The weekend links, better late than never…
It seems rather odd to call yourself a Catholic and then arrest your Cardinal.
And Catholic Culture on the Vatican’s lame response to the arrest of Cardinal Zen. (Would anyone expect otherwise? Like Western big banks, luxury brands and universities, the Catholic church has invested too much in the Chinese dream to admit they’ve been co-opted and are being used.)
A HKFP guide to Hong Kong’s micro-media – small-scale Chinese-language journalistic outlets.
An example for the Vatican? WHO boss Tedros upsets his old buddies in Beijing after criticizing their zero-Covid policy (CNN story), highlighting China’s love-hate relationship with foreigners’ opinions. China Media Project says…
On the one hand, the foreign voice is the truly authoritative voice, giving credibility to the claims of those in power … Behind this odd complex is the unfortunate fact that China has few truly credible voices – for the simple reason that its journalists and intellectuals cannot speak their minds. Propaganda reports brim with cherry-picked quotes from opposition politicians in Europe, “foreign scholars” and self-proclaimed experts of such dubious origin that their ideas can only be found in China Daily or on CGTN … whose odd remark can be plucked out of context like a bright piece of pro-China confetti.
Also from CMP, all you ever wanted to know about the vintage CCP phrase ‘persistence is victory’.
The Chinese embassy in Prague tries to get the Czechs to cancel an exhibition by dissident artist Badiucao.
…domestic financial conditions are such that China is still unlikely to have a financial crisis or a sharp economic contraction. It is much more likely, in my opinion, that the country will face a very long, Japan-style, period of low growth.
SupChina interview with Anne Stevenson-Yang. A lot of skepticism, but here’s a relatively brighter point for investors…
In the U.S., you can, not to mention any names, but let’s say have a best-selling electric car, and basically be somebody who doesn’t have any idea about how to do business. But in China, you can’t run a cigarette stand without being a genius, because everything is so hard. So the companies that have developed distribution channels and good brand equity, you really have to think those are solid companies that should be invested in and rewarded.
Quartz looks at how expansion of maternity leave in China looks like a way to get women out of the workplace into full-time child-producing.
Manuel L Quezon III in Asia Sentinel on the return of a Marcos to power in the Philippines.
For a few months around 1985-86, I shared an apartment in Sau Kei Wan with a couple of Filipino activists who had fled the Marcos regime. She was very pregnant and their Hong Kong visas had run out, so they were panicking. Then came the EDSA Revolution. They went to the Immigration Dept and got a week’s grace to go back home. A few weeks later, I went to see them in a cozy little Pasay City slum. A friend of theirs had helped take over Malacanang Palace after the Marcoses fled, and we went for a tour – Imelda’s shoes, horrendous boudoir, water-cooler-style bottle of Chanel perfume, etc.
Of course, Filipinos cheerfully and enthusiastically vote for crooks at most elections – but it’s still absurd that they would pick another Marcos. Quezon mentions…
…the skillful deployment of propaganda geared not at changing the minds of the generations that had ousted [the Marcos clan], but instead, focusing on younger generations.
On to gullible fools in the First World – David Gerard in FP on the latest crypto crash. Monopoly money ‘backed’ by more Monopoly money. It’s fascinating from a sociological/psychological point of view to see so many people suckered into taking this ideological/quack-economics fad seriously. Simple rule: for ‘cryptocurrency’/’bitcoin’/’tether’/etc read ‘dog turds’, and for ‘blockchain’ read ‘almost certainly bullshit’. You won’t go wrong…
…the cryptocurrency bubble has been so full of irrational exuberance that a token created yesterday can claim to be worth something just for existing, and you can pay people in your made-up token.