PHAR KIM BENG
of Asia Times
has been listening to Tung Chee-hwa's crony's. Worse, he actually takes them seriously.
"Helped by what [Peter Woo of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council] calls "three flows and four strengths" of Hong Kong, the city will retain much of its vigor for years to come, it is said. What are these unique characteristics? They are the free flow of information, capital and people. In addition, Hong Kong's strengths are based on an independent judiciary, a viable market system, an educated workforce, and a stable currency."
Asia Times you've surpassed yourself. Pepe freakin' Escobar's Al-Asufuq interview
made more sense than this
. Let's look at Woo's "three flows and four strengths":
Flow #1. The free flow of information -- proposed Article 23 legislation will criminalize the possession or dissemination of any information the Mainland or Hong Kong governments deem confidential.
Flow #2. The free flow of capital -- Hong Kong capital markets are viewed as rigged. No sensible person has any faith in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange or securities regulators to crack down on wide spread corporate governance and trading abuses.
Flow #3. The free flow of people -- yeah, tell it to the abode seekers
whose asses are forcibly flowing back to China. Its easier for a Mainlander to gain residency in the US than it is in HK. How many non-Mainland expats do you think are going to be eager to establish residency here now that the government will make us liable, under Article 23, for political crimes, even when we return to our home countries?
Sorry Woo, but the only thing I see flowing around here is bullshit.
Having dispensed with the "flows," let's proceed to the so-called "strengths."
Strength #1. An independent judiciary -- which has already been eroded when the HK government invited Beijing to overrule the HK courts in the abode cases.
Strength #2. A viable market system -- see Flow #2 above.
Strength #3. An educated workforce -- where the fuck are you living Woo? Jesus H. Christ on a rubber pogo stick, the schools here are an absolute disgrace. How do you manage to screw up an education system so badly that Chinese kids
can't learn? English proficiency is appalling, despite the fact that English is an official language. Mandarin proficiency is even worse. As for the universties, I've hired a few of their graduates, most couldn't pour piss out of a boot it the instructions were written on the sole. Woo needs to take a look a Singapore's first class schools before extolling HK's educated workforce.
Strength #4. A stable currency -- except that HK is running a structural deficit that the government is unwilling to address and which is steadily eroding the SAR's currency reserves. These reserves are what enables HK to maintain its currency peg to the US dollar. This is precisely what happened in Argentina. Anyone want to buy some cheap Pesos?
I truly hope that this is a deliberate bit of spin by the Tung administration. It's too frightening to contemplate that they might actually believe this shit.
The truth is, Hong Kong prospered as middleman between a closed China and the West. With China's entry into the WTO, no intermediary is needed. We're fucked!
Will the last person leaving for Shanghai please turn out the lights?