Weekend reading

Two complementary stories from the South China Morning Post warn of the dangers of believing your own censored, history-rewriting, lie-spinning, think-tank-banning, self-glorifying, philandering-Internet-czar-infested propaganda machine: Beijing reshuffles info/cyber bosses to improve the nation’s image, and how did China mis-read US trade intentions?

One possible solution to the former problem is to consolidate all the Xi Jinping Blah-Blah Thought variants, of which there are 11 (can you name them all?) Sinologist Francesco Sisci addresses the latter with a broad sweep through China’s international relations back to the late 1980s (worth reading just for the recap of the last 30 years).

This week in China Spreading Friendship and Gaining Influence Across the World…

Mysterious and missing CEFC oligarch sells lots of real estate, including at Trump World Tower, Manhattan. But fear not – CEFC still has (for example) the Czech Republic, and for the time being, the silence of Patrick Ho, about whom new factoids have emerged (nothing exciting, but plenty of offshore/CCP ambience). A look at former US officials now lobbying for the Panda. And elsewhere in Beijing’s party-state-industrial complex, ZTE’s ties to military and sanctions-busting entities. On the Belt and Road Win-Win front, two vassal states are coming along nicely – Cambodia land of casinos and Laos the high-speed rail hub-zone.

On a (pretty much) non-China note, a long piece probably getting to the truth of what happened to Otto Warmbier, brain-dead US hostage in North Korea.

Closer to home, a somewhat snarky (could there be any other?) report from a Hong Kong Young Leaders gathering. And as Hong Kong merges with the oppressive Mainland, will it make sense for NGOs to move to Taiwan?

A different sort of merging-with-mainland – Hong Kong’s disappearing islands.

And Welcome to the Mid-Levels. (Where is this – under the Escalator? Need to get the Central and Western Concern Group to turn it into a heritage conservation shrine-cum-Korean-tourists-selfie-site.)

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