Who is messing with Hong Kong?


A rioter waves a US national flag in Tsim Sha Tsui district in Hong Kong on August 11. Photo: AFP

What went wrong with Hong Kong’s education? Is it one root-cause of the current hostility how these young people are being educated?

How can the HK government bring back law and order?



Hong Kong Legal Exchange Foundation to ask UN to probe U.S. involvement in riots

Foreign forces have been trying to influence HK for years to infiltrate mainland

Some foreign forces have had a hand in what is happening in Hong Kong. The list includes the US Democratic politician Nancy Pelosi, Senate MajorityLeader Mitch McConnell and Republican senator Marco Rubio as well as staff from the Consulate General of the US in Hong Kong and think tanks from the US.

They either neglect what is happening in Hong Kong, make groundless accusations about the Chinese government or send the wrong signals to radical protesters. They also invited people involved in what is happening in Hong Kong to visit the US and funded the so-called democratic and political movement.

Analysts said that long before Hong Kong returned to China, the US made it a point to contain China in a soft way by promoting the West’s ideology. And now the US is openly interfering in China’s domestic affairs.

In 1998, US president Bill Clinton paid a visit to Hong Kong and praised the city for its trade and globalization, and noted that the US thinks Hong Kong is not only important to China, but also to Asia, the US and the whole world.

But now, some Americans are using Hong Kong as a card to contain China.

In the book Hong Kong and the Cold War: Anglo-American Relations 1949-1957, the author Chi-kwan Mark wrote that after 1949, the British Empire in Hong Kong was more vulnerable. “Concerned about possible Chinese retaliation, the British insisted and the Americans accepted that Hong Kong’s role should be as discreet and non-confrontational in nature as possible.”

“Top decision-makers in Washington evaluated Hong Kong’s significance not in its own right, but in the context of the Anglo-American relationship: Hong Kong was seen primarily as a bargaining chip to obtain British support for US policy elsewhere in Asia.”

During the Cold War, the Truman Administration ramped up efforts in ideological propaganda and infiltration of China and undertook a series of moves in Hong Kong through the US Information Agency there.

The main mission for the agency in Hong Kong was to create an anti-China atmosphere through broadcasts, movies, media and book publishing, cultivating support for the US and capitalism.

In 1957, the US National Security Council made US policy on Hong Kong, which explained its goal of conducting ideological and infiltration work on the Chinese mainland through Hong Kong. The document was signed by the then US president.

An officer at the US Consulate General reportedly met with major “Hong Kong Independence” activists in early August. The officer was later identified as Julie Eadeh, political unit chief of the consulate general.

Eadeh was involved in plotting subversive actions under the name of human rights and democracy while she was stationed in the Middle East as a diplomat, said Ta Kung Pao.

Eadeh’s former superior, Kurt Tong, former Consul General of the US to Hong Kong and Macao, frequently warned Hong Kong not to promote the extradition bill through the media.

Tong once said in an interview with the media that the legal systems of mainland and Hong Kong are different, so it is a natural reaction for Hong Kong people to pay attention to the amendment of the bill, according to Ta Kung Pao. His remarks were criticized by some media as “open political interference.”

Chan Yong, a Hong Kong deputy to the National People’s Congress was quoted by Ta Kung Pao as saying that Tong’s remarks showed “gangster logic.” The US has started color revolutions in many places in the world. Tong is only a diplomat who is not elected by the Hong Kong people and has no qualification to discuss what is happening in Hong Kong, Chan said.

Tang Fei, a member of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong & Macao Studies, told the Global Times that the US has been openly interfering in Hong Kong affairs since 2010 when Stephen Markley Young was the US Consul General in Hong Kong.

Tang said that almost all the US consul generals in Hong Kong had been appointed to work in Taiwan. During Young’s stay in Hong Kong, the “Arab Spring” took place and his remarks on the anti-government protests and armed rebellions that spread across North Africa and the Middle East in the early 2010s were criticized as intentionally stirring up political movements movements in Hong Kong.

