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Mercer

Hong Kong

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It’s no offense to you personally @One Man BannedBut the hate, and excuse for it is so poorly conceived it’s worth pointing it out.

 

I’ll put it like this because you still seem to think Hong Kong extraditing that one criminal was a realistic scenario. There’s no country in the world that would realign important aspects of their international relations based on a single case like that. The US doesn’t have extradition treaties with some nations, North Korea for example. So if a North Korean murderer was at large in the US, our own congress/senate isn’t going to go ahead and set up extradition for North Korea. Nor would any sensible person expect North Korea make a complete 180 in foreign policy if someone from the US is wanted for a crime and in their country. The idea that someone actually expects major changes like that to go down is so ridiculous it’s totally worth calling out how retarded that expectation is. For extradition it takes more than just legislation, it takes cooperation on a fairly large scale between the criminal justice systems of both countries, requiring major structural changes.

 

China has a policy of cutting diplomatic relations with any country that officially recognizes Taiwan. Not sure if you Remember Trumps Gaffe of taking a call from Taiwan, which no other US President has done until that point to avoid diplomatic tensions with China.

 

There are several countries in Asia that have no official government recognition of Taiwan, all of them out of fears what China would do to them if they did acknowledge Taiwan. A semi autonomous Chinese territory Like Hong Kong stands to lose a lot in comparison to most, by going against Beijing and officially recognizing, and improving diplomacy with Taiwan.

 

I don’t know if @Hua Guofangcan back me up here, but if your friend was smart, they’d be rooting for Hong Kong and the protesters right now instead of hating. What’s really at stake for Taiwan is if China can extradite anyone from Hong Kong without charges, That puts Taiwanese citizens traveling in Hong Kong at risk of disappearing into a re-education camp. Remember, China’s communist party hates Taiwan because of their complete independence and freedom. A multi generational beef that dates back to when the Capitalist originally fled the Communists and set up shop in Taiwan.

 

Again, no offense to you personally, or even your friend, I just dislike xenophobia so much I have trouble ignoring stuff like that. 

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I never expressed any thoughts on HK extraditing anyone, never said they should, shouldn't, anything.  I said people were upset about a murderer escaping there.

I'll suggest some of your history of Taiwan relations is skewed.  The US used to be much more aligned with them, remember all your old toys that said Made in Taiwan under the foot?  That ended around Obama but maybe much earlier. If I'm correct I also believe we've been considered their ally should shit go south although that's more iffy whenever the U.S. is trying to have relations with China.

You appear lost on the fact that Taiwan also has a lot to lose too if HK provokes the Chinese government into anything.  They have stood "independent" longer than HK, and if China should come into HK there's no reason they can't do the same to Taiwan.  I don't think you recognize how delicate a climate it is there in this respect.  I also realized earlier that part of the anger by Taiwanese people related to a cultural concept of face, but not worth explaining at the moment.  Interesting that you take it all to equal xenophobia while ignoring the rest.

TBH I believe you're more annoyed that the less reported piece of this story does not fit your concept of these people being heroes passively resisting (a Communist) government.  I'm not saying they're not, but there's more to the story than what's being portrayed.  

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Couple of points that may help folks think about this:

 

- HK is not independent. The British had a 99 year lease over the province as part of an agreement between UK And Mainland China in the wash up of the Opium Wars. It was handed back to China in 1997. The Brits only really had democracy there for about 10 years prior to handover. Before that, it was essentially a British colonial province

 

- HK operates under 'one country - two systems', which is that HK is part of China but has a different system of govt than the mainland. As part of the handover in the 90s, the UK formed an agreement with Beijing that covered human rights, democracy, etc. etc. Beijing has since told the UK to go fuck itself and gone back on that agreement (pretty standard practice for the CCP).

 

. Taiwan is de facto independent - in that they have their own govt, their own standing army, their own passports and they pay taxes to no one. However, they have never outright claimed independence. Beijing will invade if they do claim independence as they see it as part of China

 

. There is the One China Policy (mainland is called the People's Republic of China, Taiwan is call the Republic of China - Both govts see themselves as the legitimate govt of mainland and Taiwan, so they both see Taiwan as part of China but both disagree on who should be boss), which essentially recognises that there is only one China. Most of the world follows the OCP. 

