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Old 05-21-2020, 09:29 PM
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Hong Kong; the End


Relations with the US suck anyway, and besides everyone is distracted, the Chinese seem to be ending Hong Kong's special status. I hope I am not being panicked by the headlines. But it seems President-for-Life Xi has decided he has had enough of "One Country, Two Systems."


It was fun while it lasted.
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Old 05-21-2020, 09:44 PM
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You’re not wrong, and it is not surprising. Macau may last longer because of its gambling revenue but China has made clear their ambition to dominate the Greater East Asian sphere of influence, and having autonomous regions n its own nominal borders is inconsistent with that goal.

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Old 05-21-2020, 09:47 PM
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It's bad news if you are a Chinese resident of HK, but I don't understand the "chilling warning to rest of the world" part of that article. Is somebody under the impression that the Chinese have plans to impose the same system on Hawaii?
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:38 PM
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It's bad news if you are a Chinese resident of HK, but I don't understand the "chilling warning to rest of the world" part of that article. Is somebody under the impression that the Chinese have plans to impose the same system on Hawaii?
The article doesn't really say anything about that, does it? I looked at the Human Rights Watch site, and the most recent post is dated a month ago, and has nothing about the new regulations from Beijing. I don't understand what Newsweek is seeing that we're not seeing.

The cynical side of me says I'm surprised it lasted this long, I never believed that Beijing meant anything but to absorb Hong Kong while trying to keep the money flowing. Then I wonder if Beijing is planning on running tanks down the streets of Hong Kong and massacring protesters. I know it's easy for me to say from the comfort of my living room, but I hope the protesters keep up the protests and don't give up.

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Old 05-21-2020, 10:54 PM
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It's bad news if you are a Chinese resident of HK, but I don't understand the "chilling warning to rest of the world" part of that article. Is somebody under the impression that the Chinese have plans to impose the same system on Hawaii?
Hope not. As a blue state, Chump would probably just withdraw the troops here back to the mainland.
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Old 05-22-2020, 01:19 AM
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The article doesn't really say anything about that, does it? I looked at the Human Rights Watch site, and the most recent post is dated a month ago, and has nothing about the new regulations from Beijing. I don't understand what Newsweek is seeing that we're not seeing.
The entire Western news media seems to be reporting this. From the Washington Post
Quote:
China to impose sweeping security law in Hong Kong, heralding end of cityís autonomy

China's Communist Party will impose a sweeping national security law in Hong Kong by fiat during the annual meeting of its top political body, officials said Thursday, criminalizing "foreign interference" along with secessionist activities and subversion of state power.
The BBC's take seems a little more muted in its tone, but the danger to "One Country, Two Systems" does seem very real.
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Old 05-22-2020, 01:47 AM
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Is anyone surprised that something like this would happen sooner or later? And probably a lot sooner than this. One can only wonder: What took them so long?

IIRC, North Vietnam agreed to keep hands off South Vietnam after the United States pulled out. How long did that last? (Something like a week or so?)
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Old 05-22-2020, 03:24 AM
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It's bad news if you are a Chinese resident of HK, but I don't understand the "chilling warning to rest of the world" part of that article. Is somebody under the impression that the Chinese have plans to impose the same system on Hawaii?
It's a clear sign that the Communist regime in China has no intention of political reform.

And even if you're willing to write off the fate of the billion people who live in China, this also has repercussions for other countries. One way the Chinese government has traditionally suppressed domestic unrest is to push the idea that China is threatened by foreign enemies.
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Old 05-23-2020, 12:45 PM
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Hong Kong was only allowed to exist before it was handed back because it benefited China. Portugal actually tried to give Macau back but China said "not now, later."

With the boom in South China and Canton (Guangzhou) and Hong Kong is about 80 miles and shenzhen to Hong Kong is only like 20 miles, so the Pearl River Delta doesn't need Hong Kong's economy. Even Shanghai has ramped up and taken much of Hong Kong's trade and economy in the last twenty years.
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Old 05-23-2020, 01:01 PM
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It's a clear sign that the Communist regime in China has no intention of political reform.

And even if you're willing to write off the fate of the billion people who live in China, this also has repercussions for other countries.
After ~250 years of Enlightenment liberalization in western Europe and societies based on that model, with Adam Smith, natural rights, democracy, free speech, freedom of conscience, etc., it's a chilling thought to consider if liberty doesn't actually give any material or political advantages in the modern world. If the China model of oligarchic bureaucracy represents the future. What if societies don't particularly need to be democratic any more?

