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Mandate Of Heaven


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#61 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 1142 AM

This is an intriguing listen, its a BBC report on the death of Neil Heywood. It reveals a lot about how Politics in Modern China work, or mostly, dont.

https://www.bbc.co.u...rammes/p04t3tnp


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#62 Murph

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 1354 PM

Looks like the ChiCom economy is softer than anyone thought, Trump's tariffs are wreaking havoc.


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#63 JasonJ

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 2352 PM

Looks like the ChiCom economy is softer than anyone thought, Trump's tariffs are wreaking havoc.


Well, if considering a number of factors, being wreacked is an over statement. The most telling immidiate sign is the weakening of the Yuan. That certainly is a sign of damage dealt. But we still need to see what the foreign reserves look like. If they truely are in trouble, then foreign reserves should be going into a daownfall but that hasn't happened yet. We'll have to wait what Sept, Oct, Nov, and Dec levels look like before calling on the reserves. Although one way to avoid digging in reserves is to get more loans, which is harder factor to specify over a shorter or medium term I find.

One other immediate telling factor is how the stock markets respond but there hasn't been quick sharp drops except for HK's Hang Seng but that was more of a result of the protests going on there. That could be said because nearly 1000 points were recovered within minuted Lam said she was going to withdraw the extradition bill, indicating previously lost points were on the result of the HK protests.

One thing that really gives off a misrepresentation of China's growth are the MSM reports saying "first time grow rate is below 7.0%", "China economy cools at 6.5% growth rate", "Trade war sees China's growth to dip below 6.0% by end of year". The wording of these statements inaccurrately portrays what is really going on. If the US grows at 2.5% on the current nomnal GDP of about 20,000 billion USD, then it is adding 500 billion. If China grows at 5.5% on the current nominal GDP of about 14 billion USD, then it is adding about 770 billion. So China is still gaining on the US. The reports about China's economy is going to crash have been going on for 10 years. The only way to know for sure whether or not the new round of Trump tarriffs is wrecking the PRC economy is seeing the result months from now, a time when their first Type 075 Amphibious Assualt Ship is launched and some months after that, their third carrier is launched. So then when that times comes, will those being luanched as an end of the road for naval development under what will be obviously a wrecked economy ot will those be launched with little noticible difference in economic health and thus a full expectation to see both the second Type 075 Amphibious Assualt Ship launched and fourth carrier to be launched? And if it is the latter, will people remember the exaggerated claims many months back? I doubt. But we'll have to see first.

Edited by JasonJ, 08 September 2019 - 0007 AM.

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#64 Nobu

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 1208 PM

Standard political damage control: "We haven't explained it well enough".
 

Hong Kongs Leader, Yielding to Protests, Suspends Extradition Bill
 By Keith Bradsher and Alexandra Stevenson


 June 15, 2019


 
HONG KONG Backing down after days of huge street protests, Hong Kongs chief executive, Carrie Lam, said on Saturday that she would indefinitely suspend a bill that would allow extraditions to mainland China.
 
It was a remarkable reversal for Mrs. Lam, the leader installed by Beijing in 2017, who had vowed to ensure the bills approval and tried to get it passed on an unusually short timetable, even as hundreds of thousands demonstrated against it this past week.
 
But she made it clear that the bill was being delayed, not withdrawn outright, as protesters have demanded.
 
I believe that we cannot withdraw this bill, or else society will say that this bill was groundless, Mrs. Lam said at a news conference.
 

She said she felt sorrow and regret that she had failed to convince the public that it was needed, and pledged to listen to more views.
 
We will adopt the most sincere and humble attitude to accept criticisms and make improvements, Mrs. Lam said.
 

City leaders hope that delaying the legislation will cool public anger and avoid more violence in the streets, said people with detailed knowledge of the governments plans, including advisers to Mrs. Lam.
 
But leading opposition figures and protesters said a mere suspension of the bill would not satisfy the protesters, who had been planning another large demonstration for Sunday. Organizers confirmed the protest was still on.
 

Postponement is temporary. Its just delaying the pain, said Claudia Mo, a democratic lawmaker. This is not good enough, simply not right. We demand a complete scrapping of this controversial bill.
 
