Another week, another Hong Kong political party

Behold the Third Side Middle Road Moderation Movement, founded by some not very Stan-Ex-Demsexciting people eased out of the Democratic Party for wanting a more conciliatory approach to Beijing and being willing to work with the local administration. According to the South China Morning Post

[Nelson] Wong, vice-convenor of Third Side’s preparatory committee, said: “As a middle-of-the-road political party, we welcome dialogue with whoever is willing to talk, be they the Beijing authorities, the pan-democrats, or the pro-establishment people.”

He also said they would have no problem accepting government appointments.

“That is a way we can influence governance,” said Wong.

Tik [Chi-yuen], convenor of the preparatory committee, said: “Being a middle-of-the-road party is not easy. The pan-democrats will say you are pro-establishment and the pro-establishment will say you are of the opposition camp.”

“So long as the donations are not conditional … we will not refuse any donations.”

So far, so On The Make. In Hong Kong’s stunted and deformed political system, parties can never form an administration. The disciplined DAB/FTU Communist Party front exists to mobilize the masses. The other groups serve mainly as platforms for personalities – either eternally idealistic pro-democracy campaigners or opportunistic/grasping pro-government sleazebags. There are more chiefs than Indians, and it is amazing that new groupings do not spring up daily rather than weekly.

But let’s look at Third Side’s other supporters. They include Shih Wing-ching, boss of Centaline real estate agency (and one-time student radical), an academic from the private Shue Yan University, and a boss from Hung Fook Tong herbal tea company.

The wealthy Shih is also connected with Path to Democracy, founded by Ronnie Tong, who left the Civic Party out of a desire for a more conciliatory blah blah etc. Shue Yan University has (through its founders and leadership) impeccable pre- and post-colonial establishment credentials. As a trusted Chinese-medicine brand, Hung Fook Tong does nicely out of the Mainland-shopper phenomenon.

Joining these dots, it is not too fanciful to imagine that Beijing’s locally based officials are pulling some strings here. We might think they have better things to do with their time
than divide and rule the hapless mainstream pro-democracy camp by nurturing obscure and desperate-looking rival bands of wishy-washy losers. But that would be to underestimate their obsessive loathing for the pro-democrats. This is one small battle in a vast war between the Communist one-party state and the hostile global forces that seek to contain China.

Which brings us neatly to the ‘One Belt, One Road’ vision-project thing.

Reading between the waffle and the slogans, this Chinese policy seems to be a cynical plan to export the country’s construction and infrastructure overcapacity while hooking backwater-nations and crooked regimes from Laos to Pakistan to Bezerkistan into becoming malleable tributary states, prostituting their resources and geopolitical position to the Middle Kingdom.

I recently met a pro-establishment figure who had apparently been at some sort of Beijing-organized ‘One Belt, One Road’ familiarization study group, where he had been converted with a vengeance. He assured me that I was barely scratching the surface.

The purpose, he said, was to ‘fence America out’ of the whole region stretching from the Western Pacific across Central Asia and possibly up to Eastern Europe, including the Indian Ocean. He assumed every other regional nation would relish this prospect. At one point, he excitedly compared China today with Japan before World War II, which I took to mean wishing/needing to free itself from dependence on Western powers for raw materials through expansionism. In his enthusiasm, he didn’t notice my shock or disbelief. He was getting to the climax of this sinister side of the China Dream: the really, really big deal, he concluded, was the replacement of the US Dollar as the world’s major currency.

I put it down to Communist officials’ talent for spreading inspirational messages among its more gullible, eager-to-please followers. But then I read this scariness, in which a PLA major-general presents a Party gathering with his thoughts on Taking Over the Planet.

It’s pretty lengthy. Essentially, the guy has read up on the last century of international currency arrangements, noted a link between the US Dollar’s value and global upheavals, and concluded that the US systematically arbitrages on its control of both the world’s currency and its political and economic events. In other words, he is convinced that the US is not only powerful and devious but smart enough to micromanage the coming and going of international wars, revolutions and economic crises in order to manipulate its currency and rip off other countries. For all I know, trendy Trotskyites, anti-Jewish banker freaks and others would agree. But here’s the point: rather than denouncing this evil Yankee conspiracy against humanity, the major-general simply says that it is now China’s turn.