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Old 05-23-2020, 01:44 PM
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After ~250 years of Enlightenment liberalization in western Europe and societies based on that model, with Adam Smith, natural rights, democracy, free speech, freedom of conscience, etc., it's a chilling thought to consider if liberty doesn't actually give any material or political advantages in the modern world. If the China model of oligarchic bureaucracy represents the future. What if societies don't particularly need to be democratic any more?
How much of the material advantage accruing to China is due to theft of technology and ideas from more free countries and individuals? How much of what it takes to get rich in China is based on one's ability to wangle one's way into the good graces of the bureaucracy?

I don't know the answers, but it is my opinion that these are not qualities conducive to innovation and progress.
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Old 05-23-2020, 01:58 PM
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After ~250 years of Enlightenment liberalization in western Europe and societies based on that model, with Adam Smith, natural rights, democracy, free speech, freedom of conscience, etc., it's a chilling thought to consider if liberty doesn't actually give any material or political advantages in the modern world. If the China model of oligarchic bureaucracy represents the future. What if societies don't particularly need to be democratic any more?
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How much of the material advantage accruing to China is due to theft of technology and ideas from more free countries and individuals? How much of what it takes to get rich in China is based on one's ability to wangle one's way into the good graces of the bureaucracy?

I don't know the answers, but it is my opinion that these are not qualities conducive to innovation and progress.
I tend to agree. I think a dictatorial regime can be good for catching up with other countries that have an economic or technological lead. But I don't think it's a good system for leading the way.

Any significant progress is a form of revolution. A technological revolution may not call for political change directly but once the technological change is in place, political change inevitable follows.

Any regime in power is going to be conservative in that it will want to stay in power, if for no other reason than because it sees itself as providing the best government to its people. In a liberal democracy, the regime might want to stay in power but it's unable to do so if the popular will wants a change. But in a dictatorship, the regime can ignore what the popular will wants.

So if a regime has a choice, it will avoid significant progress. A regime will, consciously or unconsciously, want to keep things the way they currently are because the current conditions are the ones that have placed them in power.
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:08 PM
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After ~250 years of Enlightenment liberalization in western Europe and societies based on that model, with Adam Smith, natural rights, democracy, free speech, freedom of conscience, etc., it's a chilling thought to consider if liberty doesn't actually give any material or political advantages in the modern world. If the China model of oligarchic bureaucracy represents the future. What if societies don't particularly need to be democratic any more?
"The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter", as Churchill probably never said. It's not looking great for the West right now, when our system has given us Trump. At the least the Chinese government has basic competence.
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Old 05-24-2020, 06:44 PM
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It's not looking great for the West right now, when our system has given us Trump.
Our system gave us George W. Bush and Donald Trump. Democracy would have given us Al Gore and Hillary Clinton. I'm not seeing this as showing a problem with democracy.
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Old 05-24-2020, 06:52 PM
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Relations with the US suck anyway, and besides everyone is distracted, the Chinese seem to be ending Hong Kong's special status. I hope I am not being panicked by the headlines. But it seems President-for-Life Xi has decided he has had enough of "One Country, Two Systems."


It was fun while it lasted.
It's happening. It's not that surprising, especially considering that I think the CCP has finally realized that Taiwan isn't going to voluntarily come back into the fold with the enticement of the One Party (sorry, Country) Two Systems bullshit. I think they will get more push back about this than they think, but they are so far across the line now that they probably don't see it as a major downside right now, and probably hope that the west will eventually forget about it when we go back to business as usual.

The CCP are a bunch of tone deaf and stupid ideologues, who think they know what they are doing, but really don't. I think they have made a(nother) calculation here and are betting they are right and that they might as well rip that scab off now, take the pain and then move on. The people of Hong Kong are in for rough times. I've heard from family of my sons partner who still live in Hong Kong that a lot of people are looking into immigration options to Taiwan. No idea how true that is, but I wouldn't be surprised.
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Old 05-24-2020, 08:29 PM
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From what I've read, Xi is consolidating his power internally as well. He is considered the most despotic ruler since Mao, a title not to be taken lightly.

