End of a knife-edge week

One of the more interesting weeks we have had for a while… You just know Trump, possessor of the deep, long-term, strategic sophistication of a toddler, is going to fold – and we get a nice stock-market jump and life goes on. Or… you suspend belief and watch as he goes for the long game, upending global investment patterns and (among other things) leading Hong Kong into that unknown region of CNY10 to USD1 and other possible delights.

Hong Kong has another little knife-edge uncertainty at the moment. It’s hard to believe that Beijing will let the local administration drop the proposed extradition amendment – but amusing to see how much more political capital and credibility Carrie Lam and her team can lose before a 2003-style backtrack is the only way out.

Here’s a list of opponents to the extradition proposal – quite an odd bunch to be on the same side.

To add the ambience, even modestly mild and moderate Michael Chugani foresees Hong Kong entering apocalyptic doom

I declare the Mothers’ Day/Buddha’s Birthday weekend open with a selection of the finest hand-picked reading matter.

The Standard – a tycoon-owned newspaper that usually worships local parasite industries – presents an op-ed on how to exterminate Hong Kong’s tourist pestilence. The suggested remedies are a bit limp-wristed (nothing that instills fear), but it’s surprising to see it there at all. The SCMP reports on a related subject from Vancouver, where it’s not about just milk powder.

Following the sentencing of the Occupy movement’s evil black-hand civilization-threatening ringleaders, a look at the limits to civil disobedience in Hong Kong. Gandhi and King wouldn’t have had a chance against the Chinese Communist Party.

And an excellent explanation of the Greater Bay Area – worth reading if only for the wonderful use of crisp, unemotional, academic English to confirm that the thing is a load of toxic crap designed to merge Hong Kong away.

On to economics… All the basic background you need on how we got to the US-China trade war. NPR on how and why US businesses kept quiet as China ripped them off (shades of domestic-violence victims). And China’s productivity problem (SOEs, etc).

For hardcore fans of United Front studies, the Jamestown Foundation devotes the whole of Issue 9 vol 19 to the subject.

Lastly, some humour: the Chinese Communist Party should admit that massacring students was wrong, and if Xi Jinping allowed citizens to speak their minds, he would be a cool guy.

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