Why is Hong Kong losing out to mainland China? Corruption is rife in the world’s most expensive city, but is that Beijing’s fault?

Andre Vltchek

An elderly woman pushes a trolley with cardboard bundles for recycling.

Hong Kong is losing to Mainland China. Its poverty rates are high, it suffers from corruption and savage capitalism. It is now the most expensive city on earth. People are frustrated, but paradoxically, they are blaming socialist Beijing for their problems, instead of the legacy of British colonialism. ‘Across the line’, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Beijing, Xiang and other cities are leaving Hong Kong behind in almost all fields.

When my dear friend and a great concert pianist from Beijing, Yuan Sheng, used to live in New York, recording, giving concert and teaching at prestigious Manhattan School of Music, he told me that he used to cry at night: “In the United States, they smear China. I felt hurt, defenseless”.

He returned to Beijing, gave back his Green Card and began teaching at Beijing Conservatory. He never regretted his decision. “Beijing is much more exciting than New York, these days”, he told me.

It is obvious that Beijing is booming: intellectually, artistically; in fact, in all fields of life.

Yuan’s friend, who returned from London and became a curator at the iconic “Big Egg” (the biggest opera house on earth), shared her thoughts with me:

I used to sit in London, frustrated, dreaming about all those great musicians, all over the world. Now, they come to me. All of them want to perform in Beijing. This city can make you or break you. Without being hyperbolic, this is now one of the most important places on earth. Just under one roof, in one single night, we can have a Russian opera company performing in our big halls, in another one there is a Chinese opera, and a Bolivian folklore ensemble in a recital hall. And this is only one of Beijing’s theatres.”

When the Chinese artists and thinkers are fighting for the prime with their Western counterparts, it is usually Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, ‘against’ London, Paris and New York. Hong Kong is ‘somewhere there’, behind, suddenly a backwater.

While Hong Kong University and the City University of Hong Kong used to be the best in China, many Mainland institutions of higher learning, including Peking University and Tsinghua, are now producing many more cutting-edge creative thinkers.

I spoke at all of these schools, and can confirm that the young people in Beijing and Shanghai are extremely hardworking, endlessly curious, while in Hong Kong, there is always that mildly arrogant air of exceptionalism, and lack of discipline.

It used to be that the so-called “Sea Turtles” (students who went abroad and to Hong Kong, and then returned to Mainland China), were treated like celebrities, but now, it is much easier to get a job with the Mainland China’s diplomas.

Recently, while filming the riots in Hong Kong, I was told by a receptionist at one of the major shopping plazas:

We do not treat visitors from Mainland China well. And, they lost interest in Hong Kong. Before, they used to come here, to admire out wealth. Now, most of them are avoiding this place. What we have, they have, too, and often better. If they travel, they rather go to Bangkok or Paris.”

These days, the contrast between Xiang, Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong is shocking. Mainland infrastructure is incomparably better. Public areas are vast, and cultural life much more advanced than that in a former British colony.

While the Mainland Chinese cities have almost no extreme poverty, (and by the end of 2020 will have zero), in Hong Kong, at least 20% are poor, and many simply cannot afford to live in their own city.

In many places on Hong Kong, the poor are forced to live in hastily assmebled roof-top shanty towns. Image source.

Hong Kong is the most expensive place on earth. Just to park a car in could easily cost over US$700 per month, for just working hours. Tiny apartments cost over a million US dollars.

Salaries in Hong Kong, however, are not higher than those in London, Paris or Tokyo.

The city is run by an extreme capitalist system, ‘planned’ by corrupt tycoons/developers. The obsolete British legal system here is clearly geared to protect the rich, not the majority.

That was essentially why the “Extradition Bill” was proposed: to protect Hong Kong inhabitants from the unbridled, untouchable, as well as unelected de facto rulers.

But there is this ‘deal’, negotiated before Hong Kong was returned where it belongs, which is – to China. “One country, two systems”. It is an excellent contract for the turbo-capitalist magnates, and for the pro-Western “activists”. And it is extremely bad one for the average people of Hong Kong.

Therefore, after months of riots sponsored by the West, the Hong Kong administration scrambled the bill.

*

Young hooligans know very little about their city. I talked to them, extensively, during their first anti-Beijing riots in 2014 (so-called “Umbrella Revolution”).

Correctly, then and now they have been frustrated about the declining standards of living, about the difficulties to get well-paid jobs and find affordable housing. They told me that ‘there is no future for them’, and that ‘their lives are going nowhere’.

But quickly, their logic would collapse. While realizing what tremendous progress, optimism and zeal could be observed in the People’s Republic of China, under the leadership of the Communist Party, they would still be demanding more capitalism, which is actually ruining their territory. In 2014, and now, they are readily smearing the Communist Party.