I look forward to Third Side announcing their position on “One Belt, One Road’ some time.

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30 Responses to Another week, another Hong Kong political party

  1. Big Al says:

    I would imagine that the Third Side position on the road part of “One Belt, One Road” would be the median planting strip.

  2. Gin Soaked Boy says:

    Surprised that remarks by Michael DeGolyer (remember him) have gone largely un-noticed. Sitting in splendid retirement, he has predicted the “likely break-up of the pan-democratic movement” citing fall-out from Occupy.

  3. anon says:

    YUK! Dare one ask: What-on-earth makes you so unforgivingly BITTER towards China…!? What on earth did China (or is it Chinese people?) do to you…??

  4. Stephen says:

    You would have thought that the Pro-Dems would have realised by now that they had to unite under one party and eventually a charismatic popular leader would come to the fore. The CCP would eventually have to engage with this new Pro Dem Leader and a quid-pro-quo could be found. Along the lines of “butt out of China affairs and we will do our best to butt out of Hong Kong affairs”. But no they fracture further. However time is probably on their side as ‘Dada Xi’ will be in power until 2022, and he has no interest in democracy, so best pin your hopes on the next CCP leader. How old will the boy Joshua be in 2022 ?

    NB Prior to reading your excellent site I often take a look at HKFP so imagine my horror at seeing a puff piece on Allen Semen. If you’re going to interview him do it properly and challenge the inane, contradictory self-interest, dribble that come out of his discredited gob.

  5. Nimby says:

    Xi’s no Maoist. For all the wrong reasons, I’m starting to look fondly on the old style Maoist, who like Stalin, saw communism as a vehicle for nationalism. The two of them put away/did in most of the Trotskyism and other internationalist.

    Now we have the CCP promoting neo-Confucianism(?), which does not recognise ether the concept of civil-space or the concept of the nation-state, which one would at first think goes against everything the CCP has stood for, particularly it’s fevered ethnic nationalism. However if one just drops the “nationalism” and recognizes the “ethnic” issue is key, the the CCP believes (or dreams the world will believe) it is truly the modern inheritor of the dynastic system. We’re all just savages waiting for the gift of “true civilization”.

    Basically those 5 dashed lines in the South China Sea are just temporary placeholders, and once enough lebensraum is secured, the 1 to 2 child policy will be given the boot. That should make the Catholics happy… for a short while.

  6. reductio says:

    @anon

    Well, I can’t see inside Hemlock’s head but I guess it’s something to do with how the communist party in China is day by day making Hong Kong a generally less pleasant place to live. This is linked to China being a totalitarian, xenophobic, nationalistic one party state, deeply corrupt, suspicious of its own people, with limited personal freedoms, and a crap legal system. Something like that I guess.

  7. Chris Maden says:

    You missed the best bit of the general’s article. He reckons that the Senkaku Island, Scarborough Reef, Vietnamese oil rig disputes and – really – the timing of Occupy Central are all engineered by the US to “harvest” interest.

    Which, as the PRC was the instigator in all cases, really says something…

  8. LRE says:

    The Turd Side brings to mind Desmond Tutu’s words:

    “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

  9. stinky foot says:

    Oh no, not Major-General Qiao Liang who has been writing about this for over 15 years ( and only been promoted once). Recently (just before Xi’s State visit to the US he moderated his views a tad), saying Taiwan is not a ‘core’ concern of the PRC (all you newbees can buy his books on Amazon or look for all the free translations online). Well, Hou yeah for that bit of dissembling. Actually, besides the propaganda value, I’m surprised he hasn’t been caught in the anti-corruption scandals for exposing state secrets. If any country besides the great ‘hegemon’ needs to be concerned is India that China’s cyber-warriors have targeted for the past half year. The CCP alliance with Pakistan goes back to when they were angry with the Russians in Afghanistan (because of Russia’s support of the N. Viets who were killing the Chinese at the border). How times have changed; or have they? Since then, weapon sales and-wait for it-the Chinese controlled port at Gwador in the great sucking noise of energy control that means a one-way spigot to the greediest energy consumer on the planet.