We cant accept it will just be suspended, Minnie Li, a lecturer with the Education University of Hong Kong who joined a hunger strike this past week, said on Saturday morning, as word of Mrs. Lams plan to suspend the bill was emerging. We demand it to be withdrawn. The amendment itself is unreasonable. Suspension just means having a break and will continue later. What we want is for it to be withdrawn. We cant accept it.
 
But Mrs. Lam and her superiors in Beijing were reluctant to kill the bill outright, said the people familiar with city officials thinking. They insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on behalf of the government.
 
A full withdrawal of the legislation would recall the Hong Kong governments reversals in the face of public objections to other contentious bills that were seen as infringing on the citys liberties national security legislation, in 2003, and compulsory patriotic education legislation, in 2012.
 
A team of senior Chinese officials and experts met on Friday with Mrs. Lam in Shenzhen, a mainland Chinese city bordering Hong Kong, to review the situation, one of the people with knowledge of the governments policymaking said.
 
[...]
 

City officials hope that delaying the bill will weaken the opposition by draining it of its momentum, without giving the appearance that the government was backing down entirely, according to the people familiar with the leaders thinking.
 
Asked several times by reporters at the Saturday news conference whether she would resign, as protesters have demanded, Mrs. Lam indicated that she had no plans to do so, saying she would continue her work and improve efforts to communicate with the public. The people familiar with the governments thinking said officials in both Beijing and Hong Kong had dismissed the calls for Mrs. Lams resignation.
 

In statements issued by several official agencies, the Chinese government said it supported, respected and understood Mrs. Lams decision to shelve the bill.
 
Underlying opposition to the extradition bill is a growing fear that the freedoms that people in Hong Kong enjoy under the one country, two systems policy, put in place when the former British colony was returned to China in 1997, are rapidly shrinking.
 
Emily Lau, a former lawmaker and chairwoman of the citys Democratic Party, said that she doubted the public would be quelled by the shelving of the bill.
 
People are asking for the bill to be withdrawn; if you just delay it that means they can just resume the second reading whenever they like, Ms. Lau said. She added that a suspension would simply result in another big turnout for the march on Sunday.
 
There is always a sword hanging over our heads, and I dont think the public will accept it, she said.

 
https://www.nytimes....dition-law.html
 

June 14, 2019 / 1:16 PM / Updated 7 hours ago
 Exclusive: Hong Kong police 'trapped in the middle' by polarizing extradition bill

 
James Pomfret
 
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Several senior Hong Kong police officials feel caught between a rock and a hard place as city leader Carrie Lam tries to ram through contentious extradition laws that have triggered violent clashes between police and protesters.
 

Police fired tear gas, bean bag rounds and rubber bullets at young protesters who gathered this week around the Chinese-ruled citys legislature and government headquarters in the tens of thousands.
 
The clashes wounded 22 police and more than 60 protesters, as demonstrators advanced toward the legislature, hurling bricks, iron poles and sticks, while barging their way forward with metal barricades.
 
We are definitely restrained and we wouldnt indiscriminately use weapons, police chief Stephen Lo told reporters a day after the clashes, describing them as a riot.
 
We were facing tens of thousands of protesters. The pressure was very great.
 
[...]
 
Over one million people, or one in seven people in the city, marched on Sunday against the bill. Less than a day later, however, a stern-faced Lam told reporters she wouldnt back down.
 
Some senior police officers say Lams refusal to heed public opinion is sowing resentment in the force, which was already battered by accusations of police brutality during the 2014 pro-democracy Umbrella civil disobedience movement.
 
There are a significant number that blame her for this crisis, said a senior law enforcement officer in a command position. Its madness.
 
He said the demands of the protesters werent unreasonable, given an inherent mistrust of mainland Chinas legal system.
 
Theres definitely a feeling that were trapped in the middle, said a senior police officer who declined to be named as he wasnt authorized to speak to the media.
 
We cant solve this. The protesters cant solve this. But Carrie can.
 
[...]
 
The protesters this time, unified for a very specific goal - to prevent a policy seen as an existential threat to Hong Kongs unique global position - have pledged not to back down.
 