Being raised on the shallow values of selfishness and egotism, they are now betrayed their own country, and began treasonous campaigns, urging foreign powers, including US and UK, to “liberate them”. All for just fleeting moment of fame, for a “selfie uprising”.

To liberate from whom? China does not, (unfortunately for Hong Kong), interfere in Hong Kong’s economic and social affairs. If anything, it builds new infrastructure, like an enormous bridge now connecting Hong Kong with Macau (a former Portuguese colony) and a high-speed train system, linking Hong Kong with several cities in Mainland China.

More restrain Beijing shows, more it gets condemned by the rioters and Western media, for ‘brutality’. More subway stations and public property get destroyed by rioters, more sympatry flows for them from the German, US and British right-wing politicians.

*

For decades, the British colonialists were humiliating people of Hong Kong, while simultaneously turning their city into a brutal, and by the Asian standards, ruthless and fully business-oriented megapolis. Now people are confused and frustrated. Many are asking, who they really are?

For Hong Kong, this is a difficult moment of soul-searching.

Even those who want to “go back to UK”, can hardly speak English. When asked “why do they riot”, they mumble something about ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’ in the West, plus ‘evilness of Beijing’. Brochures of some obscure, extremist Japanese religious cults get distributed. It is one big intellectual chaos. Rioters know nothing about Syria, Afghanistan, Venezuela, countries which are being ruined by the West.

Leaders like Joshua Wong are proudly colluding with the Western embassies. To praise Chinese socialism publicly is now dangerous – people get beaten by the “pro-democracy” rioters, for such “crimes”.

Highly educated and overly-polite Singapore is literally sucking out hundreds of foreign companies from Hong Kong. Its people speak both English and Mandarin. In Hong Kong, great majority speaks only Cantonese. Many foreigners are also relocating to Shanghai. Not only big businesses: Shanghai is now full of European waiters.

Even tourism is down in Hong Kong, by 40%, according to the recent data.

Absurdly: the rioters want precisely what the Communist Party of China is providing: they want real struggle against corruption, as well as determined attempt to solve housing crises, create new jobs, and provide more public services. They want better education, and generally better life. They want “Shanghai or Beijing”, but they say that they want to be a colony of the UK, or a dependency of the USA.

They loosely define communist goals, and then they shout that they are against Communism.

*

China is now ready to celebrate its 70th Anniversary of the Founding of The People’s Republic of China.

Clearly, the West is using Hong Kong to spoil this great moment.

After leaving Hong Kong, in Shanghai, I visited a brilliant, socialist realism exhibition at the iconic, monumental China Art Museum. Country under the leadership of President Xi is once again confident, revolutionary and increasingly socialist; to horror of declining West.

It is a proud nation with great, elegant cities constructed by the people, for the people, and with progressively ecological countryside. Its scientific, intellectual and social achievements speak louder than words.

Contrast between Hong Kong and Shanghai is tremendous, and growing.

But do not get me wrong: I like Hong Kong. I have more than 20 years of history with that old, neurotic and spoiled lady. I can feel her pulse. I love old trams and ferries, and out-of-the-way islands.

But Hong Kong’s charm lies in its decay.

Mainland China’s beauty is fresh. China is one of the oldest cultures on earth, one of the deepest. But it feels crisp, full of hope and positive energy. Together with its closest ally, Russia, it is now working and fighting for the entire world; it is not selfish.

Hong Kong is fighting only for its vaguely defined uniqueness. Actually, it is not Hong Kong that is fighting, as most of people there want to be where they truly belong – in their beloved nation – China. It is a gang of kids with their face-masks that is fighting. In brief: a relatively big group of pro-Western extremists, whose leaders are putting their fame above the interests of the people.

*

Hong Kong has no “Big Egg”; no famous theatre where the greatest musicians are stunning the world. Its only art museum is closed for reconstruction, for years, and will re-open only at the end of 2019. Its cultural life is shallow, even laughable, for the place which is branding itself as the “Asia’s World City”. There are no great discoveries made here. It is all business. Big, big business. And creeping decay.

Beijing could ‘liberate’ Hong Kong, easily; to give it purpose, pride and future.

But young hooligans want to be liberated by Washington, instead. They want to be re-colonized by London. And they do not consult their fellow citizens. That clearly reflects their idea about ‘democracy’. Not the “rule of the people”, but the “rule of the West”.

Not only they feel spite for their country, but they also scorn and intimidate their fellow citizens who just want to have their meaningful life, based on the Chinese values.