NGO involvement

With Hong Kong’s chaotic situation, some think tanks and NGOs that are closely connected with the White House are also interfering.

Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, on July 9 hosted a forum named “Protests, Crackdowns, and the Future of Hong Kong: A Conversation with Jimmy Lai Chee-Ying.”

Schanzer has frequent interactions with John Bolton, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. However, Schanzer does not study Chinese affairs, but is an expert on Middle East issues.

NBC reported that during the event, Lai emphasized America’s “moral force,” saying, “We need to know that America is behind us.”

The Center for Strategic and International Studies of the US invited Kurt Tong to give a speech. Tong suggested Washington should conduct more active communication with Hong Kong, instead of seeing the region as a minor issue.

The website of US think tank Jamestown Foundation on July 16 published a report related to Hong Kong by Russell Hsiao, Executive Director of the “Global Taiwan Institute.” Hsiao has maintained a close relationship with the Democratic Progressive Party, which promotes Taiwan secession.

In US academia, there are not many scholars who have been following Hong Kong issues. Most people who study Hong Kong are those with experience of living in the region, such as Richard Bush III, the director of the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies (CNAPS) of the Brookings Institution.

According to a Chinese language BBC report in July, Bush said the Hong Kong radicals have set a very high goal and their strategy is becoming more aggressive, which is almost certain to draw a reaction from the police.

“US Government, NGOs Fuel and Fund Hong Kong Anti-Extradition Protests,” read an article published on the Global Research website in Canada.

“Maintaining Hong Kong’s distance from China has been important to the US for decades. One former CIA agent even admitted that “Hong Kong was our listening post,” the article read, stating that the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a CIA soft-power cutout, has been funding groups in Hong Kong since 1994.

NED has two branches out of its main four, the Solidarity Center (SC) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), which are closely connected with the groups in Hong Kong. Louisa Greve, vice president of programs for Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, said that NED’s funding for Hong Kong groups has been “consistent,” according to the article.

In 2014, Greve even admitted in public that “activists know the risks of working with NED partners” in Hong Kong, but do it anyway.

When searching “Hong Kong” on the NED website, the Global Times reporter found 14 related items, including $1.95 million in funding for the region. In May, the foundation invited some “pro-secession” activists for a seminar, after which the violence in Hong Kong streets became increasingly severe, echoing the voice of anti-China politicians and NGOs in Washington.

Similar tricks to ‘Color Revolution

The US has always kept a close economic and social relationship with Hong Kong. American companies generally praise the business environment in Hong Kong, including its judicial system, free flow of information, low tax rate and local infrastructure. More than 1,300 US firms operate in Hong Kong, including 726 regional operations and there are approximately 85,000 American residents in Hong Kong, according to a report released by the US Department of State in July 2018.

In addition, “The US trade surplus with Hong Kong is the single largest with a US trading partner, with a surplus in 2017 of $32.6 billion,” said the report. Main Hong Kong imports from the US are American aircraft and spacecraft, electronic machines, pearls, gold, diamonds, artwork, meat, fruit and nuts.

However, the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong has been playing a dishonorable role. In March, the chamber expressed views in newspapers belonging to the opposition camp in Hong Kong, saying it sent a strongly-worded position paper to the Security Bureau under the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

In the past, the chamber submitted such advice directly to the HKSAR, but this time, it made a show of “politicizing the commerce chamber” – deliberately revealing the advice through opposition media in order to stir up society.
Anson Chan Fang On-sang and several other opposition leaders visited the US to meet with US Vice President Mike Pence, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and US House speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has frequently made irresponsible remarks and even “gave orders” to the HKSAR Chief Executive.

Some opinions in Hong Kong said pro-democracy leaders receive a high standard of hospitality from the US, which shows how much attention the US pays to Hong Kong, but amid the tense situation of the China-US trade friction, such behavior “gets Hong Kong and the opposition camp involved in the wrestling between China and the US,” which is very unwise.

The main influence of the US on Hong Kong is reflected in the high-end financial industry, as the big investment banks are mainly from the US, Tang told the Global Times.