A hardcore element, numbering in the tens of thousands, has not shied away from violence, while being highly organized and tech savvy, using encrypted phone apps like Telegram to mobilize swiftly through multiple group chats, and more strategically, with less risk of police infiltration.
 
Telegram is a big breakthrough from the old traditional strategies, said Jason Chan, a 22-year-old protester. Since there were no leaders in this movement, Telegram facilitates the communication across protesters by allowing different channels or groups to set up and thereby unite the people.
 
Another senior law enforcement officer acknowledged greater risks going forward.
 
The protesters are a lot more determined this time, he said. The violence will keep escalating if the government doesnt back down.
 
Steve Vickers, a former commander of the polices Criminal Intelligence Bureau who now runs a risk consultancy, said in a report that there was a risk of further violence.
 
An unfortunate polarization has occurred, where demonstrators perceive the police to be the enemy (rather than the government, in their absence), and many junior police officers see both the media and protesters as the main protagonists.

 
https://www.reuters....l-idUSKCN1TF1BU

Interesting reading in those 2 articles. They are at the forefront of the bureaucracy versus the rage against the machine movements at the moment. The question is whether they will emerge weaker or stronger from it.
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#65 Josh

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 1924 PM

Looks like the ChiCom economy is softer than anyone thought, Trump's tariffs are wreaking havoc.


Even assuming that Chinese growth is exaggerated, which Im sure it is, the Chinese GDP is still far in excess of the US. Xi will not yield. Both countries will see economic growth slow. But only one changes its leaders every four-eight years.
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#66 JasonJ

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 0638 AM

Two countries cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan, switching to China this week. The Solomon Islands and Kiribati.

Spoiler

https://www.theguard...itches-to-china

 

In 1990, 28 countries gave official diplomatic recognition of Taiwan. By 2012, it was 23. Now its 15.

 

The last 15:

https://www.mofa.gov...76B7230ADF29736


Edited by JasonJ, 20 September 2019 - 0640 AM.

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#67 JasonJ

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 0550 AM

It'll be interesting to see if this goes anywhere.

A petition calling on the German government to establish formal ties with Taiwan was submitted to the Bundestag on Wednesday last week by a group of Germans.

The petition asks the Bundestag to ask the German Cabinet to establish formal relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan).

It says that as a country that “disregards human rights, blocks entire ethnic groups into ‘re-education camps,’ builds a unique surveillance and censorship machine, brutally defies the concerns of other states in territorial conflicts in Southeast Asia and violates international law,” China should not represent democratic Taiwan.

If the petition receives 50,000 signatures before its expiry on Oct. 9, the Bundestag is required to discuss it.

As the world marks the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, China continues to oppress its people, but the German government nevertheless engages in diplomacy and trade with China, the petition says.

The petition says denying Taiwan UN membership has no international legal basis.

“The Cairo Declaration of 1943, in which the Allies promised China the return of Taiwan after the war, was not binding under international law,” it says.

The petition asks why Germany cannot recognize “two Chinas,” even though the UN recognized two German states for decades, and treats North and South Korea equally.

Unlike China, Taiwan has democratized, but despite this, it is not formally recognized by Germany, it says.

“This is incomprehensible to us given the massive violations of international and human rights by the [People’s Republic of China] described above. We therefore demand diplomatic recognition of the Republic of China,” it says.

http://www.taipeitim...9/17/2003722433
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#68 JasonJ

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Posted 05 October 2019 - 1023 AM

Crossed over 50,000 signatures.

 

A petition launched in Germany urging Berlin to establish diplomatic relations with Taiwan has received enough signatures to advance to parliament for debate.
 
As of yesterday morning, the online petition had been signed by more than 53,000 people, pushing it past the threshold of 50,000 that was required by Thursday next week for it to be put on the agenda of the Bundestag, the German parliament’s Web site showed.
 
Initiated by Michael Kreuzberg, the petition was submitted to parliament on May 31 and posted online on Sept. 11 to solicit signatures, sources close to the Bundestag said.
 
“Since 1949, there has been a second China, namely the Republic of China, or Taiwan,” the petition states, calling on the German government to establish formal ties with Taiwan.
 
