Anyone got a spare mindset?

Director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office Xia Baolong’s comments on Monday included this on Hong Kong’s economic future…

“We cannot use the old perspective from yesterday to look at today’s new situation. We cannot use the old mindset from yesterday to solve today’s new problems,” he said.

“We need to unite and look ahead, use new mindsets, new solutions and new paths to tackle problems. We must dare to say words that have not been said by our predecessors, and do things that have not been done by our predecessors.”

The SCMP finds various commentators, few of whom agree on what Xia means. Here are five…

“The central government is indeed worried about Hong Kong’s economic situation,” Lau said. “So, it must encourage and supervise the government and all walks of life in Hong Kong. This is also to spur the government.”

…“At this moment, the Hong Kong government is lacking new thinking because our officials were trained to work in an industrialised society and financial society. But now we need new talent to work in a digital society with new industries.”

…“Xia’s remarks are the clearest indication that Beijing will have a more hands-on approach to Hong Kong affairs and will give the Hong Kong government orders directly and straightforwardly on what it should do…

…“In the new era, most companies with high market value are focused on innovation,” Lee said. “But we are still talking about property prices and the housing market.”

…“It is unfair to say the Hong Kong government relies too much on traditional advantages as many are the economic cornerstones nurturing different sectors, such as finance and logistics,” [a fifth] said.

Hong Kong should make more effort to “regain its charm in connecting China with the world beyond the inward integration push with the Greater Bay Area”, he argued.

How about ‘we’ll make it up as we go along’?

One specific economic policy is on the way: tax concessions for family offices setting up in Hong Kong. Subsidies from (mostly) poorer local residents to multi-multi-millionaire non-Hongkongers.

A couple of mid-week links…

Think the hippy trail ended half a century ago? The Guardian on Mainlanders seeking an alternative life in Chiang Mai.

A Twitter thread on the idea that in ‘collectivist’ (typically Asian) cultures, people work together rather than compete like ‘individualist’ Westerners…

…collectivists are MORE competitive than individualists. They just compete more covertly than up front. 

…collectivists (Chinese, Japanese, Indians, Thai, Ghanians) are more likely to withhold information during negotiations, have frenemies than real friends, hold zero-sum beliefs, compare themselves to others, feel bad about themselves when their friends succeed.

Sounds like our old friend kiasu.

In one study, @shlulu asked Americans and Chinese to imagine themselves competing for an acting role, and anticipate what other actors would do. 38% of Chinese responses fell in unethical/gray areas (“poison other actresses’ food”, “sleep with the director”) vs.16% Americans.

…In cultures that demand social harmony, people use tacit strategies to compete against others. This social vigilance is a consequence of collectivism, rather than the exception.

Includes a link to the author’s academic study.

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14 Responses to Anyone got a spare mindset?

  1. Reactor #4 says:

    Regarding Xia Baolong’s statement – see above. It makes a lot more sense than any of the utterances from US Vice President Kamala Harris, who is literally a missing 30-second string of heart-beats away from becoming the leader of the World’s most powerful nation. Democracy is a useless mechanism for selecting an individual and/or a team of people to run a country or jurisdiction.

  2. Chinese Netizen says:

    Well that explains clearly the situation that ended the life of the producer of the “3 Body Problem”. A victim of Asian competitive collectivism.

    According to a friend who’s a longtime Chiang Mai resident with his Thai wife, so far the influx of mainland Chinese has been benign with educated, worldly individuals that want to escape the yoke of Winnie’s new and improved China. Let’s see how long before a “black” PSB office is set up there, disguised as a travel agent, to encourage Chinese to spy on each other there and toe the line on being patriotic Chinese.

  3. MC says:

    Xia Baolong’s empty blather reminds me of the one time I actually tried to read some Xi Jinping ‘thought’. As I recall, 99% of it is rambling on about how important Xi Jinping thought is and how everyone should be studying and applying it, because only with the study and application of Xi Jinping thought can the Motherland move on to …. groan, bore, fart…. etc etc etc.

    “Democracy is a useless mechanism for selecting an individual and/or a team of people to run a country or jurisdiction.”

    Indeed. We can see how, as democracy has been removed from the Hong Kong system over the past few years, the city has boomed in response. Presumably any minor difficulties – such as a falling population, stagnant economy and a lacklustre tourism recovery – can be attributed to lingering democratic elements.

