Remember in May when Hong Kong Customs confiscated a Demosisto face-mask shipment for being labelled ‘Not made in China’? Now the Hong Kong government is freaking out about product labels saying the opposite.
You can’t win. The Hong Kong authorities demand that we identify with the glorious motherland if pan-dem radicals don’t, but insist on being militantly localist if the US wants us to be ‘Chinese’.
Commerce Secretary Edward Yau’s comments suggest he felt a need (or was ordered) to make a big fuss about this, but couldn’t scrape together the logic. factual arguments or anger necessary to sound at all convincing. (All he needs to say is ‘consumers think Mainland products are toxic garbage, so our manufacturers need to differentiate themselves’. Simple enough, you would think.)
One thing I’d like to know: what (genuinely) locally grown/manufactured/hand-crafted goods does our 95% services economy export to the US these days? Vitasoy comes to mind. Feel sorry for them having to degrade their brand as Mainland-made.
Meanwhile, a pollster deletes survey questions on the NatSec Law in case they infringe… the NatSec Law. This sounds ridiculously squeamish. Even the paranoid Leninists who drafted the law probably weren’t thinking of opinion polls much. Who needs a Gestapo when YouGove will do its job without being asked? HKFP notes the company ‘has interests in China’, surprise surprise. Another degraded brand.
Some interesting reading material for days beginning with ‘S’…
Didi Kirsten Tatlow at Sinopsis produces a short but thorough history of how the CCP has taken over Hong Kong. Co-option and influence-building extended into the police and triads way back. The process also made heavy use of United Front activities and the CPPCC, as seen in the large number of new civil society organizations founded since 1997. Seems obvious now, but few paid attention at the time. Rest of the world, take note…
This process of infiltrating, shadowing, then replacing – in essence, repurposing – can be likened to a long, silent coup, with the state security law the final flourish. Into the old bottle of Hong Kong’s imperfect, developing political system, which dates from the late colonial years, the CPC has poured an even older wine – itself.
Or perhaps a better analogy would be the spores that invade insect larvae and slowly consume the innards until all that’s left is a caterpillar-shaped fungus.
An interview with the venerable Anne Stevenson-Yang on shorting crappy Chinese companies. How will the migration of listings from New York to Hong Kong affect this shooting-fish-in-a-barrel business?
And the equally venerable Joe Studwell (Asia’s Godfathers) links to an extremely economics-heavy paper by World Bank Group, and summarizes it as saying ‘China isn’t going to take over the world, or indeed anything close’. It’s all about productivity (plus some demographics): the reforms China needs to boost real economic growth are mainly institutional and would reduce the CCP’s grip on power – so they won’t happen.
Hate the stuff, personally – but Sixth Tone explains how China learned to like milk.