He's undoubtedly as furious at Hong Kong's defiance as Trump would be and has the means to back it up. If he gets away with Hong Kong, we can expect Taiwan to be in danger. And control of the seas around China would be next, even if it meant confrontation with the U.S. I would bet that he doesn't consider a shooting war over island territory a realistic possibility by any U.S. president.

Trump's withdrawal from international relations has been a boon to him because it opened doors for China to exert dominance and/or leadership over third world countries as well as international stature in gestures like offering $2 billion to WHO. (Not to mention he benefits internally from both Trump's hyperbolic praise of China and from Trump's angry but empty threats against China.)

China has somewhat amazingly avoided a serious depression despite endless warning signs. I'm not sure whether one would make Xi more likely to move on outside territories or less. Without a collapse even huger than the pandemic, he's appears to be in good shape to achieve his goals.
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Old 05-24-2020, 09:49 PM
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I suspect, but cannot prove, the Chinese are cooking the books. When a reckoning comes it is going to crash the whole world.
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Old 05-25-2020, 01:19 AM
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Honkies are fucked. I've written that before. I lived in HK for about 5 years total in the 1980's and 1990's. I lived there for the handover. I hope they go out protesting, and as I know the Hongkongese, they will. Salute.

BUT they are up against the Empire that has left Manchurians (the Qing Dynasty and Last Emperor) 3% of the Manchurian population, Mongolians less than 20% of Inner Mongolia, Tibetans probably now less than 20% of Tibetan areas (where they were still a majority in the 1980's), the Uighers under siege.

Taiwanese economy is deeply entwined with China. And they are next to join the Borg.

@Paul - what cooking the books are your talking about? If you're referring to widespread covid transmission, you're off base. I've answered dozens of CT on these boards. Factories are up and running (although an open question if the sub tier factories are good), people are not dying in the streets of Wuhan or Shanghai.
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Old 05-25-2020, 04:17 AM
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I suspect that there is widespread financial fraud in China. This is all great fun when the good times roll. But the last recession showed that when times are bad the fakers and fraudsters will be found out. Imagine a few hundred Chinese companies all collapsing. That will leave mark.
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Old 05-25-2020, 11:50 AM
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It's bad news if you are a Chinese resident of HK, but I don't understand the "chilling warning to rest of the world" part of that article. Is somebody under the impression that the Chinese have plans to impose the same system on Hawaii?
As in the old joke: All they want is the land that adjoins theirs.


Not all at once, of course. Bit by bit's much easier to pull off.
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Old 05-25-2020, 01:46 PM
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I'll admit I'm a little surprised by this development. I figured the regime would figure it had already "won" in Hong Kong by taking it under its control and would be willing to allow the fig leaf of local autonomy to exist for a while longer for international public relations purposes.

But I guess the Convid19 crisis gave them both the incentive (there must be some domestic unrest over the government's handling of the crisis that needs to be distracted) and the cover (the world is paying attention to the disease right now and the United States isn't likely to form a coherent response under the current administration) to put an end to the illusion that Hong Kong has any real autonomy.
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Old 05-25-2020, 02:00 PM
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About three years ago we went to Hong Kong as tourists. I had never been there, and it was one of the places I definitely wanted to visit sometime. We had a wonderful time.

Iím so glad I got to go because it doesnít look like it will be a welcoming place for tourists again for many years.
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Old 05-25-2020, 02:31 PM
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Our system gave us George W. Bush and Donald Trump. Democracy would have given us Al Gore and Hillary Clinton. I'm not seeing this as showing a problem with democracy.
So a democracy is only when a popular vote selects the executive? That leaves out a whole lot of countries that think they have a form of democracy.
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Old 05-25-2020, 03:10 PM
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I suspect that there is widespread financial fraud in China. This is all great fun when the good times roll. But the last recession showed that when times are bad the fakers and fraudsters will be found out. Imagine a few hundred Chinese companies all collapsing. That will leave mark.
Suspect? How about there is widespread fraud and little oversight even of publicly listed companies. And all the state owned enterprises or pseudo-state owned enterprises.

Covid has probably killed a lot of the small players in the global supply chain already in serious pain based on the tariff war.

I wrote on these boards maybe in Feb, that this is "peak" China.
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Old 05-25-2020, 03:50 PM
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About three years ago we went to Hong Kong as tourists. I had never been there, and it was one of the places I definitely wanted to visit sometime. We had a wonderful time.