First published by NEO – New Eastern Outlook – A journal of Russian Academy of Sciences

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Doctor K
Doctor K
Oct 16, 2019 6:41 AM

“Tiny apartments cost over a million US dollars.”
Odd then that my company bought a 350 sq ft flat for two million – but Hong Kong dollars. That’s about $250,000.

Interesting theory that the extradition treaty was needed to protect HK citizens. Like the five booksellers who were kidnapped for poking fun at the Beijing millionaire class? How does that work?

Hong Kong has rule of law, China doesn’t. That’s what it’s all about.

This guy writes tripe about Hong Kong. I wouldn’t trust anything else he says.

Jo
Jo
Oct 15, 2019 1:25 AM

Thanks for this. Fascinating article.

vexarb
vexarb
Oct 14, 2019 8:51 PM

Today’s Saker has article by old China hand, Pepe Escobar. Edited clips:

Anonymous on October 14, 2019 writes BTL:
The HK protest leaders trained for the unrest in Oslo:

https://www.dimsumdaily.hk/hong-kong-protesters-trained-at-oslo-freedom-forum-before-anti-extradition-protest-speakers-include-denise-ho-hk-singer-and-political-activist-and-al-qaida-affiliated-white-helmet-raed-al-saleh/

Larchmonter445 on October 14, 2019 writes BTL:
Looking at the opposing strategies–the US/UK led revolution (black bloc terror) versus the Beijing-supervised lenient police, we see that Hong Kong will burn.

The “Western” black hands hope that a ruined Hong Kong will be a mortal wound to China’s economy. Beijing, in turn, has decided that Hong Kong, crippled by the China-haters, will be unlivable for the China-haters.

Thus, the fires will burn. Beijing can rebuild Hong Kong later, after the revolution moves away. China knows how to build cities. It will rise like a phoenix when the time is right.

Frank Speaker
Frank Speaker
Oct 12, 2019 8:13 PM

Is Mr Vitchek working hard to get a high social score and be allowed to retire in China with a nice pension?

mark
mark
Oct 12, 2019 8:24 PM
Reply to  Frank Speaker

No, he’s just telling the truth.
Quite a novelty nowadays, but there it is.

eddie
eddie
Oct 12, 2019 5:50 PM

Let us allow Hong Kongers to be arrogant about something, if only to be the most expensive..
Macau is the 2nd wealthiest city in the world, is #1 in gambling revenue, and is the preferred destination for the Mainland Chinese.

mark
mark
Oct 14, 2019 5:56 PM
Reply to  Ramdan

5 shot dead by Moreno so far?
Without any of the hyperventilating from the MSM when a young thug rioting in HK was shot and wounded by police.

Mike Ingham
Mike Ingham
Oct 12, 2019 3:10 PM

Socialist China! Hahahaha. That’s a good one. Yeah and the Tiananmen massacre never happened and Uyghurs enjoy recreational holiday camps and human rights lawyers aren’t systematically and vindictively persecuted in China – and Father Christmas is real and Trump and Boris Johnson aren’t liars at all! Oh dear hope I haven’t wounded your oh-so-delicate sensitivities with my cynical capitalist running-dog remarks. I live in HK. What a load of bullshit! I also believe in socialism- the democratic kind that doesn’t persecute and murder people. Perhaps you’d like to see the 750 school kids that HK’s running dog police force has arrested rot in jail as a lesson in patriotic love for the motherland. I like Beijing too and i liked its now highly controlled and censored arts. I also like Chinese musicians – CCP totalitarianism is not their fault. Can’t really see the relevance of connecting the two either. The Nazis liked the arts too – but only the arts that they approved of. I’m not saying the two totalitarian regimes are the same, they’re not and CCP mainly inflicts its actions on its own citizens. Frankly this puff piece is risible in my view. But each to his or her own view…unless you live in a totalitarian country of course in which case that doesn’t apply.

Frank Speaker
Frank Speaker
Oct 12, 2019 8:19 PM
Reply to  Mike Ingham

You need to understand that many posters of OffG are Student Union revolutionaries who never grew up after graduating, and never had a real revolution to experience themselves, so instead they spout nonsense from the comfort of their middle class homes.

They think that the sun shines out of the arses of the Chinese “Communist” Party billionaire leaders. They rightly recognise that China has lifted hundreds of millions out of abject poverty, but in their version of Communism, some people are more, or less, equal than others.

