Jiyai Shin are eager to add more hardware on the testing Locust Hill layout.
“I don’t know whether I’m getting old, [but] the course is tougher,” said 24-year-old Park. “It’s a very tough golf course, very good, challenging. The rough is really up and the greens are really firmer than the years I’ve played before.”
American Stacy Lewis, winner of the 2011 Kraft Nabisco and the last non-Asian to win a major, is confident she can return to the winner’s circle.
“I feel like I’ve had chances, and I’ve been in contention, so it doesn’t weigh on me that much,” said world number two Lewis, who has won six times on tour since winning the Kraft.
“I feel like my game is made for majors and it’s only a matter of time.”
Australian Karrie Webb, who held off Feng to win last week’s LPGA event, showed she was still a threat to add to her major championships haul of seven.
“I guess I don’t look at the age thing,” said Webb. “I know what I’m capable of and I know that’s good enough to win out here.”
Feng showed she could win by charging back from three-shots out to win in her last visit Locust Hill, firing a final-round 67 for a two-stroke victory.
Despite the newfound attention, Feng said she has a way to go to match the popularity of Yani Tseng and Ai Miyazato in their home countries.
“Yani’s like a rock star in Taiwan. It’s like Ai Miyazato in Japan,” said Feng. “Me, in China, well, I still can have a hamburger in my hand and a Coke in my hand and eat on the street and nobody would recognise me.
“But of course, after we play better and better, of course more and more people will recognise us.”
Devil. Whale. Chlorophyll, Violante, Treacle — you name it, Hong Kong probably has someone who goes by it. Inquisitive, enterprising and...