Iím so glad I got to go because it doesnít look like it will be a welcoming place for tourists again for many years.
Indeed. I was fortunate enough to have visited Hong Kong several times in the 1990s, both before and after the handover. Lovely place. Shame to see it all go to shit.
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Old 05-25-2020, 04:43 PM
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I apologize in advance for my ignorance, but would it be possible to get a seriously dumbed-down nutshell of what is happening now, and what the significance might be?

I tried reading up on the Hong Kong situation, and to be frank, every article assumes that you know what's what and why things are the way they are, and why some people want things to be different from whatever the hell things are now, and I don't even really grasp what any of it means.

Maybe this isn't the right place - in which case, feel free to swat me & I'll go start a thread to ask separately, I guess. But I figured y'all are in this thread already because this is a topic near & dear to your collective hearts, and I want to ask *YOU* and not get the opinions of a bunch of randos.
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Old 05-25-2020, 04:46 PM
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At the least the Chinese government has basic competence.
This sounds a lot like the old "at least the Italian trains run on time under Mussolini".

It's also a gross exaggeration.

As for other countries taking note of the Chinese failing in their commitment to "one country, two systems", the idea is that any nation that's reached an agreement with China should wonder whether and when the Chinese will ignore it because it suits their purposes.
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Old 05-25-2020, 04:53 PM
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As in the old joke: All they want is the land that adjoins theirs.


Not all at once, of course. Bit by bit's much easier to pull off.
Getting rid of the Uighurs won't hurt their cause, either.

Yet another Holocaust, anyone?
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Old 05-25-2020, 04:53 PM
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I apologize in advance for my ignorance, but would it be possible to get a seriously dumbed-down nutshell of what is happening now, and what the significance might be?
The nutshell:

Hong Kong was annexed by China in 1997, but Beijing promised Hong Kong it would get to enjoy relative freedom and autonomy for fifty years (until 2047.)

Instead, that day has come 27 years early. Beijing has passed/invoked a law that would allow for sweeping crackdowns on things like "sedition" (which is so vague and broad that it will likely include things as minor as protesting or criticism of the Communist Party.) Essentially, Hong Kong would become little different than any other Chinese city like Xiamen or Tianjin, and free speech would likely become nonexistent.


As for the significance - the significance is that for a long time, China has been pressuring Taiwan to become like Hong Kong - unify with China under the same system that Hong Kong did. Now that Taiwan sees what "becoming like Hong Kong" really means, this likely sounds the death knell for peaceful unification of Taiwan with China. From this point on, unification will only happen by war, or not at all.

Last edited by Velocity; 05-25-2020 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 05-25-2020, 05:06 PM
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Indeed. I was fortunate enough to have visited Hong Kong several times in the 1990s, both before and after the handover. Lovely place. Shame to see it all go to shit.
From friends who visited, they thought it was one of the best food destinations in the world. Up there with Singapore, Strasbourg, or Dijon----a town where pretty much any street you walked down, you could find something delicious.

Perhaps it will remain such after the transition. I have doubts.
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Old 05-25-2020, 05:07 PM
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"The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter", as Churchill probably never said. It's not looking great for the West right now, when our system has given us Trump. At the least the Chinese government has basic competence.
Really? Sucking up to an actual dictator with actual concentration/death camps to own Trump? TDS is too ture.
There something about Mussolini and trains, too.
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Old 05-25-2020, 05:44 PM
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Taiwan has expressed support for the protestors in HK and has offered them unspecified 'help'. Taiwan knows that a free Hong Kong is to their benefit.

This is an extraordinarily dangerous time in the world. Old orders are creaking, leaders are facing incredibly hard decisions, economies are at risk, and the world is focused on Covid. This is the kind of environment that causes desperate leaders to engage in desperate measures.

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Old 05-25-2020, 06:04 PM
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Hope not. As a blue state, Chump would probably just withdraw the troops here back to the mainland.
"Hawaii is on an island. Not many people know that. Surrounded by water. Big ocean water. And Hawaii, as you know, is where that very bad man lived, after he was born in Kenya. So we really don't want that. That's why we are going to bring our beautiful troops home, and our really big ships. The biggest ships! There was an admiral here the other day, a real admiral. Big man. Huge head. Anyway, he said to me "Sir, we have the biggest ships and we have you to thank for that. Thank you sir!" And he had tears in his eyes.