Jo
Jo
Oct 15, 2019 12:46 AM
Reply to  Frank Speaker

Frank
You need to understand that you don’t know me and you therefore don’t have the right to provide an assessment of my views, or those of others here, to a third party.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins
Oct 16, 2019 1:29 PM
Reply to  Frank Speaker

Frank: you need to understand that my brother speaks Mandarin and was in Beijing, both before and after Tiananmen sq. :- he got shipped out briefly by train, with a load of CNN journalists, amongst others, due to radical measures applied because of FALSE reporting: then he went straight back to China, (after a short break in Hong Kong), once calm was restored, with patient reflection. What was reported was nothing like reality, he said …
And listening to the reporters on the train was disgusting, he said, but he kept quiet and extremely attentive to others’ conversations: first listening … 😉

mark
mark
Oct 12, 2019 8:29 PM
Reply to  Mike Ingham

Perhaps you should come and live here in the Julian Assange Human Rights Paradise with a CCTV camera every 5 yards and a GCHQ snooper capturing every e mail and google search. And a Ministry of Truth and Thought Police to tell us what we are allowed to think.

Thomas Peterson
Thomas Peterson
Oct 13, 2019 1:53 PM
Reply to  Mike Ingham

From what I’ve seen from numerous videos, the Hong Kong protesters are a bunch of violent rioters who are wrecking the city. Yet the media tells me they are peaceful pro democracy activists.

I’m sure the media’s tales about the Tiananmen massacre’ and ‘concentration camps’ for the Uyghurs’ are equally accurate.

lundiel
lundiel
Oct 11, 2019 6:59 PM

The Joshua Wong’s never knew the Hong Kong we did in England. We despised you and the cheap plastic toys and shit you made for us. Good luck with your western democratic fantasy….. you’ll need it!

nottheonly1
nottheonly1
Oct 11, 2019 5:34 PM

This is off topic, but I wanted to make readers here aware – if they have not heard of it, yet.

An Iranian Oil Tanker was attacked this morning and I am convinced that it will not contribute to a de-escalation of the situation.

vexarb
vexarb
Oct 11, 2019 5:43 PM
Reply to  nottheonly1

NOT1, Iran is doing its best to de-escalate. See Canthama BTL today’s SyrPer News.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins
Oct 12, 2019 8:44 AM
Reply to  vexarb

Don’t panic guys, the US is just conducting troop movements from Syria to Saudi Arabia: to save flying them all home & then back again, coz’ hey, that would mean even more pollution & accelerate climate change >>> think logistically, guys, this is win win, (even Greta would admit), if we have all out war with Iran, then B.P.s Khazzan 60/40 Omani Gas field deal gets highly likely blown to Mecca, too: not just the Saudi Aramco sh8t, I mean, c’mon, guys B.P. only just started cashing in on Khazzan and it’s a longterm huge project, phase 2 online in 2021 &
Yemen’s only just next door…

So everybody calm down, sorry about the Iranian tanker, whoops, call it accidental friendly fire: now, what about paying for our drone? Call it Quits ? Main thing is the US troops are NOT going home from Syria, moreover, down South West to bolster Saudi positions, in facing off Iran & Yemen, (i’ll bet!). Greta would agree that sinking tankers or seizing shipping in international waters, could provoke a climate disaster in the form of war.
So FGS-for Greta’s sake, hopefully…

It is quite possible that both sides are running scared and they damn well should be: & hopefully well and truly ready to compromise by now … tough for the kids & Kurds, but hey, B.P.s $28 billion Caspian Sea Azerbaijan pipeline to Europe is up and running as well now, so … as they say, “Let’s pump gas & keep Fire in the hole.”
Governments need revenue to ‘defend’ themselves . . . and promote Greta 😉

Maggie
Maggie
Oct 12, 2019 10:43 AM
Reply to  nottheonly1

NTO1
Precisely! That is the name of the Zionist game. Exactly as they did with the Gaza Aid boat. Sneak in, do the dirty and then sneak out.

Isn’t it strange how Iran gets the blame for everything that happens in the ME now, yet when something happens to Iran or their property it is ‘terrorists’.
Well they aren’t wrong there!

Guy
Guy
Oct 12, 2019 10:52 PM
Reply to  nottheonly1

Pompeo can’t blame the Iranians this time for hitting their own tankers.
Though we have to ask Cui Bono .

