This week’s Why Didn’t I Think of That Award goes to the geniuses who marked Yuen Long 7-21 yesterday by tying banners onto helium-filled balloons and let them drift up to the utterly inaccessible ceiling of the shopping mall – while cops ran helplessly around below with their purple anti-thought-crimes banner…
A good thread on whether Beijing’s foreign-policy aggressiveness is offensive or defensive – or a self-fulfilling prophecy: the world is out to get us, therefore we must be obnoxious. [Update: account mysteriously vanished.]
Much of the world is now actively turning against Xi Jinping’s China, with Hong Kong and Covid the tipping point. (The two are linked if, as many suspect, the emperor-for-life saw global distraction over Covid as an ‘opportunity’ to impose formal direct rule over Hong Kong.)
Germany and the Euro-weenies are still besotted with China as a lovey-dovey trade ‘partner’ deserving of kowtows. Canadian leaders seem to enjoy being kicked in the teeth by their CCP counterparts. And even some anti-Trump liberals are nervous about a Biden administration doing a ‘reset’ back to Obama-era indulgence of Beijing. But apart from some riffraff client regimes (Cambodia, Pakistan), China faces a distrustful and even hostile world.
The US leads the international reaction with ‘normalization’ of Hong Kong trade relations and signing of Hong Kong Autonomy Act. Mostly symbolic so far (the stock market shrugged), but it could cover things like air services and double-taxation agreements. Most of all, the possibility of sanctions against Chinese and Hong Kong officials (and their families, and their banks) is, let’s say, mouth-watering.
US Attorney-General William Barr slams Disney, Google and other US corporate giants for kowtowing to the CCP. And the US issues a long-overdue statement on the South China Sea, essentially backing the internationally recognized convention whereby countries have 200-mile EEZs and no nation can claim sovereignty over the high seas beyond. US officials in the region also accuse China of undermining its neighbours’ sovereignty. You know you’ve done something right when Chinese diplomats say you’re doing disgusting things and showing a selfish, hypocritical, contemptible, and ugly face.
A few months ago, one pro-Beijing business type told me post-Brexit Britain would have no choice but to grovel to China for economic ‘cooperation’. He is now puzzled about what is happening. The UK seems to have finally decided to extricate itself from Huawei-infested 5G networks (and anyway Taiwan’s TSCM will no longer supply semiconductors to the Chinese firm). London is opening immigration routes for Hongkongers. And the UK government is talking of sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials in response to the Xinjiang genocide (or whatever) and the NatSec Law.
As I say, sanctions on local establishment figures would be a delight to behold. By all accounts, some of them are nervous (they all have family and property in Western countries). Couldn’t happen to a nice bunch of people.
Ultra-detailed and exhaustive list of recommendations on how the West can punish the CCP from research group China SignPost – this is hardcore Panda-persecution porn.
On a more relaxing note – ever tried painting in watercolours? It’s seriously tricky. Here’s a ‘quick sketch’ the SCMP’s graphics guy dashed off at Pui O beach recently (including 30-second time-lapse version).