So this is why we're going to just leave that Hawaii place to itself, because they don't appreciate me there."
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Old 05-25-2020, 06:45 PM
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"Hawaii is on an island. Not many people know that. Surrounded by water. Big ocean water. And Hawaii, as you know, is where that very bad man lived, after he was born in Kenya. So we really don't want that. That's why we are going to bring our beautiful troops home, and our really big ships. The biggest ships! There was an admiral here the other day, a real admiral. Big man. Huge head. Anyway, he said to me "Sir, we have the biggest ships and we have you to thank for that. Thank you sir!" And he had tears in his eyes.

So this is why we're going to just leave that Hawaii place to itself, because they don't appreciate me there."
That all sounds perfectly plausible. Really.
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Old 05-25-2020, 07:03 PM
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This is an extraordinarily dangerous time in the world. Old orders are creaking, leaders are facing incredibly hard decisions, economies are at risk, and the world is focused on Covid. This is the kind of environment that causes desperate leaders to engage in desperate measures.
True enough, but this comment would be far more apt in one of the umpteen "what the fuck has Trump done now" threads than a thread about Xi.
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Old 05-25-2020, 07:31 PM
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ive always thought there was going to be an insurrection/civil war going on in HK since they handed it over ....

I've never understood why in the 50s when mao took over the UK just didn't void the treaty and make HK an independent protectorate or even they gave it back at all .....
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Old 05-25-2020, 08:46 PM
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ive always thought there was going to be an insurrection/civil war going on in HK since they handed it over ....

I've never understood why in the 50s when mao took over the UK just didn't void the treaty and make HK an independent protectorate or even they gave it back at all .....
On the one hand, Hong Kong was physically undefendable and everyone knew it. On the other hand, pissing off the UK or even worse the USA would have been a risky move for a small territory that wasn't really worth it. As long as it wasn't causing any problems, both sides were content to let the status of Hong Kong be deferred until the expiration of the treaty.
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Old 05-25-2020, 09:12 PM
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The Onion's take on the situation seems apropos...
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:42 PM
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ive always thought there was going to be an insurrection/civil war going on in HK since they handed it over ....

I've never understood why in the 50s when mao took over the UK just didn't void the treaty and make HK an independent protectorate or even they gave it back at all .....
William Marshall did a series of mystery novels set in the Yellowthread Street police station in Hong Kong, pre-return. Every one, IIRC, contains a boilerplate piece on how the Chinese controlled the Hong Kong water supply and could turn it off at any moment.
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Old 05-27-2020, 01:27 AM
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The nutshell:

Hong Kong was annexed by China in 1997, but Beijing promised Hong Kong it would get to enjoy relative freedom and autonomy for fifty years (until 2047.)
Fighting ignorance correction.

Hong Kong was not "annexed" by China. Hong Kong was "ceded" by China during the Opium Wars to the British. Under gunboat diplomacy, Hong Kong island was given to the British under a 99 year lease (with Kowloon and the New Territories ambiguously outside those 99 year terms). At the end of 99 year, specifically 1997, control of HK passed from being an unequal part of the UK back to China.

This was a shameful episode by the UK, which had benefited from HK being part of the Empire, yet the residents of HK had few to no rights to the UK. Even so far as to issue the "British National Overseas" passport that was not worth the paper it was printed on. A dark stain in the last days of the Empire.

All that said, China is not living up to the commitment under Deng Xiao-ping for "no change for 50 years. Or longer if the local honkies demand it*." But "annexation" is not the correct term. (Russian annexed the Crimea, China patiently waited for the gunboat agreement to expire and HK defaulted back to Chinese control.

*second sentence is a paraphrase
  #41  
Old 05-27-2020, 07:01 AM
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It's bad news if you are a Chinese resident of HK, but I don't understand the "chilling warning to rest of the world" part of that article. Is somebody under the impression that the Chinese have plans to impose the same system on Hawaii?
I'm in Australia. There is a legitimate fear that the Chinese have plans to impose the same system on Australia.

Their ambassador gives us a slap every time we say anything out of line: their coal buying seems to depend on geopolitics as much as market abuse, and they've just put an 80% tariff on Australian barley for what could charitably be described as imaginary reasons.