  10. Cassowary says:

    The appeal of conspiracy theories is that the idea that the whole world is being manipulated by maniacally brilliant and malevolent forces is more comforting that the reality that the world is ugly, messy, disorganized and unpredictable. The American government is just not that smart. I mean, if you believe that they deliberately engineered the Arab Spring, you’d have to admit they’re kind of blowing this whole world domination thing. But control freaks (a category which surely includes authoritarian regimes) don’t like to think about failure, it all must be part of some nefarious plan.

  11. Joe Blow says:

    I appreciate the Turd Side’s (good one !) honesty: ‘we accept appointments and we welcome donations’. With other words: we are in it for cushy jobs and a free lunch. Yep: fit for politics.

    I hear that Saint Christine is going to be their patron saint.

  12. Red Dragon says:

    Anon,

    I think you’ve got it arse-backwards.

    It’s not about what Red China and those willing dupes called the “Chinese people” HAVE DONE to Hemlock; it’s about what Hemlock fears that those sanguinary, power-obsessed, commie ethno-nationalists WILL DO to all of us in the future. And lest you think me paranoid, just ask the Tibetans and the Uyghurs for a few pointers on the manifold benefits to be derived from Han Middle Kingdomism.

    We all need to be very afraid of this mob, and to do whatever little we can to thwart their increasingly alarming schemes. What pisses me off is the fact that it was greedy western capitalists that gave the buggers a leg-up in the first place. Talk about making a rod for your own back.

  13. stinky foot says:

    @Cassowary. Yes indeed. You read it online all the time. The Übermensch mentality via Nietzsche. Cognitive dissonance.

  14. stinky foot says:

    @Nimby, are you sure about your analysis? Xi is a Maoist marxist and has in his writings made that clear. He and Bo Xilai are two sides of the same coin. Who will win? Not Bo (overtly Stalinist), but that does not mean that they are different in perspective and policy implementation. The whole ethnic/confucianism meme is soft power re: Confucian Institutes established world-wide. Nationalism is the key driver. That is why HK people do not embrace CY and protest against the abrogation of of the Basic Law.

    The South China Sea initiative and policy is not just a ‘place-holder’. It is a blatant expression of territorial expropriation. That runs contrary to UNCLOS . Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia may disagree and Maoism cum Confucianism is just not on the ethnic menu.

  15. @anon – you don’t live in Hong Kong, do you? Or you wouldn’t need to ask. No, it’s not about Chinese people (I’m married to one) – it’s about a brutal totalitarian state that is trying to eliminate every freedom we enjoy here.

  16. And by the way we’ve seen an alternative to the US dollar as the world’s currency before – the Euro. That sure worked out well, didn’t it?

  17. Joe Blow says:

    @Outside: sorry to correct you but the Euro was not devised to be an alternative to the US dollar.

  18. Knownot says:

    In the late 80s I read an interview with a Japanese businessman, elated by his country’s success, giving his vision of the future.
    “Arabia will be our oil-well. Australia will be our coal-mine and our mineral supplier. America will be our customer.”
    The interviewer, a European, said, “What about us?”
    “Europe will be our boutique.”
    He wasn’t being completely serious but still, it was
    Hubris.

    In 2015 I read an interview with a Chinese official, elated by his country’s success, giving his vision of the future.
    He was completely serious, and it was
    Hubris.

  19. Laguna Lurker says:

    Major-General Qiao Liang, like many of his CCP cohorts, is clearly a paranoid fantasist. He writes:

    “Why did the Americans fight a war in Iraq? Many people would answer, ‘For oil.’ However, did the Americans truly fight for oil? No. If they indeed fought for oil, why didn’t they take a single barrel of oil out of Iraq?”