 

- In the Chinese civil war between communists and republicans (@Mercer it's not accurate to say commies versus capitalists) in the mid 1900s, the US backed the republicans. When the Commies won the war in the late 40s, the republicans (otherwise known as the Guomindang) fled to Taiwan. In the late 70s (can recall exactly which year) the US switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to Mainland China, allowing the PRC to take the seat in the UN. The US still has semi-official relations with Taiwan, as most countries do (I think it's about only 11 countries that still diplomatically recognise Taiwan), through cultural affairs offices, which are essentially de facto embassies.

 

- The US has the Taiwan relations act - read about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiwan_Relations_Act

   The TRA basically says that the US will defend Taiwan if it is invaded, unprovoked and will assist Taiwan in being able to defend itself from other aggressors (that means sell them weapons and similar acts) but it also means that the US won't support Taiwan if it provokes Mainland China

 

- Taiwan watches what happens in HK, so that if the Mainland ever argues that Taiwan can have a one country - two systems situation if it unifies with the Mainland, it can have an idea of what that means in practice. Clearly, it doesn't mean shit because the Party are worried that the freedoms enjoyed by HK and the Taiwan might infect the Mainland and they'll be kicked out of power.

 

- At the moment, with the support of the US, China hasn't a hope of successfully invading Taiwan. Even without the assistance of the US (and Japan, as they don't want to be flanked by China either), it will be extremely difficult for the Mainland to invade and hold the territory for numerous reasons - PRC doesn't have the logistics required for an amphibious assault, there are few points where an amphib assault could land on the island - Taiwan has a lot of area denial capabilities such as subs, Gen-4.5 aircraft, missiles, etc., that would make getting across the Strait difficult - Taiwan has 23m people, many of whom are trained to fight due to national service. Think how hard controlling them would be and the insurgency (aided by numerous other countries) that would have to be fought for many years. That's just to name a few points.

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10 hours ago, Hua Guofang said:

In the Chinese civil war between communists and republicans (@Mercer it's not accurate to say commies versus capitalists) in the mid 1900s, the US backed the republicans. When the Commies won the war in the late 40s, the republicans (otherwise known as the Guomindang) fled to Taiwan. In the late 70s (can recall exactly which year) the US switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to Mainland China, allowing the PRC to take the seat in the UN. The US still has semi-official relations with Taiwan, as most countries do (I think it's about only 11 countries that still diplomatically recognise Taiwan), through cultural affairs offices, which are essentially de facto embassies.

A subject I've revisited recently focused more on the aftermath, and later cultural revolution under Mao. I'd like to actually read more about Chiang Kai Shek but there isn't anything purposely noble there outside of just fighting Commies, just a long list of his own atrocities, and widespread corruption. The man made yellow river flood was one of the most heinous acts of genocide to have ever been committed IMO.

 

 

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Edited by Mercer

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20 hours ago, One Man Banned said:

I never expressed any thoughts on HK extraditing anyone, never said they should, shouldn't, anything.  I said people were upset about a murderer escaping there.

I was pointing out how dumb aiming that anger at the "Elitists" Honk Kong is retarded, nothing more.

20 hours ago, One Man Banned said:

I'll suggest some of your history of Taiwan relations is skewed.  The US used to be much more aligned with them, remember all your old toys that said Made in Taiwan under the foot?  That ended around Obama but maybe much earlier. If I'm correct I also believe we've been considered their ally should shit go south although that's more iffy whenever the U.S. is trying to have relations with China.

China itself embraced the free market, now when we want stuff made cheaply we have more options. Nothing changed government wise, it's just the free market in action.

 

20 hours ago, One Man Banned said:

You appear lost on the fact that Taiwan also has a lot to lose too if HK provokes the Chinese government into anything.  They have stood "independent" longer than HK, and if China should come into HK there's no reason they can't do the same to Taiwan.  I don't think you recognize how delicate a climate it is there in this respect.

Fairly obvious if Hong Kong set up extradition with Taiwan it would piss off China way more than Hong Kong protesting their own government.