As a matter of interest, "China" as traditionally conceived is the whole world. The Middle Kingdom. Everything between Heaven and Hell. Tibet is, of course, not part of Heaven or Hell: it is part of the Middle Kingdom. Some parts of the known world (Tibet) didn't pay any attention, and some parts (Japan) were in active division, but the Chinese government didn't have anything like a "Foreign Office" until the treaty of 1842 -- which, naturally, they still bitterly resent.
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:28 AM
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So a democracy is only when a popular vote selects the executive? That leaves out a whole lot of countries that think they have a form of democracy.
In those countries, do their systems frequently put a minority party in power? Just asking. Because when the forms of democracy are regularly used to thwart the will of the majority, then it's questionable whether that country has an actual democracy.
  #43  
Old 05-27-2020, 11:39 AM
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In those countries, do their systems frequently put a minority party in power? Just asking. Because when the forms of democracy are regularly used to thwart the will of the majority, then it's questionable whether that country has an actual democracy.
The USA is a federalist system, which means that the states as individual states have an irreducible representation regardless of population. Not having Delaware and Rhode Island perpetually outvoted by Virginia was the price of having a single country. Occasionally this means that 49.5% of the population outvotes the other 50.5%.

Comparing this to an unelected oligarchy that was founded as a totalitarian one-party state is disingenuous.
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Old 05-27-2020, 12:22 PM
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As a matter of interest, "China" as traditionally conceived is the whole world. The Middle Kingdom. Everything between Heaven and Hell. Tibet is, of course, not part of Heaven or Hell: it is part of the Middle Kingdom. Some parts of the known world (Tibet) didn't pay any attention, and some parts (Japan) were in active division, but the Chinese government didn't have anything like a "Foreign Office" until the treaty of 1842 -- which, naturally, they still bitterly resent.
Whatever the problems with Chinese ambitions in the region and their horrible treatment of places like Tibet and Xinjiang, your first few sentences are a silly irrelevance. And also a non sequitur, since "middle" does not mean "whole". The last part of what you wrote is also barely relevant today, but reflects a long period of Chinese isolationism, when you seem to be citing it as evidence of the opposite.

Historically, it was always natural to think of your own civilization as the center of things, and perhaps all that is civilized when little is known about what lies beyond, and the immediate neighborhood seems relatively primitive. It's like suggesting that modern European policy toward the U.S. is shaped by the fact that this part of the map was labeled Hic Sunt Dracones on an ancient globe.

Last edited by Riemann; 05-27-2020 at 12:22 PM.
  #45  
Old 05-27-2020, 03:23 PM
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True enough, but this comment would be far more apt in one of the umpteen "what the fuck has Trump done now" threads than a thread about Xi.
It says something that we have umpteen threads about Trump and the US, while threads about China, or criticism of China or Xi are pretty thin on the ground and generally not well attended wrt posters posting. We get a few $.50 Army types who are the usual suspects, and a few 'dopers who obviously don't know much about what goes on in China, and the majority of posters in such a thread want to just talk about...yup, Trump and the US and how bad things are here.

Look at THIS thread, which should be pretty much exclusively about Hong Kong and China and really has zero to do with the US or Trump. I've grown to expect that there can be no real serious criticism of China or XI or the CCP on this board without digressions about the US and Trump. It's just not possible.
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Old 05-27-2020, 03:36 PM
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Not having Delaware and Rhode Island perpetually outvoted by Virginia was the price of having a single country.
Delaware doesn't have a vote. Rhode Island doesn't have a vote. Virginia doesn't have a vote.

Delawareans, Rhode Islanders, and Virginians have votes. And they should all have the same votes. There's no good reason why a Delawarean's vote should be bigger than a Virginian's vote or why an Alaskan's vote should be bigger than a Californian's.

This is not the price of having a single country. I do not believe for one second that any state would secede if we passed an amendment saying all votes are equal.

