Some mid-week links…

…to test everyone’s paywall-avoidance skills.

The Financial Times reminds us to update the Hong Kong version of the Celebrity Death List with a look at the aging octo-/nonagenarian tycoons whose cartels monopolize our domestic economy.

Back in the 1980s, the Chinese Communist Party, perhaps imagining that the richest people in Hong Kong created rather than skimmed off the city’s wealth, co-opted the property moguls as a local support base. We sometimes hear that Beijing now feels the Hong Kong plutocrats’ role in fostering social discontent makes them more trouble than they are worth – which supposedly accounts for Mainland giants usurping them in (say) land auctions.

But their public and private rent-seeking holdings continue to leech billions out of the productive economy, thanks to Hong Kong government efforts to push up housing prices, flood the city with tourists, splurge on white-elephant infrastructure projects, and other cronyism. (Well, whaddya know?) There’s no sign that this will end when the old tycoons die – assuming they ever do.

A New York Times op-ed poses the question of whether Hong Kong is really a part of China. Various pedants and naifs who read the column literally will object to it on historical, constitutional or simply logical grounds (though few twist and falsify history as energetically as the CCP). But this misses the point – the writer is mischievously endorsing the localists’ position that Chinese sovereignty is incompatible with Hong Kong people’s rights and freedoms. (See also the comment by ‘Sifu628’ on how the older pro-dems’ faith in Beijing was betrayed.)

By ‘mischievously’ I mean the article is exquisitely, wickedly designed to go down like a cup of cold sick and send all the right people ballistic.

 

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3 Responses to Some mid-week links…

  1. York Harding says:

    Another helpful quotation from THE QUIET AMERICAN for you.

    You really should stop being such a QUIET ENGLISHMAN.

    “They don’t want Communism.”

    “They want enough rice,” I said. “They don’t want to be shot at. They want one day to be much the same as another. They don’t want our white skins around telling them what they want.”

    You do have a very white skin!

    Pip, pip!

  2. Colonial Dinosaur says:

    In “twitching” circles I believe that is has oft been discussed that our most famous “bald eagle” had to go back to work as he had with others of his like failed to have any of his nestled fledgling’s hatch due to the strong winds that disrupted their nesting sites in 2008…

  3. Jeff says:

    NTSCMP is being a massive douche bag as usual

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