nottheonly1
nottheonly1
Oct 11, 2019 4:52 PM

For a moment I was under the impression that the shanty roof top shelter was in L.A. But there seems to be more sunshine in L.A.
However, for anybody that has not yet understood what ‘Gentrification’ means and where it leads, Hong Kong is a prime example. Only because it is the first to show its ugly side, doesn’t mean it will be the last of the major metropoles on Earth to make it clear where capitalism ends.
Capitalism is antagonistic to humanism. The first emphasizes capital and has thus no space for the latter. Therefore, capital interests trump the interests of a living human society. Prices for rent have soared in all major Western metropoles, most notably in Europe. And it is these hypocritic regimes that point with their corrupt fingers at China and blame it – in their favorite fashion of psychological projection – for shortcomings that originate in their inhumane policies.
Especially in Berlin, where the German regime is unable to stop the migration from the city into the surrounding suburbs due to exorbitant high rents based on massive gentrification. The regime rather has luxury apartments sitting empty – you can deduct the loss of rental income from your tax liability – than protecting the existing housing from such ‘modernization’. So called ‘Mietpreisbremsen’ (rental price brakes) are an insult added to the injury of those who have a right to affordable housing and can’t get any. It is anchored in the German constitution, but may have been removed by Merkel while the country drowns under the influx of refugee-migrants.
So, yes, Hong Kong must be seen as a dark vision of what is soon to come to those who are responsible for these crimes against humanity.
To all the folks in Hong Kong suffering from post-colonialism, I recommend to take Chinese lessons and relocate to the mainland. China is large enough to offer opportunities to those who care to co-operate to create a better future. Leave Hong Kong to the rich that have destroyed it. They may have a need then for cheap labor that the rioters can take over. For minimum wage. Without healthcare. With high costs for education and the same prison cell like apartments capitalist Japan has invented.

junaid
junaid
Oct 11, 2019 4:42 PM

Turkish troops entered Syria. Ankara plans to cleanse the Turkish-Syrian border and surrounding territories from terrorists and Kurdish militia units.

Danger Zone: what will happen to the Turkish troops in Syria

nottheonly1
nottheonly1
Oct 11, 2019 5:11 PM
Reply to  junaid

That is a strange website the link leads to. If it is – as sort of apparent – from India, or Pakistan, the use of the English language should be more natural. Maybe you know more about it?

Maggie
Maggie
Oct 12, 2019 10:55 AM
Reply to  junaid

Junaid!

THIS LINK IS A MALICIOUS BROWSER!!!!!

Antonym
Antonym
Oct 11, 2019 3:16 PM

Is extreme state capitalism progress over extreme individual capitalism? Not on world scale because it tends to a single winner – who will take all..

Both run on endless greed for more “possessions” but end up in “can’t get no satisfaction” as there is a whole universe outside of the material world, also beyond a single life time, not to mention others around now.

mark
mark
Oct 11, 2019 3:10 PM

Maybe these snowflakes should seek refugee status from their beloved former colonial overlord and see how that works out.
I’m sure Nigel Farage wouldn’t object to 7 million Chinese immigrants in Birmingham and Peterborough.

vexarb
vexarb
Oct 12, 2019 7:14 AM
Reply to  mark

@Mark: “Maybe these snowflakes should seek refugee status from their beloved former colonial overlord and see how that works out.”

It worked out very well under Maggie. When HK transferred to China, the anti-immigration Thatcher regime let in a lot of HK immigrants who bought up London property and furnished it very upmarket. But I think that door has closed — unless, like Russian Oligarchs, some of these HK youngsters can add Real Estate value to London.

BigB
BigB
Oct 11, 2019 3:04 PM

Capitalism has no future. If, it does: humanity has no future.

I could almost imagine this article being written in a Berlin cafe – with Anita Berber dancing on the table – at the very height of the Goldene Zwanziger (Golden Twenties). Predicated on myths of infinite expansionism; fueled by the mass hypnosis of everlasting growth; stocks riding on nothing but participatory hallucination; a total detachment from any sense of grounding reality; heads lost in a heady morphium of hedonistic euphoria.

Meanwhile, in the real world: a contradictory state of weak real investment; contraction; Ponzification of finance; and a total perception mismatch between real and anticipated values …was about to set in motion the Great Depression: and the rise of fascism and Nazism. I guess, if back then, I were to criticise Andre on the basis that the collapse was already in motion: Andre’s crypto-capitalist acolytes would have had a similar response to now?

If we carry on with the hypernormalcy and sociopathocracy of everlasting growth: it is going to be a very short century. The shortest and last on record. There is little point in counteracting Andre’s contrafactual reporting with fact. That every unadulterated economic metric – apart from stocks and massaged GDP – indicates slowing and contraction – makes it very difficult confect fictions of perpetual and infinite expansion. Unless, perhaps, if you have a naked woman dancing on the table. That might distract you from looking at some actual economic data. I know there is no point mentioning entropy. Or the close economic ties of the dollar and yuan. Or that HK is China’s access point to the US and HK dollar markets; part of its offshore RMB internationalisation strategy; where major SOEs are floated for H-share (dollar) investment, FDI, free-market liberalisation; and all that. Economic literacy is not required. It somewhat impairs the activities of the imagination.