 

20 hours ago, One Man Banned said:

I also realized earlier that part of the anger by Taiwanese people related to a cultural concept of face, but not worth explaining at the moment.

No explanation needed, the foolish concept of "saving face", AKA never acknowledging your missteps, defeat, or mistakes isn't exclusive to politics in Asia. 

 

20 hours ago, One Man Banned said:

Interesting that you take it all to equal xenophobia while ignoring the rest.

Serious question. What exactly am I ignoring?

 

20 hours ago, One Man Banned said:

TBH I believe you're more annoyed that the less reported piece of this story does not fit your concept of these people being heroes passively resisting (a Communist) government.

What less reported piece? The completely unrelated topic of diplomatic cooperation between Taiwan/Hong Kong? The murder that also has nothing to do with the protests?

 

20 hours ago, One Man Banned said:

I'm not saying they're not, but there's more to the story than what's being portrayed.  

I hope you can understand this murder, and the lack of extradition treaties between Taiwan/Hong Kong has absolutely nothing to do with these protest. If your friend actually values Taiwan's freedom from the Chinese Communist Party, they'd put the petty shit neither country has control over aside, and consider Hong Kong an ally.

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@One Man Bannedthis explains the connection between the two you were right that the two were connected. Doesn't explain the "elitists" comment, or how Taiwan is taking the demonstration as a slight against them. The law they're protesting against would have put Taiwanese traveling  in Hong Kong at risk of being sent to Chineses prison/labor camps. 

 

 

 

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On 8/18/2019 at 4:35 AM, Mercer said:

 

China itself embraced the free market,

I've seen you say this a couple of times in different threads and it's simply not true.

 

China has a centrally commanded economy:

  • It has massive state owned enterprises (which largely run at a massive loss, but are supported by lending through the state owned banks, which use the savings of average Chinese folk who have nowhere to invest that money in other than real estate or a stock market that is only a few years old and highly incredible due to corruption and numerous other issues)
  • The govt sets price ceilings on many things, from milk, to petrol, to air fares, etc.
  • Foreign investors have to have a local partner in most industries, they have to hand over IP and source codes to be able to operate in China, etc. etc.
  • The judiciary and media are not free and independent, as per the constitution, they come under the guidance of the Party.

 

And that's just what I could be bothered typing right now but they are pretty fundamental points. I honestly don't understand how you've come to the decision that there's a free market in China.

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@Hua GuofangSince this discussion has turned towards semantics, how would you prefer I describe the recent  changes in Chinese economic policy?  Do you assert the CCP is moving away from free markets, or at least not in that direction. Perhaps you think it's operating exactly how it did in the 60's, 70's, and 80's in regards to economic policy?

 

There's practically no such thing as a 100% free economy operating in any country, free of taxation, and regulations (outside of a black markets). When I say they've embraced free market capitalism, I'm describing which end of the scale they're moving towards, not making any claims that it's absolute which you seem to be alluding to, or arguing against.

 

This is only a semantic argument, I agree with everything you've said, and can still assert Chinese Communist Party is going against traditional Communist, Socialist values and embracing free trade so much so that it's undeniable. Totalitarian, yes, but still worthy of what I consider a compliment using those words to describe the shift in policy.  This is the first time in a very long time China has actually improved the lives of some, probably most of it's citizens in comparison to the rest of the world which it usually trailed behind.

 

Going forward, how would you describe the changes in policy? Or do you assert there hasn't been a shift towards free(er) market policy in China?

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Semantics? You serious? China is a socialist country with a majority command economy. Their most recent work plan explicitly states that there will be market influences but the Party makes the decisions regards the economy. 

 

There are mountains of writings on the matter and more added every day and I’m not overly interested in adding to that. I’m just telling you that China has not “embraced the free market”, it’s taken the parts of it that suits the Party’s purposes and the rest remains a socialist style command economy. 

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Unsure I’d reasonably consider China Socialist. No idea what they claim these days, but doesn’t seem to fit the political ideology considering how heavy handed and centralized government there is. Also, isn’t their flag a clear reference to Communism?

