Lots of reading from the weekend…

More from Gwyneth Ho’s testimony in the HK47 trial, in which she denies having resentment towards the government…

“I agree that a lot of people in Hong Kong resented the government. [They] didn’t need anyone to foster [resentment]. You cannot assume that – because they have such resentment – then there is no rational basis behind it, or they must be incited by someone…” she said.

Or did Gwyneth Ho secretly arrange the post-1997 ramping-up of housing prices, flooding of Hong Kong with Mainland immigrants and tourists, massive expenditure on white elephant projects and denial of representative government that incited discontent among the people? (Or was it the CIA that did that?)

From Samuel Bickett – activist Alvin Cheng getting a four-year sentence after a ‘courtroom twist that defies reason’

…a particularly stark example of the extraordinary measures some judges have been willing to employ to imprison dissidents for “riots” they never actually participated in.

A discussion on downward pressure on the Chinese currency…

China’s centrally-directed, government investment-led, debt-fueled growth boom appears to be coming to a screeching halt given the distortions and wasteful capital misallocations created in the economy, now exacerbated by an aggressive Fed that is hell-bent on fighting Inflation.

As for the consumer, instead of funneling Fiscal support to a shell-shocked, locked-down consumer that is already culturally more financially conservative than the Western consumer, the Chinese government has done the opposite.

It also mentions implications for the Hong Kong Dollar peg. We should usually take scary scenarios of the peg with a pinch of salt. Many (especially Mainland-related) financial/economic activities in Hong Kong might continue without rule of law or a free press – but mess with the fixed rate, and things fall apart. And excitable outside observers seeing the HKMA apparently run down its reserves to defend the peg forget how much policymakers are desperate to avoid raising interest rates simply to protect the precious property market. Ultimately, they can let the mechanism self-correct and the funds will flood back in, though real-estate prices would suffer. Of course, if scrapping the peg benefited Beijing in some way, it would be a different matter.

Adam Tooze looks at factors behind China’s rising youth unemployment.

Clyde Prestowitz calls on the US to kick CEOs up the backside on relations with China…

This past week … several key CEOs … called for the Biden administration not to broaden its ban on sales of technologically advanced chips and chip making equipment…

In effect, the industry is saying: “we are too essential to national security for the U.S. government to allow us to fail and therefore it needs to provide subsidies to be sure we stay ahead of the Chinese. But wait a minute. We need to sell stuff to the Chinese that maybe detrimental to U.S. national security. Too bad, but if we don’t sell to the Chinese we won’t make enough profit to develop further technology and stay at the cutting edge. Oh yeah, there is also our stock options and bonuses to think about.”

…If [corporations] go and invest in an enemy of the state or in something that may do the granting state harm, by definition, they are not in accord with their grant of incorporation and ought rightly to be shut down.

Thoughtful article in the Sunday Guardian of India on the disappearance of Foreign Minister Qin Gang.

Which leads us to Foreign Affairs on China as an ‘exporter of secrecy’

Beijing has also emerged as a stealth exporter of secrecy abroad. This was seen most vividly in China’s manipulation of the World Health Organization. Chinese authorities suppressed domestic discussion of the Wuhan outbreak and refused to share information with global health authorities, hobbling the WHO’s response and forcing millions of people beyond China’s borders to pay a terrible price. Later, Beijing tried to manipulate the outcome of WHO inquiries into the origins of COVID-19.

Asia Times explains the 1992 China-Taiwan ‘consensus’…

The ’92 Consensus reputedly achieved a clever compromise. According to an August 1, 1992 statement by Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, “Both sides of the Taiwan Strait agree that there is only one China” but they “have different opinions as to the meaning of ‘One China’.” For Beijing, “China” means the PRC; for Taiwan “China” means the Republic of China (ROC).

The statement adds that both mainland China and Taiwan are parts of “China.” For the price of agreeing to China’s position that Taiwan is part of “one China,” Taipei seemingly got Beijing to accept that “China” could mean the ROC instead of the PRC.

The DPP argues, however, that the ’92 Consensus is fake because there never was a consensus. That argument has considerable merit. There is little if any evidence that the PRC ever acknowledged the part of the agreement that allows for different interpretations of “China.”  

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9 Responses to Lots of reading from the weekend…

  1. taiphoon says:

    It must be exhausting for China’s CCP authorities to believe that Taiwan is part of China while also having to spend all that money, PR cycles, and PLA resources to threaten it constantly in order to remind it that it is part of China.

  2. Nury Vibbrachi says:

    Of course the Western liberals set up the HK47 for their liberal fate because they didn’t understand HK74 aka the 1949-2023 China under Chinese Communist Party. We/they threw them to the lions and went home.

    Nice quote from Graham Greene. Yes, he saw it seventy years ago. We see it today:

    “I’ve been in India and I know the harm liberals do. We haven’t a liberal party any more-liberalism’s infected all the other parties. We are all either liberal conservatives or liberal socialists: we all have a good conscience. I’d rather be an exploiter who fights for what he exploits, and dies with it. Look at the history of Burma. We go and invade the country: the local tribes support us: we are victorious: but like you Americans we weren’t colonialists in those days. Oh no, we made peace with the king and we handed him back his province and left our allies to be crucified and sawn in two. They were innocent. They thought we’d stay. But we were liberals and we didn’t want a bad conscience.”

    You won’t find a link to that. Except here. I like making my own links! It’s fun. Hurrah!

  3. Joe Blow says:

    Spare a thought for those who are in detention or in prison during this hot summer. They have to sleep without aircon.

  4. Mary Melville says:

    Our election wallahs are no doubt now immersed in a detailed investigation into how Hun Sen achieved a ‘landslide victory’ in an election with zero opposition and considerable pressure on the public to turn out and tick the one box.
    The most coercive elements to be incorporated into our DC farce at the end of the year.

  5. Kwun Tong Bypass says:

    Gwyneth Ho has balls!

  6. Rattus Norvegicus says:

    Dodgy abandonment of rule of law aside, I’m not really sure how you can charge a bloke with rioting when he’s down in a sewer alone. Participating in an underground movement is about the best evidence they have there and it’s a bit too literal wher it should be figurative and figurative where it should be literal.

  7. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Joe Blow

    Should we be concerned imprisoned in America for fake insurrection “crimes”?

  8. Stanley Leiber says:

    @Chinese Netizen

    People of conscience are concerned about political prisoners everywhere.

  9. DOR says:

    “the post-1997 ramping-up of housing prices, …” ?

    In which universe did the broad measure of Hong Kong rents — and values — not DROP by 70% over the seven years following the Hangover?

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