Mid-summer break

Next week will take place in Taiwan – a country that’s so nice it attracts almost mawkish adoration. One of the many great achievements of China’s Chairman-of-Everything-for-Life Xi Jinping and his last-seen-comatose Hong Kong punchbag Carrie Lam is to bring about more mutual awareness between the traditionally distant Hong Kong and Taiwan peoples.

And they are socially and culturally apart. Hong Kong has its Cantonese heritage with British-colonial and international influences, while Taiwan is Austronesian and ex-Fujianese, with Japanese-colonial influence and more recent Mainland-colonial/KMT-police-state imprints. Apart from the basic Sinic characteristics like religion and written script, there’s not much overlap (consider the contrast between Hong Kong’s frenzied obsession with wealth and Taiwan’s plainer appreciation of real life).

The irony is that it’s the CCP’s intolerance and dictatorial insistence that both places are identical and uniform extensions of its sterile Leninist Mainland empire that’s bringing the two closer.

Thus… Hong Kong is sending a warning to Taiwan and undermining Beijing’s ‘One Country Two Systems’ vision to the extent that the two places are feeding each other’s anti-China sentiment.

OK – so next week will probably be mainly about food.

Some links in the meantime…

In Foreign Policy: Ich Bin Ein Hongkonger – is the city becoming the West Berlin of the new Cold War? Good headline!

How an independent enquiry into protests and police could help Hong Kong restore harmony and government legitimacy (hey – worth a try). The problem is that Beijing is clearly in charge now, and even if the local administration had the brain cells to do ‘reconciliation’, it wouldn’t be allowed to. See also calls for let’s-get-real-this-time action on reforming the political structure or addressing livelihood issues: the more glaringly obvious the solutions to Hong Kong’s problems, the less compatible they are with Beijing’s big-picture absorption agenda.

And so we wait to see which can outlive the other: the CCP, or free HK/Taiwan.

Here’s the latest in a succession of articles concluding that China’s problems are greater than Western observers realize. As growth slows, China’s strategy for contending with the middle-income trap has been to try to gnaw off its civil society limb.

An extract from Richard McGregor’s Xi Jinping: The Backlash on how the West misinterpreted Xi’s attitude to the private sector. And a review of the book that doesn’t totally agree with the idea of Xi as sole and prime mover.

Probably back on Friday. I declare the weekend open with Meme of the Day

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10 Responses to Mid-summer break

  1. Chinese Netizen says:

    I’ll be going to the independent and free nation of Taiwan for my fix next month in all its glorious heat and humidity, but it’ll be well worth it!

  2. old git says:

    Tsai Ing-wen says ‘friends from Hong Kong’ will be considered for asylum on humanitarian grounds

  3. Carrie's Flaring Up Beaver says:

    Ah, so you are going to Chinese Taipei to extract the hooligans and anti-state mongrels and bring them kicking and screaming back to the Hoosgau? Courage, comrade!

  4. On the Carrie Lam says:

    Further strengthening ties with Taiwan, there are reports that up to 30 of the LegCo stormers are seeking political asylum there. The MAC maintain plausible deniability about it, “refusing to comment on individual cases”

  5. On the Carrie Lam says:

    I’m a day behind — there’s a further 60 applying today, according to Apple Daily

  6. Cassowary says:

    Explosives and thugs, how convenient. There might be something to the curfew rumours after all.

  7. Headache says:

    You picked a fetch time to go on holiday.

  8. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Cassowary: That seemed almost too convenient. Not only explosives but political leaflets from anti establishment forces all in one neat package for the police!! Could it be the C I A?????

  9. Mary Melville says:

    The ‘black hands’ who initiate violence at the protests and the thugs in Yuen Long are more than likely two sides of the same coin.
    Is it too far fetched to consider that Hong Kong is an unwitting ploy in a Beijing power struggle?

  10. Four O'Clock Blow Sir says:

    Guess who is going to be on the cover of ‘Jessica’ magazine next week? Yes, it’s your favorite ‘conservative commentator’. Call now for booking appointments.

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