Tang noted the cost for the US to play the “Hong Kong card” to start a strategic competition with China is not high. Even though the surplus of US enterprises in Hong Kong reaches $40 billion each year, which balances out the deficit with China, the US can control its enterprises and investment banks in Hong Kong through “long-arm jurisdiction.” It can threaten to cancel Hong Kong’s position as an “independent customs area” using the excuse of the “extradition bill crisis.”

This situation puts Hong Kong in a dilemma: even if Hong Kong compromises, the city will not gain goodwill from the opposition camp backed by the US; if Hong Kong shows a tough position, the US may weaken Hong Kong’s position as a global financial center.

During the Cold War, the US made Hong Kong a “shop window” to showcase Western values of democracy, thus implementing a type of “soft containment.” The infiltration by the US, to some extent, has impacted Hong Kong society and its people. For instance, some Hongkongers are prejudiced against the Chinese government, which proves that the US infiltration has made the values of some intellectuals and youths in Hong Kong more Westernized.

The political, economic, social and cultural system have basically remained unchanged since China resumed exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997, so the values of some Hongkongers are still close to the UK and US, said Chan Chi-Ho, vice executive chairman of the Hong Kong CPPCC Youth Association. During the “anti-extradition bill” protests, some people frequently came to meet US politicians and took the initiative to ask foreign forces to intervene, Chan said. For example, they published joint signatures on the White House website and connected with US diplomatic personnel in Hong Kong.

Chan said many Hongkongers know that the reason for the protests is support from foreign forces. The locals do not agree with waving UK and US national flags in public places because it completely betrays the national interest and the Chinese people’s feelings. After all, very few people want Hong Kong to become a colony again.

Meanwhile, it is notable that the action of waving foreign flags drew strong disgust from people who love China and Hong Kong. Many local people were angered by this traitorous action.

The situation in Hong Kong can now be described as “UK retreating but US advancing,” which was reflected in the Occupy Central Movement in 2014, according to Li Xiaobing, an expert on Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, from Nankai University in Tianjin. The movement made Hong Kong a strategic strongpoint supported by foreign political forces, as well as a wedge that deeply affects China.

Li noted the operations, tricks and methods taken by the US during the “anti-extradition bill” protests are similar to color revolutions in other places. Everything from the image building and power allocation to propaganda and political objectives are very similar. The duration and mobility of the recent protests all surpassed that of the 2014 movement in terms of level and width.

Li predicts that the US will not give up playing the Hong Kong card easily. At the same time, Beijing will enhance its countermeasures. As a result, the overall situation in Hong Kong will be controlled, he said. – Source link 

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Malaysia failed because education ministry didn’t get priorities right !



Daim: Malaysia far from being able to compete globally | The Edge …

Let us not be under any illusions * We are still far from being out of the woods * We are far from being ready for the changes happening around us * We are far from being a united people * We are far from being able to compete at global level * We are far from being able to embrace differences and changes * underpinning all this unpreparedness is education * education key to preparing youth for future * education ministry has failed to prioritise right issues * hindered  progress of reforms within the national education policy


Malaysia far from developed country with unified citizens ready to face industrial challenges of futures said Tun Daim Zainuddin.

Malaysia still playing catch up with 4th IR other countries gearing for 5th IR
Let us not be under any illusions
We are still far from being out of the woods
We are far from being ready for the changes happening around us.
We are far from being a united people

We are far from being able to compete at global level

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is still far from reaching the status of a developed country with a unified citizen that is ready to face the industrial challenges of the future, said Council of Eminent Persons chairman Tun Daim Zainuddin.

Daim said Malaysia is still playing catch up with the fourth industrial revolution when other countries are already gearing for the supposed fifth industrial revolution.

“Let us not be under any illusions. We are still far from being out of the woods. We are far from being ready for the changes happening around us.

“We are far from being a united people. We are far from being able to compete at the global level. We are far from being able to embrace differences and changes.