The petition says that after years of development, Taiwan has become a true democracy, as is the standard in Germany.
 
However, Germany does not recognize Taiwan, but rather has diplomatic relations with China, a fact that is perplexing, it says.
 
China, which has on its record the Tiananmen Square Massacre on June 4, 1989, that resulted in the deaths of more than 1,000 people, is a member of the UN, while Taiwan is not, the petition states.
 
“We therefore demand diplomatic recognition of the Republic of China,” says the petition, which is open to endorsements by citizens of any country, not just Germany.
 
Representative to Germany Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) on Thursday said that he was gratified to see the petition reach the threshold.
 
“To a certain degree, it reflects the current public climate in Germany,” Shieh said.
 
The petition compares autocratic China to democratic Taiwan and tries to address Taiwan’s international isolation, he said.
 
German regulations mandate that after a petition reaches the required threshold, a parliamentary committee must invite the petitioner and government officials to attend a hearing in the Bundestag.
 
If parliament eventually votes in favor of the petition, German lawmakers would then ask the government to forge formal relations with Taiwan, the Taiwanese representative office in Munich said.

Edited by JasonJ, 05 October 2019 - 1024 AM.

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#69 Nobu

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Posted 05 October 2019 - 1041 AM

Even assuming that Chinese growth is exaggerated, which Im sure it is, the Chinese GDP is still far in excess of the US. Xi will not yield. Both countries will see economic growth slow. But only one changes its leaders every four-eight years.

 

Interestingly, their economic potential is portrayed as anywhere from overrated to unstoppable, depending on which may be of benefit to the argument of the moment. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

 

I would not be surprised to see them return to a term-limit system ala Bloomberg.


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#70 BansheeOne

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 0649 AM

Crossed over 50,000 signatures.

 

 

One has to caution of course that no really tangible results usually follow even from widely-signed petititions. The Bundestag's petition committee will discuss the ones above 50,000 in public session (unless it declines with a two-thirds majority) and make a recommendation to the government, but that's mostly it. The main impact is in increased publicity for the topic, though that also depends upon how much the media (want to) seize on it.

 

Still, looking up the history, since the capability to sign online was created in 2005, only 26 petitions have crossed that threshold before, out of 10-20,000 per year (of course 95 percent are filed by individuals over personal grievances which are not published for co-signatures - but that's still 500-1,000 of the other kind annually). The issues obviously need not necessarily be of real common importance or even realistic, though some are. With online petitions all that's really needed is a sizable support group to mobilize on the net.

 

The most successful ever so far has been one of last year against legal reform of psychotherapy with 203,000 signatures, 160,000 of which online, supported by 28 professional associations. Six others have reached over 100,000; for improving the situation of midwives (186,000, 2010), against blocking incriminated internet sites (134,000, 2009), for halving taxes on gas and diesel (128,000, 2008), against a feared ban on the sale of healing plants (122,000, 2010), against the UN Compact for Migration (108,000, 2018), and for a constitutional evaluation of the German music licensing fee system (107,000, 2009).

 

Other popular ones have been over anything to do with internet regulation, against nuclear power, for a 130 kph autobahn speed limit, for declaring a "state of climate emergency", for legalizing cannabis, for introducing a Tobin tax, or introducing an unconditional base income. One calling for applying a reduced VAT to the sale of female menstrual hygiene products this year actually contributed to that being decided for just recently. For present purposes, another one getting 73,000 signatures for recognizing the Ukrainian Holodomor as a genocide this year is probably the most indicative; it's currently being shown as under evaluation by the committee.

 

In this context, exceeding 50,000 is not bad for an issue that's not really at the forefront of German popular perception (it's still open for signature until 10/10); the current Hong Kong situation certainly helped. What comes of it remains to be seen. There is a (semi-official) German-Taiwanese friendship group in the Bundestag, which will of course seize on it - not least since it has been attempting to get elevated to official status like all the other bilateral (or in many cases, for relations between Germany and world regions including a number of nations) friendship groups for about two years.

