Some nearly-end-of-week links

A mixed, something-for-everyone, bag…

The Intercept on Apple/Tencent’s Internet censorship (blocking of GitLab on Safari browser) in Hong Kong…

While Tencent provides some public explanation of its criteria for blocking a website, its decision-making process is completely opaque, and the published censorship standards are extremely vague, including offenses like “endangering national security” and “undermining national unity.”

Everyone agrees that Impossible City by Karen Cheung and Indelible City by Louisa Lim are superb books. Except that someone begs to differ.

A ‘pragmatic dreamer’ launches a new overseas-based Hong Kong news outlet.

US-China Perception Monitor on how CGTN’s global public opinion ‘think tank’ produces biased survey results.

…respondents to these surveys are likely recruited solely through CGTN websites and social media … they report high levels of support for abstract concepts related to Xi’s speech, such as ‘resolutely opposing all forms of hegemonism and power politics’.

Howard French in Foreign Policy on China’s demographic-economic challenges

…the sooner China comes to terms with the truth that old-fashioned, head-to-head great-power competition of the type that involves big, continual increases in expenditures on weaponry and hard power—as the country has undertaken in recent years—will condemn large swaths of its population to something well short of developed-world living standards, then the better it will be for its people.

…Failure to come up with new national objectives to replace the goal of the last several decades, building the world’s largest economy, will mean that China will look in other, less peaceful directions for validation of the party and nation, with an armed attempt to take over Taiwan as the most obvious answer.

Foreign Affairs on the backfiring of Beijing’s ‘tendency to prioritize territorial interests over strategic objectives’ – how to lose friends and alienate people. A frequent pro-Beijing op-ed contributor in the SCMP makes a similar point…

…China has played its diplomatic hand poorly. It got arrogant and impatient, and overreached, playing right into the US campaign to isolate and demonise it. Now it is reaping the whirlwind of its foreign policies and actions in Asia.

…countries from Australia to Japan and from India to Indonesia are rapidly coalescing into an anti-China security camp.

Which brings us to the Czech Republic’s new President calling his Taiwan counterpart – and Beijing erupting in an explosion of mouth-frothing and hurt-the-feelings. A supposed Wang Huning re-think of policy notwithstanding, the trend seems to be for more countries to nudge closer to normalized relations with Taiwan…

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10 Responses to Some nearly-end-of-week links

  1. reductio says:

    As soon as I read “respect her agency as an author” in Jaime Chu’s review my Post-colonial subaltern orientalist red flags went up. Postmodernist whatever BS coming up. Yup. Confirmed.

  2. asiaseen says:

    Ms Chu has a very prententious style of writing and her piece is about 3,500 words too long. Perhaps when she grows up she will learn how to write clearly and concisely without the need to have swallowed a thesaurus.

  3. Cassowary says:

    Literary critical theorese to plain English translation:
    Karen Cheung ties herself in knots by railing against the need for Hong Kong authors to explain themselves to white people overseas, while still feeling obligated to explain herself to white people overseas. Meanwhile, Louisa Lim is only semi-aware of her limitations as out-of-touch expat foreign correspondent, and in trying to laud Hong Kongers’ resistance to an oppressive regime, flattens them into one-dimensionality. Hong Kong literature can’t just be itself as long as writers keep having to frame their work in relation to narratives imposed by colonialism.

    Is what I think Chu was saying. Agree or disagree as you will.

  4. Chinese Netizen says:

    To the left of Ms Chu’s piece, “Word Factory” is written vertically. Indeed.

    About as appetizing as the thought of giving a Ross Douthat column a read in the NY Times.

  5. Kwun Tong Bypass says:

    Remember the outgoing Czech president Milos Zeman:
    “The Czech Republic will be an unsinkable aircraft carrier for Chinese investments in Europe”.
    Looks like the waves are about to swamp the main deck.
    High time for the CCP to learn to understand Europe – and the Free World for that matter.

  6. Low Profile says:

    I think what Jaime Chu is struggling to say in her dense parade of verbiage is (more or less) that you can’t write truly about being a Hongkonger if you write in English. Which is of course to take a very narrow view of what makes someone a Hongkonger.

  7. Reader says:

    Thanks @Cassowary and @Low Profile for succinctly conveying the essence of Jaime Chu’s verbiage. I tried skim-reading it, but even that was taking too long.

  8. Cassowary says:

    @Low Profile: I think Chu is saying that you CAN write about Hong Kong in English, but if you do, you’re going to have to spend a long time not giving a crap about if anyone reads your stuff. Because the local market for English writing is miniscule and the international market is going to try to make you pander to tourists.

  9. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Low Profile: Hear hear!

  10. dimuendo says:

    Ms Jaime Chu has two intentions:
    a) to demonstrate her erudition, while failing dismally;
    b) the longest ever submitted application for Pseud’s Corner.

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