“And underpinning all of this unpreparedness is education,” he said at the launch of the International Conference on Emerging Issues in Public Policy at Universiti Malaya’s Institute of Public Policy and Management.

The former finance minister pointed out that education is the key to preparing the youth for the future. However, he said the education ministry has failed to prioritise the right issues to tackle, which has hindered the progress of reforms within the national education policy.

“We are still arguing over whether we should teach Maths and Science in English, when the rest of the world has embarked on advanced curriculums that focus on Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4) so as to make their youth more competitive and relevant in a world that is going to be dominated by artificial intelligence and robotics,” he said.

“To participate in IR4, we must go through a knowledge-based economy and here Malaysia has failed because the government, through the ministry of education, has not got its priorities right. The education ministry must not fail our nation.

“While we are still mired in the political rhetoric of languages, others around us have moved beyond English or Mandarin or Bahasa Malaysia into the language of programming and coding. When will we realise just how far behind we are and lacking?” Daim added.

In facing the rise of technology in industrialisation, Daim said the government should implement policies that create an environment where people are allowed to maximise their potential and pursue creative pursuits that are complemented by technology, not replaced by it.

The reality is, he said, technology will have the most impact on future employment as robots replace humans in menial tasks. But where one window closes, another opens, he added.

“Fields such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Robotics, Supply Chain Logistics, and Smart Manufacturing need skilled workers and indeed, the World Economic Forum has estimated that 133 million jobs will emerge as technology advances,” he said.

At the same time, Daim stressed that education is not just for skills development, but it is also for the soul. He said the values, that are instilled in the youth at home and at the school level, will greatly impact on the type of adults they evolve into.

“We must empower them with the ability to think critically, logically, wisely and to make their own informed decisions, no matter the situation. We must raise a new generation of leaders and great thinkers, not of sheep and cowards,” he said.

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The cost and funding of the Hong Kong violence in CIA innumerable US regime-change, a price on freedom


Protesters in protective gear holding up a symbolic yellow umbrella and an American flag while marching through the Sha Tin District in Hong Kong earlier in the month. Sights such as these are fuelling  speculation about foreign involvement in the ongoing protests. — AP

https://youtu.be/huXI39jtq1sThousands rally to denounce violence and support Hong Kong police

https://youtu.be/tOw6kfhS1NsAnnie Wu: Young HK people need to learn to become Chinese

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, and likewise, in the pursuit of democracy, there will always be casualties.

ONE of the most avid speculations about the Hong Kong protests is whether the CIA is involved, and this talk is fuelled, no less, by warnings from the Chinese to the US to keep out of Hong Kong’s affairs.

Last week, former HK chief executive Tung Chee-hwa was more ominous, openly accusing the US and Taiwan of orchestrating “well-organised” recent protests.

The first retaliatory strike from China on Taiwan was the ban on solo travellers, involving 47 mainland cities to Taiwan, which will cost the island state US$900mil (RM3.75bil) in tourism dollars by January.

Let’s look at these accusations rationally, though. It’s impossible for the CIA to hire such a massive crowd in Hong Kong.

The anger is real, though, and the spontaneity of the protests speaks for itself.

There has been growing frustration among the people, especially the younger generation, over what they see as the decline in living standards, and many now don’t see a future in the city.

The amendment to the Extradition Law has touched a nerve among HK citizens because many perceive they would not get justice or due legal rights under China’s mainland rule.

Let’s put it this way, the judicial independence in China isn’t ranked highly by international standards, and even Chinese nationals complain about it.

HK citizens are concerned that their city will be like any other mainland Chinese city, where the citizens’ freedom could be compromised, although one wonders how many of these protesters truly believe they would ever get extradited to China in the first place.

The Bill is, essentially, a manifestation of the frustrations that have built up, and its timing allowed for that volcanic eruption of anger.

It’s unlikely the young protesters were aware that HK has, in fact, extradition agreements with 20 countries, including Britain and the United States. From China’s point of view, why can’t there be one with the mainland?

Against this backdrop, with students on summer holidays, the perfect concoction was created, building up a massive protest for an international audience.

