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

Mathew Y.H. Wong, Ying ho Kwong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-222
Number of pages17
JournalAsia Pacific Viewpoint
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • bureaucracy
  • government-business relations
  • Hong Kong
  • political trust
  • weather warning systems


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