A plethora of mid-week links…

More here and here on the kids suspended for skipping the school flag-raising, and the UN criticizes the sentencing of minors on subversion charges – appetizers before moving on to Nikkei Asia’s piece on Hong Kong’s uphill struggle to ‘tell its story well’ by despatching overseas delegations…

Many were taken aback. “The DAB visit [to Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand in September] was actually met with resistance within the civil service because, by convention, the government does not help non-executive politicians in their overseas visits,” said a former senior government official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “It also creates a precedent … but it’s a political order from the top in government.”

(Historically, many Southeast Asian countries have had problems with supporters of the CCP. But leaving that aside – would you send DAB lawmakers anywhere to enhance your image? Maybe the members of Mirror turned the job down.)

The article adds an optimistic note…

…The removal of quarantine, some say, could be an opportune moment to restore a semblance of autonomy, or at least counter the perception that Hong Kong’s policies are set in Beijing’s halls of power.

A nod to the ‘semblance of autonomy’ theory from Samuel Bickett, who thinks the local ‘Article 23’ NatSec Law is being delayed to soothe concerns of overseas business.

You can see the logic – it may well be that local officials feel the time to push Article 23 is not exactly ripe. But there is an underlying assumption here that a) Beijing’s officials care about overseas business, and b) overseas businesses care about NatSec stuff.

CY Leung bemoans the ignorance of foreign investors…

“Not only do they not know [enough about Hong Kong], they have plenty of misunderstandings or superficial knowledge. Or they were misled, because of smearing campaigns by overseas media and politicians about what’s really happening in Hong Kong,” Leung said.

In an AP report on the Russian plutocrat-owned yacht in Hong Kong, Chief Executive John Lee responds to questions about whether he is paid in cash…

“The second thing about the so-called sanction imposed on people in Hong Kong without justification, it is a very barbaric act, and I’m not going to comment on the effect of such barbaric act, because officials in Hong Kong do what is right to protect the interests of the country, and the interests of Hong Kong, so we will just laugh off the so-called sanctions,” Lee said.

That’s ‘so called’ cash.

ASPI Strategist on how things aren’t going to plan for Xi Jinping…

The tide turns against China’s helmsman, domestically and internationally.

One bad period doesn’t negate all China has achieved since Xi took office in 2012, yet the power meter blips. This is not the 2022 that Xi ordered—a masterfully staged Beijing Olympics was supposed to be followed by a calm, ordered progress to the 20th National Party Congress.

The CCP gathers to bury the collective leadership model and remove all checks on Xi as China staggers on through Covid-19 lockdowns.

For years, hard-headed realists have doubted that China will displace the US as the world’s number-one economy. It’s all about compounding: if 2% of something big is more than 5% of something smaller, the smaller thing growing at 5% a year will never catch up with the bigger one growing at 2% a year. A China Project report… 

Due to low real growth in China, modest inflation and sharp depreciation of the yuan, the gap between China’s and the U.S.’s GDP will jump from $5.3 trillion in 2021 to an estimated $8.3 trillion,” tweeted National University of Singapore professor and former World Bank China chief Bert Hofman on September 29.

“This is the single most mind blowing statistic I have read about China’s slowing economy and its effect on U.S.-China relative economic heft: The dollar’s rise is outpacing Chinese growth, so China’s economy will SHRINK in U.S. dollar terms this year,” tweeted Martin Chorzempa, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, responding to Hofman’s prediction.

Another prophecy that came true, and was probably self-fulfilling: ‘the West is plotting to contain China’…

China’s containment conspiracy theories finally came true, however, when the Biden administration announced its Oct. 7 semiconductor export control policy. The new approach is unabashed containment, albeit in a narrowly defined technical domain, with the explicit purpose of hobbling China’s advanced semiconductor technology progress. 

Newsweek on the CCP’s presence in China’s overseas ports and shipping…

On the COSCO ship Rose, “the ship’s party branch educates its members about the latest theoretical achievements of the Party,” the [in-house] publication says. It rattles off obscure but important dogmas that permeate life in China, such as “enhance the four self-confidences,” before concluding the ship’s party branch is “a core for uniting the masses and a fortress for overcoming difficulties.”

And more on the renegade province, from National Interest

The legal issue today concerning Taiwan is not whether Beijing has title to Taiwan, given that China has not held title to the island since 1895, and has as weak a claim to it today as Spain does to Cuba. 

The ‘No-one Could Possibly Live With Him’ Award goes to the commenters who, concerned and confused that my household consumption of water is (almost exactly) double that of the average Hong Kong individual, can only assume I gorge myself on the stuff.

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16 Responses to A plethora of mid-week links…

  1. Stanley Lieber says:

    The “H2O Mystery” thread is the winner of “The Most Important Discussion Topic Without Any Discernible National Security Implications (Yet)” Award.

    I hope it lasts a bit longer.

  2. Brob says:

    “if 2% of something big is more than 5% of something smaller, the smaller thing growing at 5% a year will never catch up with the bigger one growing at 2% a year.”

    I confess that I’m confused by this…

  3. Joe Bloggs says:

    Speaking of links, the really useful RAT photo generator (with whatever name/time you wanted “written” on it) has disappeared from https://ratg.fly.dev/

    Does anyone have a new address for it or something similar?

  4. so says:

    Keeping a hippopotamus herd requires a lot of water.

