So many excitements still to come: Mainland extradition (the denouement), the imprisonment of Benny Tai and friends (or not), National Anthem compulsory-adoration laws, the ever-toxic Article 23 (risen from the grave) – and of course the Lantau Trillion Dollar Reclamation.
A letter to the editor today brings this one back to mind: What will they fill the sea in with, where will they get it, and how much will it cost?
Yet again, I get this nagging feeling that this absurd idea isn’t going to happen and isn’t really intended to happen. The sheer misallocation of resources – half a trillion bucks-plus for land, thousands of square miles of which already exists around and about. Otherwise known as opportunity cost (think what else you can do with the money). We could buy half of Zhuhai for that, and not have to plunder half the sand in south China. And as with all the Excitements-still-to-come, Beijing makes the final decisions. Surely, the Communist Party is too devious to blow so much cash (which is ultimately at its disposal) on something so pointless. So why does everyone have to go through this long-drawn-out Let’s Pretend this is Real drama?
I declare the damp-looking weekend open with some mainly-dry reading.
If you want to stay awake worrying about the global economy, here’s the extended gloom-and-doom outlook. (Sample: “To be blunt, the idea that a propped currency which Chinese citizens feel compelled to stuff in their underwear as they board a plane, just so they can convert it to anything but RMB, might somehow become a ‘reserve currency’ is delusional.”)
A long look at China’s elite-capture style of economic diplomacy in Central/Eastern Europe (including lots on Patrick Ho’s friends CEFC in the Czech Republic).
And not-so-elite capture – what’s happening to Yang Hengjun, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, by someone who’s been there.
Onto language, with all you wanted to know about parallelisms – like the Three Intenselys (intensely annoying, intensely irritating, intensely wearisome) – repetitive CCP-phrases, or ‘the rhythm, music and dance of loyalty’.
And for history fans, the CCP’s deep-rooted fear of overseas Chinese movements like Sun Yat Sen’s.
Same place China got theirs for all those massive military outposts in the SE sea
For the weekend
_ _ _
Where you and I would hike before
Through verdant trees and grass
And join with monkey, snake, and boar:
New flats and shopping malls arise
Which pierce the grey and misty skies,
And cars and buses pass.
Countryside no more.
A Colony once stood up proud,
With hope and promise packed,
A skilful and hardworking crowd.
It doesn’t look so fine today,
A city in the Greater Bay
Where independent act
No longer is allowed.
And yet the flat where I reside,
The streets and shops around,
Were built on ancient countryside;
And so the things that seem so strange,
The gradual, slow, unwelcome change,
The shifting of the ground,
Can almost be denied.
Where have you been this past decade? OF COURSE we are going to throw billions of dollars into the sea. If the tycoons are going to sit and clap through Xi Jinping’s increasingly paranoiac intrusions that give even them the heebie-jeebies, they’ll want paying off.
What else are they going to do with themselves after the world’s most expensive railway and the world’s most pointless bridge have been completed?
And what else is the government going to do with all that cash? Help old people?
When did BigLychee become a depository for Hallmark verse ?
Cassowary nails it, as usual, although I think the motivation to make bank will be combined with terrified, enthusiastic obedience of the Emperor’s perceived or anticipated desires by anyone connected with officialdom.
We seem to be at a point where there’s almost no limit to the Middle Kingdom’s hubris. It will be interesting to see where all this ends up.