It’s not that these things are not true: but to recognise them as true – Andre and his avid readers would have to completely restructure their perceptual reality. So, Andre is talking about a perceptual reality that was as relevant to reality as it would have been on this day in 1929. The economic reality check correction is already underway. Of course: I have no idea if a sudden and global correction will happen in two weeks time (23rd October). But it might. And that is closer to perceptual reality than Andre’s. Brute economic fact is not nearly as pleasant as imagination. Reality is harsh: but at least it is real.

Capitalism ended in 2007-8. The decadal ‘borrow time’ – analogous to the imaginary of the Roaring Twenties – was nothing but a cosmetic recovery and stocks ‘Tulipmania’. The only players in town have been the Central Banks and TNCs this time round. They did not have a debt deflation, bloated derivatives and a FIRE problem back then. We do now. Forecasts of negentropic growth look increasingly shaky now: due to the innate systemic fragility, interconnectedness, and real world contraction of markets. And mountains and mountains of increasingly unsurvivable debt. Debt that fueled all the shiny trinkets and unsustainable infrastructure that capitalists cost out the perpetual alienation of humanity from humanity as. Shiny sky-cities built on clouds of participatory ubiquitous mass hallucination.

Still, when you are in Berlin in your imagination – with a dancer on the table – it is amazing what you can conjure up. If you never actually look at any economic data: it is quite easy to believe capitalism is the future. Party like it’s still 1929!

Big-dream sky-cities and hedonic fictions will be our legacy.

Rhisiart Gwilym
Rhisiart Gwilym
Oct 11, 2019 5:09 PM
Reply to  BigB

Damn’ right B. Much as I respect Andre, there’s no doubt China (and Russia) will be subject to The Limits To Growth, just like everywhere else. They will have no choice about the matter. The Synergising Global Crises trump all human schemes. We – uppity hom sap – are emphatically not in charge here, despite all our laughable delusions of omnipotence. Mam Gaia, the “tough bitch” (Lynn Margulis), is queen. She’ll take matters where she chooses on Planet Earth, over all our wailing objections (and hallucination-games).

nottheonly1
nottheonly1
Oct 11, 2019 5:16 PM
Reply to  BigB

Funny, but Berlin is also what came to my mind. The Berlin of ‘right now’, though.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins
Oct 11, 2019 7:37 PM
Reply to  BigB

“Capitalism has Failed.” said Christine Lagarde IMF M.D.
Mansion House 27th May 2014, soon to replace Draghi @d’ ECB

She should know.

Others ? A bit slow …
Way to go.
Swing Low …
@goldencrutches & skirts.

Now, about that KriSTALINa Georgieva, do you think she got the job on merit ? 🙂

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Oct 11, 2019 10:40 PM
Reply to  BigB

BigBad Sally

davemass
davemass
Oct 11, 2019 3:01 PM

Hong Kong was a trading base for shipping opium from India in exchange for silver.
Other goods were traded, but that is where Jardine and Sime Darby(?) got their wealth to build big mansions in UK.
And interesting that Singapore has a similar status socially and economically with mainland China-
And has only ever been governed by one party! The PPP I think it is.
And a dissident guy was imprisoned on Sentosa island in the 70s (I think) for opposition to Lee Kwan Yew’s method of governing.
But it’s a system that seems to work, both for Singapore and Beijing on a much larger scale.
(Also South Korea’s economy was built under the Chaebols and right-wing dictatorship, democracy appearing when ready.)

vexarb
vexarb
Oct 12, 2019 7:24 AM
Reply to  davemass

@DaveMass: “a dissident guy was imprisoned on Sentosa island in the 70s (I think) for opposition to Lee Kwan Yew’s method of governing”.

A property developer was forbidden to raise a building that overlooked Lee’s golf course, for fear of snipers.

And a good thing too. Around 1960 The New Statesman called Lee Kwan Yew “a big fish in a small pond”. Just look at that small pond now!

Maggie
Maggie
Oct 12, 2019 11:50 AM
Reply to  davemass

As you say Davemas
”Hong Kong was a trading base for shipping opium from India in exchange for silver.”
And our ”Royal Family” were the beneficiaries.