The timing couldn’t have been worse for HK chief executive Carrie Lam to push the Bill through – this is the season of protests, coinciding with the anniversaries of the Tiananmen Square incident and British handover of HK to China on July 1, 1997.

By now, it’s clear that Lam is a technocrat who isn’t politically savvy, and her lack of learned leadership during a crisis shows her shortcomings in being the best person to helm HK, even though China continues to back her.

The Bill has been suspended since June 15 until further notice, but not withdrawn. She has said the legislation process was a complete failure and that “the Bill is dead”, but she hasn’t enacted any legislative process to withdraw the proposal either.

So protests will likely continue, but nothing is free, and that includes the business of organising well-planned weekly protests.

Over the past month, the media has been reporting that groups involved in the protests have received significant funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), “a CIA soft-power cut-out that has played a critical role in innumerable US regime-change operations, ” according to writer Alexander Rubinstein.

The report claimed that the NED has four main branches, at least two of which are active in Hong Kong: the Solidarity Center (SC) and National Democratic Institute (NDI).

“The latter has been active in Hong Kong since 1997, and NED funding for Hong Kong-based groups has been consistent, ” Louisa Greve, vice president of programmes for Asia, Middle East and North Africa, was quoted.

While NED funding for groups in Hong Kong goes back to 1994, 1997 was when the British returned the territory to China, it was reported.

The report said in 2018, NED granted US$155, 000 (RM645, 885) to SC and US$200, 000 (RM833, 400) to NDI for work in Hong Kong, and US$90, 000 (RM375, 000) to Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor (HKHRM), which isn’t a branch of NED, but a partner in Hong Kong. Between 1995 and 2013, HKHRM received more than US$1.9mil (RM7.9mil) in funds from the NED.

This isn’t the first time the NED’s name has cropped up either.

During the 2014 Occupy protests, the spectre of NED in the protests and the foreign philosophies it represented also came up.

The NED was set up in 1983 to channel grants for “promoting democracy” and it’s said that it receives US$100mil (RM416mil) annually from the relevant agencies.

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai has also been accused of funding the protests. He has taken it a step further by meeting US Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington DC to discuss the Bill and the city’s situation.

Lai is the owner of Next Digital, which publishes both the pro-democracy Apple Daily and Next Magazine, among others.

Predictably, the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong issued a statement saying it has lodged a solemn representation at the US Consulate General in Hong Kong to ask the US to stop its “mistaken words and deeds”.

A spokesperson for the local Commissioner’s Office said that it strongly opposed foreign forces interfering in Hong Kong’s affairs.

“The US side clearly knows who Jimmy Lai is, what his stance is, and what his role is in Hong Kong society. Top US government officials have ulterior motives and sent a seriously wrong signal when they queued up to meet such a person at this sensitive time of Hong Kong – we express our strong discontent and opposition, ” it said.

In 2014, the South China Morning Post reported that Lai spent millions funding the Occupy Central protests.

The SCMP reported that Lai’s group offered extensive advice – including propaganda material – to the Occupy Central organisers, whom Lai dismissed in private as “idealist scholars” who “couldn’t make the cut without help”.

The emails were leaked by the same person who sent documents detailing the Next Media chairman’s political donations to various pan-democrats two weeks ago. It isn’t clear how the documents were obtained, though.

One of the exchanges between Lai and his top aide, Mark Simon, indicates that Lai spent some HK$3mil (RM1.6mil) to HK$3.5mil (RM1.8mil) to help the plebiscite. The email did not detail how the money was spent, only mentioning that the costs included “advertisements and billboards”.

In a rebuttal, Lai said that while he had donated large sums of money to politicians in the pro-democracy camp, he had not given a cent to the co-founders of Occupy Central. His newspaper, though, had given the movement discounts for advertisements.

China cannot be faulted for seeing shadows of foreign influence in the protests. It doesn’t help that protesters, pressing for independence, are waving colonial British and US flags, and what began as peaceful protests has now degenerated into riots, a term the demonstrators have also challenged and protested.

