Well, that’s one way to start a Monday morning…

Donald Trump prepares a love-in with nuke-rattling North Korean dictator and hostage-releaser Kim Jong-un, pulls out of the years-in-negotiating multilateral Iran nuclear deal and potentially freezing Western economic relations with that country, then offers a lifeline for China’s ZTE – a state-linked company punished by the US for busting North Korea/Iran sanctions, whose technology in any case poses a national-security risk to Western countries – citing oh-so tragic job-losses in China.

Brains seize up in an attempt to explain. (Best advice: don’t bother trying.) If we find this warped inside-out quasi-diplomacy perturbing, think how freaked out coldly rational autocrat Xi Jinping – to take but one example – must be.

By way of badly needed distraction, a couple of worthwhile HKFP stories from the weekend, in case you missed them: Cardinal Joseph Chan-spelt-Zen on the Catholic Church’s China delusion, and the ongoing (and inevitable) transformation of the Hong Kong Legislative Council into a Mainland-style rubber-stamp. And to really get away from it all (plus a chance to brush up on your French), the last living black survivor of the Nazi labour camps.

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3 Responses to Well, that’s one way to start a Monday morning…

  1. Chinese Netizen says:

    It truly does defy comprehension. Even for the Dotard.

    Only thing I can think of is Xi Dada/Winnie is going to take back all those trademark approvals that were so easily handed out at his visit to Mar-A-Jagoff last year and Ivanka’s factories are being threatened with more aggressive safety/environmental inspections.

    You think all the loser “Jethros” in Ohio/West Virginia/Kentucky/etc that voted for him on the “America First” promises are a little lost right now and perhaps feeling a little violated and molested? Nah…they’ll give him a pass.

    After all…everything is about the name and the brand.

  2. LRE says:

    I rather enjoyed Balding’s slightly desperate contortionistic attempt to describe the possible styles and colours of the new clothes “worn” by an obviously naked man. Like religious folk, he fervently wants to believe there’s a fiendishly complex master plan rather than face the fact that it really is just an unsupervised three-year-old lurching from one self-created disaster to the next, applying the odd inadequate bandaid.

    However, I don’t think the naked toddler’s latest raid on the bandaid box is really beyond human ken. I think the explanation is right there in plain sight near the end of the piece:

    “ZTE relies on U.S. companies such as Qualcomm Inc, Intel Corp and Alphabet Inc’s Google. American companies are estimated to provide 25 percent to 30 percent of components in ZTE’s equipment, which includes smartphones and gear to build telecommunications networks.”

    A quick hop to Opensecrets.org shows Qualcomm spent $8.26m lobbying and $0.6m contributions, Intel $3.72m lobbying and $0.83m contributions, and Google $18.15m lobbying (putting them ahead of AT&T and Boeing) and $2.2m contributions.

    Look further into Qualcomm and we find: a $1m donation to fund Trump’s inaugural festivities; Qualcomm was awarded the DoD contract for IT system access protection; Trump blocked an unsolicited bid by Singapore’s Broadcom to buy Qualcomm because it would be a national security risk; Qualcomm is cutting 1,500 jobs in the US this year — losing ZTE might require them to cut a lot more and charge more for the contract.

    That sort of lobbying cash and threats of mass US job losses from people who lost a lot of business from ZTE is enough to goad even the naked and scruple-free President Mango J. Tinyhands into putting down the crayons and getting into apology mode.

  3. LRE says:

    While I was busying ranting about Qualcomm, even more China-related Qualcommery emerged!

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