The East India Company was a private company which, after a long series of wars and diplomatic efforts, came to rule India in the 19th century. Chartered by Queen Elizabeth I on December 31, 1600, the original company comprised a group of London merchants who hoped to trade for spices at islands in present day Indonesia. The East India Company did not carry the opium itself but, because of the Chinese ban, farmed it out to “country traders”—i.e., private traders who were licensed by the company to take goods from India to China. The country traders sold the opium to smugglers along the Chinese coast.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Opium_War
The demand for Chinese luxury goods (particularly silk, porcelain, and tea) created a trade imbalance between China and Britain. European silver flowed into China through the Canton System, which confined incoming foreign trade to the southern port city of Canton. To counter this imbalance, the British East India Company began to grow opium in Bengal, in present-day Bangladesh, and allowed private British merchants to smuggle it into China illegally. The influx of narcotics reversed the Chinese trade surplus, drained the economy of silver, and increased the numbers of opium addicts inside the country, outcomes that seriously worried Chinese officials.
In 1839, the Daoguang Emperor, rejecting proposals to legalize and tax opium, appointed viceroy Lin Zexu to go to Canton to halt the opium trade completely.[7] Lin wrote to Queen Victoria an open letter in an appeal to her moral responsibility to stop the opium trade.[8] When he failed to get a response, he initially attempted to get foreign companies to forfeit their opium stores in exchange for tea, but this ultimately failed too. Then Lin resorted to using force in the western merchants’ enclave. He confiscated all supplies and ordered a blockade of foreign ships to get them to surrender their opium supply. Lin confiscated 20,283 chests of opium (approximately 1210 tons or 2.66 million pounds).[9]
The British government responded by dispatching a military force to China and in the ensuing conflict, the Royal Navy used its naval and gunnery power to inflict a series of decisive defeats on the Chinese Empire,[10] a tactic later referred to as gunboat diplomacy.
In 1842, the Qing dynasty was forced to sign the Treaty of Nanking—the first of what the Chinese later called the unequal treaties—which granted an indemnity and extraterritoriality to Britain, opened five treaty ports to foreign merchants, and ceded Hong Kong Island to the British Empire.
The failure of the treaty to satisfy British goals of improved trade and diplomatic relations led to the Second Opium War (1856–60), and the perceived weakness of the Qing dynasty resulted in social unrest within China, namely the Taiping Rebellion, during which the Qing dynasty fought against the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom. In China, the war is considered the beginning of modern Chinese history.

I wonder how many people actually know this? Certainly not the majority of people living in Hong Kong?

mark
mark
Oct 12, 2019 8:35 PM
Reply to  Maggie

The Taiping episode cost around 20 million lives.
This is why the Chinese are to this day justifiably wary of foreign religion.

hollyPlastic
hollyPlastic
Oct 11, 2019 2:58 PM

Let’s compare what is happening in Hong Kong, with Vietnam during the US invasion.

Let’s compare the deliberate catastrophic environmental destruction in Vietnam by soaking entire villages and infrastructure with cocktails of lethal chemicals, on one hand.

And, on the other hand, soaking the brains of the young generations in Hong Kong with disinformation and hatred towards the mainland, making them believe, they are exceptional, and, ‘Western Democracy’ exists and can liberate them; delivering a poignant trojan horse to the authorities in Beijing.

No deaths in Hong Kong, like those in Vietnam? about 2 million individuals in the former british colony are not dead but effectively brain-dead.

What sort of budget, US and UK spendings combined, was allocated to achieve these results in Hong Kong?

mark
mark
Oct 12, 2019 8:42 PM
Reply to  hollyPlastic

The fake and corrupt western MSM were hyperventilating about a young thug who was shot and wounded while rioting and attacking police in HK.
Apparently this was a tremendous cause for concern.
Unlike 130,000 dead children in Yemen.
Or 500 Palestinians murdered in Occupied Palestine since No. 1 Shabbos goy Trump recognised Jerusalem as exclusively Zionist.
Or dead and maimed and blinded Gilets Jaunes.

Maggie
Maggie
Oct 13, 2019 1:17 PM
Reply to  mark

Sshh Mark, Don’t mention the Gilet Jaunes…

I believe there is a D-Notice on BBC reporting about the yellow vest gilets jaunes?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUjr4cvdmbM

How it escalated from a fuel tax protest to am extinction protest?

Protesters mutilated:

More D-Notices in Hong Kong?
Things to come?

Who are the organisers?

Jen
Jen
Oct 11, 2019 1:04 PM

Hong Kong was designed to be a tax haven for the very rich (and often the very criminal) and this means huge amounts of money are pouring into a physically small territory whose economy historically was oriented to providing financial services supporting trade between China and the West, and not much else. All that money (that should be going to Beijing and provincial capitals as tax receipts) is instead being splurged on gambling and property speculation. Hence, the insane property prices and the inability of ordinary people to afford buying their own homes or rent, and the result being two or three generations of adults squeezed into small apartments, and young people being unable to establish their own households and families. Hatred of Mainland Chinese and the Mandarin language stems from this situation as well.