 

My former boss is also still president of the German-Chinese Society - Friends of Taiwan, which includes a number of MPs from most parties. But of course nobody would excpect the government to say "gosh you're right, we'll just revert decades of One-China policy". Getting the issue debated on by the Bundestag's plenum would be a considerable success already (usually recommendations of the petition committee are presented en bloc at noontime one day each session week with all the other stuff that gets voted "acknowledged" without anybody reading, much less debating on it).


Edited by BansheeOne, 06 October 2019 - 0815 AM.

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#71 JasonJ

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 0747 AM

Ok, great, thanks for that BansheeOne. I suspected it likely wouldn't lead to much more other than general publicity. And I figured crossing over the minimum requirement by a little couldn't have meant a really strong overwhelming voice compared to whatever other cases there might have been. But still a nice (or annoying, depending who is asked) development.
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#72 Nobu

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 0853 AM


Crossed over 50,000 signatures.
 
http://www.taipeitim...0/05/2003723414

 
One has to caution of course that no really tangible results usually follow even from widely-signed petititions. The Bundestag's petition committee will discuss the ones above 50,000 in public session (unless it declines with a two-thirds majority) and make a recommendation to the government, but that's mostly it. The main impact is in increased publicity for the topic, though that also depends upon how much the media (want to) seize on it.
 
Still, looking up the history, since the capability to sign online was created in 2005, only 26 petitions have crossed that threshold before, out of 10-20,000 per year (of course 95 percent are filed by individuals over personal grievances which are not published for co-signatures - but that's still 500-1,000 of the other kind annually). The issues obviously need not necessarily be of real common importance or even realistic, though some are. With online petitions all that's really needed is a sizable support group to mobilize on the net.
 
The most successful ever so far has been one of last year against legal reform of psychotherapy with 203,000 signatures, 160,000 of which online, supported by 28 professional associations. Six others have reached over 100,000; for improving the situation of midwives (186,000, 2010), against blocking incriminated internet sites (134,000, 2009), for halving taxes on gas and diesel (128,000, 2008), against a feared ban on the sale of healing plants (122,000, 2010), against the UN Compact for Migration (108,000, 2018), and for a constitutional evaluation of the German music licensing fee system (107,000, 2009).
 
Other popular ones have been over anything to do with internet regulation, against nuclear power, for a 130 kph autobahn speed limit, for declaring a "state of climate emergency", for legalizing cannabis, for introducing a Tobin tax, or introducing an unconditional base income. One calling for applying a reduced VAT to the sale of female menstrual hygiene products this year actually contributed to that being decided for just recently. For present purposes, another one getting 73,000 signatures for recognizing the Ukrainian Holodomor as a genocide this year is probably the most indicative; it's currently being shown as under evaluation by the committee.
 
In this context, exceeding 50,000 is not bad for an issue that's not really at the forefront of German popular perception (it's still open for signature until 10/10); the current Hong Kong situation certainly helped. What comes of it remains to be seen. There is a (semi-official) German-Taiwanese friendship group in the Bundestag, which will of course seize on it - not least since it has been attempting to get elevated to official status like all the other bilateral (or in many cases, for relations between Germany and world regions including a number of nations) friendship groups for about two years.
 
My former boss is also still president of the German-Chinese Society - Friends of Taiwan, which includes a number of MPs from most parties. But of course nobody would excpect the government to say "gosh you're right, we'll just revert decades of One-China policy". Getting the issue debated on by the Bundestag's plenum would be a considerable success already (usually recommendations of the petition committee are presented en bloc at noontime one day each session week with all the other stuff that gets voted "acknowledged" without anybody reading, much less debating on it).
It would represent a success of sorts for the lobbying efforts for global recognition of any kind by the Republic of Chinese PR apparatus as well, the members of which are likely evaluated by how much of it they generate.

Edited by Nobu, 06 October 2019 - 1145 AM.

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#73 JasonJ

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 0647 AM

A similar petition at the "White House petition" crossed over a 100,000 requirement thus requiring a response from the Trump administration. It calls for the U.S. to recognize Taiwan, an “island country independently self-governed for 60 years now.”

Spoiler
https://www.foxnews....petition-taiwan

 

Lots of other petitions get over 100,000 too though.

https://petitions.wh...etitions?page=4


Edited by JasonJ, 17 October 2019 - 0653 AM.

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