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Occasionally this means that 49.5% of the population outvotes the other 50.5%.
Democracy is when the side that gets more votes wins. 49.5% can't outvote 50.5%. When 50.5% outvotes 49.5% but 49.5% is declared the winner, then it isn't democracy.
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Old 05-27-2020, 06:30 PM
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.your first few sentences are a silly irrelevance. And also a non sequitur, since "middle" does not mean "whole". The last part of what you wrote is also barely relevant today, but reflects a long period of Chinese isolationism, when you seem to be citing it as evidence of the opposite.
That is an interesting opinion which I wholly reject.
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Old 05-27-2020, 06:39 PM
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Look at THIS thread, which should be pretty much exclusively about Hong Kong and China and really has zero to do with the US or Trump. I've grown to expect that there can be no real serious criticism of China or XI or the CCP on this board without digressions about the US and Trump. It's just not possible.
Maybe that's because there's a reason for it - Trump is ethically far worse, far more incompetent and far more dangerous than the Chinese leadership. Of course nobody's saying the Chinese government is great and we should give up on freedom and democracy, but it's pretty hard to be an enthusiastic cheerleader for the West right now, and it's difficult not to respond to claims that the Chinese are so terrible without asking - relative to what? Especially when Trump seems determined to make beating on China a distraction from his own evil incompetence in an election year.

Last edited by Riemann; 05-27-2020 at 06:39 PM.
  #49  
Old 05-27-2020, 07:53 PM
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Delaware doesn't have a vote. Rhode Island doesn't have a vote. Virginia doesn't have a vote.
Yes, they DO. That's the whole point of federalism: to some extent- not as much as in the past but still some- the states are semi-sovereign signatories to the national government.

Quote:
There's no good reason why a Delawarean's vote should be bigger than a Virginian's vote or why an Alaskan's vote should be bigger than a Californian's.
Because people living in sparsely populated rural areas might have different concerns, needs and desires than people living in the megalopolis's of the east and west coasts, and might not want to have to live under rules crafted for urban conglomerates of tens of millions of people.

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This is not the price of having a single country.
It literally was back in 1787. The people of the smaller states would have had exactly zero reason to join the United States if their votes would have amounted to nothing more than drops in the bucket, ignorable at the national level.

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I do not believe for one second that any state would secede if we passed an amendment saying all votes are equal.
They are all equal, but they're bundled in groups by state, because (I'll say it again) we have a federalist system. To put it another way: should the World Series pennant go to whichever team scores the most runs overall in seven games, or to the team that wins the most games? "Federalism" is when you think that runs should be bundled by game.

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Democracy is when the side that gets more votes wins. 49.5% can't outvote 50.5%. When 50.5% outvotes 49.5% but 49.5% is declared the winner, then it isn't democracy.
That's the fourth-graders' version of democracy, which is not how it's ever actually worked in the entire history of our country. Certainly it can be asked if a new system should be put in place that reflects how modern technology has shrunk and merged our nation to a degree unthinkable before the industrial revolution, although that would probably require a Constitutional Convention that dissolved the states, which realistically isn't going to happen.
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:00 PM
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Maybe that's because there's a reason for it - Trump is ethically far worse, far more incompetent and far more dangerous than the Chinese leadership. Of course nobody's saying the Chinese government is great and we should give up on freedom and democracy, but it's pretty hard to be an enthusiastic cheerleader for the West right now, and it's difficult not to respond to claims that the Chinese are so terrible without asking - relative to what? Especially when Trump seems determined to make beating on China a distraction from his own evil incompetence in an election year.
Unless you are making the case that the only reason, or a primary reason...or even any reason...the CCP is doing this is because of Trump and the US, I'm not seeing how ranting about Trump or the US is relevant here. There are tons of other threads, or you could start a new one that will certainly get more response than this has (even WITH all the Trump/US digression) if you want to discuss either Trump or the US.

Hell, just you and I digressing about this detracts from the actual subject of the thread. Again. I'll just leave it there. The US and Trump are, at best, peripheral to what's going on in Hong Kong. And that's being generous. This is about the CCP and their ongoing attempt (since before Trump was president) to lock down Hong Kong and get rid of the One Country, Two Systems, um, system, which has always grated on the CCP and, frankly, destabilizes things on the mainland, since the Chinese people are certainly aware of how much different it is on the mainland compared to in Hong Kong. The only part the US plays in this is more as a spoiler, aggravating the CCP and putting their backs up. But the same could be said about every country that the CCP thinks is interfering in their 'internal affairs', which goes for every country that has an issue with their slow motion attempt at Taiwan as well. And their already finished take over and integration of Macau. Oh, and Tibet. And their South China Sea and 9 dash line assertions. Oh, and...
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