 

Obviously there’s a hybridization of some sort with some facets of capitalist tendencies, but yeah... Socialism would seem like a stretch as a main label for what they have. 

 

Haven't followed this thread closely to know if this label matters. 

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6 minutes ago, misteraven said:

Unsure I’d reasonably consider China Socialist. No idea what they claim these days, but doesn’t seem to fit the political ideology considering how heavy handed and centralized government there is. Also, isn’t their flag a clear reference to Communism?

 

Obviously there’s a hybridization of some sort with some facets of capitalist tendencies, but yeah... Socialism would seem like a stretch as a main label for what they have. 

 

Haven't followed this thread closely to know if this label matters. 

Everything China does is with what they call "Chinese characteristics". They very much redistribute the wealth and the market is very heavily controlled.

 

They went full commie in the 50s, redistribution, communal living, pooled resources, work parties, the lot. That all fell apart with the great famine and Cultural Revolution. The words and signs of communism are just labels these days - the main element of communism they've kept is the authoritarianism and reification of Party cadres/elders. The upper echelons of the Party these days are the second generation of the revolution, the rich that know where their bread is buttered and hacks.

 

Since 79 when Deng took over they did a bunch of market reforms, which allowed private production (output no longer belonged to the work party). But they kept most of the SOEs, centralised banking (now protected due to WTO accession), they price set, they wage set, they have a massive pension scheme, the unions are run by the Party, etc etc. They call themselves socialist, but they twist language as well. It's most accurate to say that's it s hybrid system but with the fundamental aspect being a command economy as the Party has and often uses their reach into the economy to set things the way they want it - which is in whichever way supports their own power.

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I went out there just before the Olympics on behalf of one of our clients and was surprised by the huge chasm between the rich and poor. Felt very much like South America in that you had filthy rich and then dirt poor and barely anything in between. Vast majority of people I saw looked about the equivalent of barely above homeless in the USA. I saw armies of old men, dressed in clothes that didn’t fit, wearing cheap dress shoes with no socks and shoestrings to hold up pants that didn’t fit, toting wooden mallets to pound small paving stones into sidewalks in Beijing. You could see tent cities off to the side and people cooking outdoors using DIY fire pits that looked about as sophisticated as a hobo camp. Likewise, you’d see young men, dressed the same way except with an official looking hat (think police man type hat), that just stood at random spots facing the road and endlessly looking both ways like robots. Whole thing was super bizarre, but wondering if this is what you mean by redistribution of wealth? If so, the redistribution we have in the USA seems to either be more effective or they’re doing it on a larger scale because out in China it seemed that they truly didn’t value humans. There were just so many workers doing such utter meaningless *work* that it’s hard to not form that conclusion. Likewise, the standard of living, from what I saw, was abysmal at best. System like that could never work here, unless the people in it were either beaten or terrorized into submission or born into it after generations of the same. 

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No shit, pity you didn't hit me up I was living in Beijing back then. Not sure what username I was at that time.

 

The guys banging pavement stones and construction are migrant workers from all over the country. The people in police-type looking hats are private security guards. The largest security companies, back then at least, were operated by cops who used them as private forces. They can be as useless as tits on a bull and can be gangs of thugs used for extortion/revenge/take your pick.

 

Redistribution of wealth is by numerous means, such as those that I mentioned such as massive pension schemes, minimum wages, gargantuan employment schemes through SOEs and prescribed employment rates, both floor and ceiling price setting, etc. etc. The biggest one is the SOEs that they keep propped up through the state owned banks, it's a massive employment system that runs at a loss based on the savings of the middle class who can't put their money anywhere else.

 

" the people in it were either beaten or terrorized into submission or born into it after generations of the same. "

 

Honestly, that's one of the best and most succinct ways of summing up why Chinese society is the way it is. Welcome to the social contract with Chinese characteristics.

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Crazy!