  4. A shopkeeper says:

    As per Tony Benn’s fifth question, where democracy really shines is that if Kamala Harris were to introduce a law that single-handedly destroyed both the economy and society, and end up snivelling in the wreckage with so little idea of how to run a country that her one “big idea” was asking everyone else if they know how to reverse all the havoc she wrought, you could get rid of her completely painlessly in four years.

    Xiao Longbao, not so much.

  5. Low Profile says:

    Reactionary #4 is talking bollocks again. As a method for selecting leaders, democracy may be imperfect, but what alternative would he suggest? Perhaps we should return to the days when aspiring kings dressed up in armour and battled it out in personal combat for the throne?

    As an experiment, take two countries of similar size with the same ethnic and cultural background. Over a number of generations, have one practise dictatorship by dynastic succession, while the other evolves a lively democratic system. Then tell me which Korea you would rather live in.

  6. Young Winston says:

    “Democracy is a useless mechanism for selecting an individual and/or a team of people to run a country or jurisdiction.”

    Yet the massive flow of humanity towards this mechanism and away from the alternative continues at a phenomenal rate.

  7. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Low Profile: Same could be said for CCP China and Taiwan. Minus the similar size and population, of course.

  8. Mark Beadley says:

    Yeah it’s funny how Retard # 4 never provides a viable alternative to western democracy.

    We can clearly experience the negatives of an unquestioning patriots only legislature and administration in HK. The trash paying scheme passed by a patriots only legislature is a perfect example.

    We have also seen the dozens of failed policies attempted by Xi Jinping that result in embarrassing U turns.

    We can clearly see this is not an improvement to what you would have in the U.K. or EU yet that old drunk keeps acting like it’s some kind of big advantage that instead of having an incompetent U.K. prime minister that can be voted out for a hopefully better alternative we have an ex policeman as chief executive who can’t be voted out and any criticism of the leadership can be viewed as sedition with no ability to post bail.

  9. justsayin says:

    AFA collectivism – IME the collective has in-group/out-group dynamics. Those who are outgroup are less human than the in-group, so the in-group will compete as a unified body against them. However, the in-group is hierarchical as well and will compete internally for leadership of the in-group or for power within the in-group etc. One needs look no further than how things are run by/in the CCP for loads of examples.

  10. Reactor #4 says:

    @Low Profile.
    South Korea only became a La-Di-Da-Gunner-Graham sort of democracy in 1987. Give it another 2-3 decades and the people there will be crying out for a firm hand delivered by an authoritarian one-party government.

  11. steve says:

    Reactionary #4: Do you find Harris unqualified because she’s a woman, because she’s Black, or both? This isn’t the first hate you’ve spewed her way, and it’s sufficiently unhinged to be mystifying–though common enough among white nationalist Americans whose brains were first broken by Obama.

    As for the Party’s ritual bloviations, I am always reminded of this quote: “But tonight I say, we must move forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom! “

  12. Reactor #4 says:

    I don’t give a rat’s bottom about Kamala Harris’ sex label, nor her ethnic origins (she is also half Indian, which you seem unaware of). It’s her scrambled brain that I find unacceptable. The American people deserve better than this, but she is what the democratic process has served up for them. Here’s a smattering of evidence:

  13. Reactor #4 says:

    More negative issues with ‘democratic’ South Korea.
    It seems that SK’s young people have very little faith in the future of their country.

  14. steve says:

    Reactionary #4: You’re really citing the blather from a Murdoch/Comcast chop shop as evidence of anything except the failure of your critical faculties? First of all, the tired trope of enumerating the most trivial rhetorical quirks of politicians is childish nonsense best left to late night comedy shows. Its sole purpose is to confirm preexisting beliefs with maximum smugness. More significantly, Sky News is the equivalent of Fox News in the US, in that they are “news” operations in name only, and they are prime outlets for white supremacist/christian nationalist beliefs. OF COURSE they’re going to go after Harris, because stirring up racist hate is their brand. If this is representative of your media diet, my previous implication that you may share Enoch Powell’s outlook on racial harmony is looking spot on. (And yes, I’m quite aware of Kamala Harris’s ethnic background, so you can take that gotcha and put it where the sun don’t shine.)

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