Other places around the world that are tax havens have similar problems of property speculation leading to high property prices and the majority of residents being unable to afford their own homes – so they end up leaving the places where their families used to call home for generations.

I can remember my own folks (all from Hong Kong originally) telling me as a child that the British and the Americans were to be looked up to as a special class of white people, distinct from all other groups of white people who didn’t speak English, and even Irish, French, German, Scandinavian etc etc folks were regarded as something lesser. That tells you something about how much my family and other people in Hong Kong have been brainwashed.

nottheonly1
nottheonly1
Oct 11, 2019 5:28 PM
Reply to  Jen

Hatred of Mainland Chinese and the Mandarin language stems from this situation as well.

A thought crossed my mind while reading your sentence.

‘Jealousy’ has been at the root of the worst crimes (including genocide) perpetrated by humans. Sheer, rabid jealousy – in this case by the young ‘moderate rebel’ rioters for the success mainland China has in so many aspects of society. One indeed has to be extremely brain washed to point to those who are successful at perpetuating socialism and adjusting it for the 21st century for the benefit of the many and accuse them of the crimes that their own brain washers have programmed them with.
A succesful brainwash for sure.

vexarb
vexarb
Oct 11, 2019 12:09 PM

“The obsolete British legal system here [in Hong Kong] is clearly geared to protect the rich, not the majority.”

Is there a Lawyer in the house?

vexarb
vexarb
Oct 11, 2019 12:14 PM
Reply to  vexarb

Is the British legal system really geared to protect the rich?

Tish Farrell
Tish Farrell
Oct 11, 2019 1:22 PM
Reply to  vexarb

Well we who live in the UK certainly need to be rich if we wish to engage with it at any level, and especially if seeking any kind of justice.

Jen
Jen
Oct 12, 2019 4:54 AM
Reply to  Tish Farrell

The family whose daughter was killed on St Valentine’s Day in 2018 by her Hong Kong boyfriend in Taiwan, clearly was not rich enough to push the HK Legislative Assembly into giving the extradition bill a second reading and approving it.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins
Oct 11, 2019 5:28 PM
Reply to  vexarb

Ask Gary Hoy . . .

Loverat
Loverat
Oct 11, 2019 6:02 PM
Reply to  vexarb

Vexarb
If there was a lawyer in the house I doubt you would get an answer confirming they were ‘geared’to protect the rich. I think the more realist/ honest lawyers will be cautious if that question was asked of them and the most of the rest back the system.

Only having a limited knowledge of English law (UK) I would say there is some evidence the system and judiciary favours the rich in certain areas at least.
But not in all cases and not in all areas. Perhaps I would describe it as a patchy system with issues around access to justice. How it works in HK you’d probably be best doing some research.

Jen
Jen
Oct 12, 2019 4:51 AM
Reply to  Loverat

I believe Philip Morris tried to sue the Australian government for millions over a plain-packaging dispute in a Hong Kong court under investor-state dispute provisions, and ended up losing. What Philip Morris tried to do was plainly an abuse of the law governing investing in foreign countries where those countries’ laws (or enforcement of them) could threaten corporate activity and endanger expatriate employees working in those countries (because their governments were corrupt).

vexarb
vexarb
Oct 12, 2019 7:33 AM
Reply to  Jen

Sorry, Jen, that case is too complicated for me. My first question was: Who is Philip Morris? Then “plain packaging” gave me a clue: cigarettes. But having read it twice, I still cannot follow the argument. Let it pass, let it pass.

“Lawyer: a person you hire to fight a battle that you cannot”.

Jen
Jen
Oct 12, 2019 11:54 AM
Reply to  vexarb

Yes, sorry, the case did involve plain-packaging of cigarette packets to deter young people from taking up smoking, because it is a known fact that the earlier you get people hooked on the cancer sticks, the harder they find giving up smoking later on . Philip Morris (maker of Marlboro ciggies) clearly saw what plain-packaging (which Australia was planning to make mandatory on all cigarette companies) would do to its sales among teenagers and other young people. That is why the company sued Australia in a Hong Kong court under a law governing investor-state disputes that was originally meant to protect the human rights of employees of companies operating in countries where government corruption could be a serious issue and the companies employing those people needed to be able to intercede on their behalf if the employees were being threatened or blackmailed because they were known to be working for those companies. On this occasion though, Philip Morris lost the case and was forced to pay millions to the Australian government.

The law in Hong Kong was being misused by a rich corporation .

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Oct 11, 2019 10:44 PM
Reply to  vexarb

Britain has the best legal system that money can buy.