  5. Stanley Lieber says:

    Earlier today I installed time locks on our bathrooms and have instructed all inmates in residence that the locks will not be removed until we have achieved, for two consecutive billing periods, average daily water consumption levels per occupant equal to or less than the proletarian average of 130 litres.

    Now I know how HKSAR apparatchiks feel.

  6. Kwun Tong Bypass says:

    On the DAB boondoggle to ASEAN:
    Watched Starry’s “reporting” in Straight Talk on Pearl TV. My God, nothing, I mean NOTHING of substance. Half an hour of gobbledygook and waffle. And one is not even sure whether it was scripted by guess who, or the patriotic training bears fruit!

    On CY:
    Remember those days in the nineties, when we were told ad nauseam that “we do not understand China; that “this is not the way to do business in China”, etc. etc.
    And by the way, CY still owes us proof of the evil foreign forces behind Occupy Central. When will the apppropriate come?

    NORD:
    Circled the (admittedly absolutely beautiful ship!) three times playing the Urkaine National Anthem at full volume on my boat. Nobody was to be seen on the yacht. Probably downstairs drinking Vodka.

    Water:
    My household of seven people, plus a dog, a balcony, and a backyard use about 800 Liters per day. And we have teens showering a lot (solar water heater)! Something seems a bit odd about your numbers.

  7. Mary Melville says:

    You omitted that the police have reprimanded Ming Pao for painting a bad image of the force via its cartoon content with regards to the incident at St. Francis Xavier’s Secondary School. Touche.
    And CE wonders why overseas investors from jurisdictions where searing political satire is part of the daily diet are less than impressed by the ‘good story’?
    A community that stifles its sense of humour is a dismal destination. Sending out members of what must be the most dour political party on the planet reinforces this perception.

  8. Joe Blow says:

    Regarding the floating vodka palace, you guys see a billionaire’s expensive toy. I see a splendid, undefended target…. blub blub blub…

  9. He still doesn't CY, does he? says:

    Either 689’s being very ironic or else he still hasn’t worked out that the only foreign investors who would seriously consider putting money into the new patriot-run Hong Kong are the ones with “plenty of misunderstandings or superficial knowledge” of the place who are “mislead” about “what’s really happening”.

    Anyone who does the briefest due diligence will work out that Hong Kong’s a second rate police state; businesses, assets and contracts are no longer protected by law; the government is corrupt, capricious, petty and spiteful; anyone smart has either left or is planning to soon; and the Stock Exchange is well on the way to becoming mostly a smorgasbord of mainland Ponzi schemes.

    Re: would you send DAB lawmakers anywhere to enhance your image?
    A one-way trip to Antarctica springs to mind…

  10. wmjp says:

    O/T Crime fighters par exellence:
    Police anti-triad raid nets Covid breach diners

    https://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/component/k2/1670604-20221012.htm?spTabChangeable=0

  11. Dr Zhivago says:

    @ “He still doesn’t CY, does he?”

    Quite the miracle you’re still in town. I for one salute you sticking out The Apocalypse! Double salute due to you that “anyone smart” has left town or is leaving soon, yet you’re still here.

    One important clarification, to be fair.

    Hong Kong is not a second rate police state. True, “Asia’s Finest” (the police smarmy claim pre-1997) is dead now Britain doesn’t run Hong Kong Plod. But nevertheless the Hong Kong Police which the British created is still, for now, more or less a well solid, organised, disciplined police. It will take another generation at least to piss away completely the British policing discipline and decency. HKPF still has rare skills in Asia and is definitely not second rate.

    Perhaps you should be encouraging CY to make this one of his success stories? “See, World? See! Hong Kong aint totally fucked up our British police organisation skills just yet.”

  12. DelBoy says:

    “Asia’s Finest” was coined by Kevin Sinclair, that journalist who infested our press back in the 70s. I took an instant dislike to his apparent praise of the police force here, until someone pointed out he was actually being sarcastic. True; compared to Asia’s other police forces, it wasn’t hard to earn this title.

  13. Mark Bradley says:

    “more or less a well solid, organised, disciplined police. It will take another generation at least to piss away completely the British policing discipline and decency. HKPF still has rare skills in Asia and is definitely not second rate.”

    Yeah we saw that great discipline in action in 2019 and their use of tear gas against their own guidelines.

    “Quite the miracle you’re still in town. I for one salute you sticking out The Apocalypse! Double salute due to you that “anyone smart” has left town or is leaving soon, yet you’re still here.”

    I agree with this. Really a douchey thing to say to make the person who is writing it feel superior for their decision to leave. I’m not leaving. I do have an EU citizenship to fall back on, but things aren’t exactly great there either due to the Russian war. Honestly it’s hard to find a place that isn’t completely fucked up right now in some way though at least they let you speak your mind unlike here now that we have a bunch of humorless cunts running the show where a joke can be an NSL crime.

  14. Chinese Netizen says:

    Dr Zhivago: Hear hear!

    Add to the success stories: “And we still have expat coppers!!”

  15. He still doesn't CY, does he? says:

    @Dr Zhivago

    Well you might think that “a solid, organised, disciplined police” makes a first-rate police state, but I maintain they’re no Stasi or Gestapo yet, so it’s still very much a second rate Police state.

    Maybe next year when Penny’s Bay gets re-designated a concentration camp vocational education and training centre?

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