China’s Chairman of Everything-for-Life Xi Jinping does not warmly encourage challenging debate about his government’s policies. But in recent months, a few dissenting voices – economists, a former official, Deng Xiaoping’s son – have been making themselves heard.
The latest, a state think-tank guy, uses suitably tactful language but echoes the basic complaint: Xi’s domestic centralization, overseas assertiveness and fundamental counter-reformism is against China’s interests. The Leninist instinct threatens economic stagnation at home and hostility abroad.
Xi, who may be a greater (and more slickly packaged) fantasist than Trump, meanwhile claims it’s the rest of the world that is at a crossroads.
This leaves the International Society of Panda-hugging Shoe-shiners looking increasingly dated. Take the Davos chapter: a recent World Bank paper on Belt and Road provokes mirth as a gratuitous grovel-fest (quick and snarky summary here).
The backlash is getting to the point where we must seriously consider boycotting Putonghua.
A few mid-week links. David Webb has a go at Hong Kong’s Companies Registry, which is making gargantuan monopoly profits from selling access to what should be freely available public records and, in so doing, facilitating fraud and money-laundering – a confluence of outcomes that you may consider a bizarre and unfortunate coincidence, or not (I couldn’t possibly comment).
And a couple of stateside diversions…
Remember the Hanfu movement, where historical-fantasy cosplay meets racial supremacism? I never realized that fake authentic traditional cultural revivalism also lay behind ye olde square dancing, Henry Ford’s wholesome Anglo-Saxon antidote to the Jewish jazz menace.
And with cryptocurrencies now giving off a stench like rotting tulip bulbs, aficionados of wacky pseudo-investments might like to check out the Donald Trump fans who believe Iraqi dinars will reach parity or more with the dollar, with help from God.