 

My schedule was pretty tight, but I'm sure we could have caught up. Basically a bunch of super fancy lunches and dinners at high end hotel restaurants. I'm an adventurous eater, but found the food terrible in those instances. Few times, we'd wander across the street and find a dimly lit open bay garage restaurant with a thousand bikes piled out front and we'd get the most amazing meals I've ever had for the equivalent of a few dollars for a group of like 4 or 5 people. Was always an interesting experience since they clearly weren't used to people like us eating, but really was the best experience. Also, we decided to break from the tour to see how the real people live in one of the few OG villages that wasn't razed yet. Saw a huge group of people standing near an open courtyard and had one of the guys in our group that could speak passable mandarin to offer then $20 if they'd let us see the courtyard and maybe let us tour their house. They were super skeptical at first and we knew enough to make sure one of those cops or whatever wasn't within eye sight and they finally took the cash and seemed happy to show us around. Was pretty incredible to see these guys living virtually the same as they were in feudal China hundreds of years ago. That and the private party at the Forbidden Palace (opposite end of the spectrum) were the highlights of the trip.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Hua Guofang said:

Semantics? You serious? China is a socialist country with a majority command economy. Their most recent work plan explicitly states that there will be market influences

Are you implying China hasn't made any major economic reforms towards rewarding, as opposed to criminalizing entrepreneurialism?  That's why I say semantics, you have to realize they have shifted in this direction. You're constructing a straw man here where you say no silly, their economy/government policy is different from ours, when I never asserted they were the same. Again, a sliding scale and they've clearly moved towards the free market side even though the scale is still tipped towards communism.

 

 

5 hours ago, Hua Guofang said:

but the Party makes the decisions regards the economy.

 Federal Trade Commission, The Federal Reserve Bank, Congress, The Senate, they do the exact same thing here admittedly less heavy handed on the surface. Make no mistake, major decisions shaping my economy, and yours to a lesser extent are decided decided  by these agencies.

 

 

5 hours ago, Hua Guofang said:

There are mountains of writings on the matter and more added every day and I’m not overly interested in adding to that.

Why would you, that's way too much effort just to prove the strawman you've constructed (Mercer says both economies are run the same) wrong? As you've stated, there's an overwhelming amount of evidence to the contrary.

 

5 hours ago, Hua Guofang said:

I’m just telling you that China has not “embraced the free market”, it’s taken the parts of it that suits the Party’s purposes and the rest remains a socialist style command economy. 

OK, I'll admit it, "embraced" is too strong word, is a firm "handshake", or "stopped trying to murder" better?

 

 

Also, perhaps the follow I typed out was too much, but I never got your take on my original question:

 

7 hours ago, Mercer said:

@Hua GuofangSince this discussion has turned towards semantics, how would you prefer I describe the recent  changes in Chinese economic policy? 

...

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16 minutes ago, Mercer said:

You're constructing a straw man here where you say no silly, their economy/government policy is different from ours,

#1 - I never said anything of the sort, show me where I did

#2 - I'm not an American, you and I don't share an economy

 

 

" Mercer says both economies are run the same " Where on earth did I say that?!!

 

 

I've already laid it out in my post to @misteraven- Deng Xiaoping introduced some market based reforms from 79 onwards, I'm not denying any of that. But as you've now said, that is pretty far from 'embracing the free market' - I've listed multiple reasons why that's not true. They put Party cadres in all boards of companies to ensure Party values are being adhered to, they have a thing called the Hukou that means you're technically not supposed to work outside of the district where you have your household registation - if you do your kids can't access education, you don't get any of the pensions/healthcare, etc. The landscape is DOMINATED by State Owned Corps and the Party funds the biggest players using the savings of the middle class which are forced to use the state owned banking system, which is then used to prop up loss making SOEs in order to keep millions of people employed (so they won't blame the govt for losing their jobs). The Party sets the exchange rate every day and only allows it to trade in a thin band, the protections they have on many sectors is mind boggling (Trump admin is right to be targeting them for this). I could go on for days on the Party's non-market practices, laws and structures.

 

What I'm saying is that yes, there have been some market based reforms and that is what has allowed China to start clawing its way out of poverty. However, they pale in comparison to the intrusion into and control over the market the govt has. If you'd said "stopped trying to murder the free market" I likely would have agreed with you in the first place.

 

But, I'm just hanging for you to show me where I constructed that straw man, accusing you of saying the CHinese econ was just like the US econ!!! !!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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