    The truth is that between March 2003, when the US invaded Iraq, and December 2011, when it withdrew its troops, the Iraqi puppet regime exported no less than 1.89 billion barrels of oil to the US.

    See: http://1.usa.gov/1soAFzX

  20. Qian Jin says:

    @”Reading between the waffle and the slogans, this Chinese policy seems to be……. hooking backwater-nations and crooked regimes from Laos to Pakistan to Bezerkistan into becoming malleable tributary states, …………to the Middle Kingdom.

    Well what’s the problem? Historically for centuries many of these counties always were. “No change” . Remember?

    The U.S. is also trying to accomplish this on an even larger global scale. Did you hear Obama yesterday at the UN? Basically “We value peace for all people and all nations and will not hesitate to use force whenever necessary to ensure our interests are not threatened”. And this guy won the Nobel Peace prize.

  21. Nimby says:

    Stinky Foot A rose by any other name. Everyone in the CCP is a Maoist, until they aren’t. Mao was a Stalinist & Nationalist, Xi’s China Dream, particularly before the CCP organs loaded their own freight onto it it is a spectacularly neo-Confucianism dogma, and about as transparent as the Analects. No Stalinist perversion of economics as engineering here, hardly a word of economics at all.

  22. stinky foot says:

    @ Nimby, Obviously, you have not attended the PRC’s NDRC. Neo-Cofucianism is just part of the ‘Hybrid’ strategy to draw in a defunct and disfunctional ‘intellectual’ elite who ‘hope’ they can ameliorate the Marxist state (for the glory of Chinese ‘civilization’). Xi, like Bo (whom he defeated) is in the Stalinist mode. Read Xi’s book. His China ‘dream’ is a dissembling but revealing about economics. But then look at actions not words. let’s look at the PBOC and the other managers of the economy to date. Can you insist that this has nothing to do with Xi?

  23. @Joe Blow – I know that wasn’t its only purpose, but a lot of people latched onto the idea that it could be used as such. And since the majority of international trade is settled in US dollars, it was certainly intended to take over that role within Europe.

  24. Nimby says:

    Stinky Foot If you attended the NDRC, then your answer isn’t unexpected, but irrelevant. If you have not, then I think Cassowary’s 5:31 reply will do, just as you’ve completely missed the point about “temporary”.

  25. stinky foot says:

    @Nimby, I see you have missed the point of my response to Cassowary. Never mind. We shall agree to disagree. It is irrelevant until it isn’t. Actions my friend, not words.

  26. stinky foot says:

    @ Nimby. Meh indeed. Read it in June. Food for thought from intelligent commentators but so what? I never said it was a return to the Maoist era. You implied that. What I heard was a 1950s redux to Stalinist central planning vs reform, subtle differences and just a sliver of difference between the two. Confucianism, neo or not, is dead. Deal with it.

  27. Nimby says:

    Stinky Foot Man, (Woman, It?) you ‘ve got serious dyslexia if you read what I wrote as saying China’s going Maoist, that’s 180 off course. Perhaps the odor from your feet is messing with your brain, or the talc you’ve been using to treat your disorder has so much arsenic in it that you’ve gone for a loop. Seek help, and fast.

  28. stinky foot says:

    You are seriously idiotic and I guess I hit the mark. Got a problem? Your response is so a cry for help. Have no substantive arguments? Well, you have removed any doubt that you have anything ‘substantive’ to say. Good luck with that. Ad hominem is so comforting. Do you feel better? Do your comments make you a better person? I know you are being sarcastic but maybe you should check the lead in your water. Just a friendly public health warning.
    Good luck, my friend.

  29. stinky foot says:

    I see my response has been deleted. The gist was that your as hominem attack is weakness on your part. No substance and little grace. Not even clever. I suppose in your superior wisdom you think this exonerates you from having to defend your position. Never mind, I’m sure you will have ample opportunity to repeat your pathetic performance. let’s see if this is removed.

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