No ‘Happy’ until next week

The ‘Happy Hong Kong’ campaign launch is postponed for the visit by Xia Baolong, who has cheer of his own to spread…

Why did officials see a ‘happiness’-themed event as incompatible with the arrival of the HKMAO boss?

An SCMP op-ed points out the contradiction between Hong Kong’s encouragement for youngsters to leave the city for the ‘Greater Bay Area’ and its generous measures to attract overseas talent… 

The mixed messages from officials are confusing. On one hand, Secretary for Labour and Welfare Chris Sun Yuk-han is promoting the Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme, which subsidises regional employers if they hire fresh Hong Kong graduates. On the other, the government has launched the Top Talent Pass Scheme in December.

…Imagine a company that kept losing valuable staff and desperately hired replacements who were an unknown quantity, while at the same time encouraging its young employees and interns to look for opportunities elsewhere, and subsidising other companies to hire them. What are we trying to achieve here?

(This assumes there is a contradiction. Another explanation is that moving young Hongkongers out and replacing them with Mainlanders is a cohesive strategy. Officials certainly seem delighted with the success of the Top Talent Pass Scheme.)

A little reading for the weekend…

From a couple of months back, Asia Democracy Chronicles on Chow Hang Tung.

A thread on the deepening – and unequal – relationship between Russia and China…

…following the complete breakdown of ties with the West, Moscow has little choice but to sell China its most advanced and precious technologies of interest to Beijing – most likely including designs (think of  S-500, underwater platforms, fighter jet engines etc.)

The presence in the Kremlin of Russian commodity producers’ CEOs, like @RosneftEN’s Igor Sechin, indicates that Xi and Putin also discussed expanding the sale of Russian natural resources to China.

Journal of Democracy on China’s efforts to make the world safe for autocracy.

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One Response to No ‘Happy’ until next week

  1. Winnie the Putin says:

    If Alexander Gabuev is right that China is buying arms and oil and gas off Russia, then the joke is somewhat on China.

    Russia currently lacks the pipelines for the oil and gas to China, the western tech to build S-500s, and their military industrial complex will be working flat out for the foreseeable future replacing kit and parts they’ve lost in Ukraine, both to the Ukrainians and to general wear and tear. As the Indian Air Force has already found out:

    If they buy designs, there’s more than a few kinks to iron out of Russian systems:

    The current S-400’s alarming habit of occasionally returning to sender on launch does not bode well for users of the s-500 (extensive redesign might be required, and good luck getting any Russian experts out to help you with that during a war).

    The Admiral Kuznetsov (the original model of China’s two Aircraft Cruisers) never leaves port without a tugboat.

    One of the ten BMP-T Terminators (designed to kill infantry to support tanks) has already been terminated by Ukrainian infantry and the T-14 Armata Tank has yet to be fielded, despite Russia being so desperate that they are sending nearly 70-year-old T-54/55s.

    And the Su-75 Checkmate Stealth fighter, as the joke goes, is so stealthy that even Sukhoi’s test pilots haven’t seen it yet.

    Not to mention that China’s own MIC are still struggling to design original jet engines that can go above 10,000ft. Authoritarian Kleptocracies tend to suppress talent and original thinking in favour of connections and upbeat bullshit even more than capitalism.

    It would make sense long term, but — ironically — only really for the China of ten years ago. Today’s China, long term, will likely lack the economics to spend so much cash on arms, due to ageing demographics, the “China plus one” diversification movement in the West, and the Great Leap Backwards into the ’70s that Xi seems hellbent on implementing in economics and politics.

    Cheap oil and gas will be handy (although they might not need as much of it with a slower economy) but those rock bottom prices will likely not survive the time it takes to build the pipelines to really profit from them.

    All in all, it’s a lot less clear who’s screwing who on this one than Gabuev suggests.

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