There is much irony in the HK protests. The late kung fu legend, Bruce Lee, has become an icon in the protests because of his philosophical advice to “be formless, shapeless, like water, ” in his role as Li Tsung, a martial-arts instructor in Longstreet, a US TV series.

Basically, the protesters should take on the HK police with a new tactic: formless, shapeless protests in scattered parts of the territory, aimed at wearing the authorities down.

But older folks like me would probably remember a better scene in the movie Fist Of Fury, where he kicked and smashed a sign at the gate of Huangpu Park which read, “No dogs and Chinese allowed”. The park in Shanghai was closed to the Chinese between 1890 and 1928.

It has been said, according to some reports, period photographs show a sign listing 10 regulations, the first of which was that “The Gardens are reserved for the Foreign Community”, with the fourth being “Dogs and bicycles are not admitted”. Any way you cut it; the Chinese weren’t allowed in the foreign settlement.

What has happened in HK is that the protests’ demands have grown exponentially, bordering on calls to be independent and free from China. Tragically, it has also become more violent by the day.

In calling for freedom of speech, citizens who disagreed with the protesters have found themselves beaten up, which seems to go against the grain.

When violence committed on the police and those who disagree are embraced or encouraged as part of a democratic process, and the destruction of public properties is accepted as a minor price for freedom, then something has gone badly wrong.

By Wong Chun Wai who began his career as a journalist in Penang, and has served The Star for over 35 years in various capacities and roles. He is now editorial and corporate affairs adviser to the group, after having served as group managing director/chief executive officer. On The Beat made its debut on Feb 23 1997 and Chun Wai has penned the column weekly without a break, except for the occasional press holiday when the paper was not published. In May 2011, a compilation of selected articles of On The Beat was published as a book and launched in conjunction with his 50th birthday. Chun Wai also comments on current issues in The Star.

chunwai@thestar.com.my

http://www.wongchunwai.com/

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The cradle of Chinese leadership



Westerners do not understand how vital a competent government is in China.

中国政府有时就像家长,既要赚钱养家又做好榜样

Set in stone: Staff members walking near a statue at the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in Beijing as the party opened its leading school for cadres to a rare visit by foreign journalists. — AP

It is back to school for thousand of cadres of the national party to brush up on the country’s progress.

EVERY year, thousands of party cadres from the Communist Party of China (CPC) returned to school to learn about the latest direction of the country as it progresses.

At the Party School of CPC Central Committee (CCPS) – the key cradle of China’s leaders – the trainees are taught Marxism classics, moral and conduct while receiving anti-corruption education.

They are also exposed to the latest in technology and various skills to lead the rural villagers out of poverty as the nation is striving towards its “Chinese Dream” of building a well-off society for all.

Located opposite the Summer Palace in Beijing, the school also conducts training and guidance to improve the governing ability of cadres while motivating them to serve as firm followers and loyal practitioners of Xi Jinping’s Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.

Just last year, 137 training sessions were organised for nearly 11,000 cadres all over the country.

The school opened its door to a group of foreign journalists recently.

We were led to a class which was in progress and the trainer, who requested to remain anonymous, was giving a lecture on various tra­n­s­formation and innovation prog­rammes to improve the environment and livelihood of rural villagers.

During the short visit, we listened in on the trainer telling cadres about the use of flush toilets.

For many of us, we have taken for granted the availability of flush toilets in our homes or offices.

But for those dwelling in the mountainous areas far from water sources in China, this sanitary ware is a luxury.

The locals from a village in Shangdong have invented their own “dry toilet” in which they covered up waste with organic materials.

“The toilet does not stink at all and it is environmentally friendly.

“A little effort makes big changes in improving the environment and the people’s lives,” the trainer told the cadres, believed to be grassroots leaders from the rural areas.

The trainer also told the class the story of a village in Tonglu of Zhejiang province where the locals turned their rural agricultural home into a famous tourist spot.

He said the locals successfully transformed an abandoned pig pen into a popular cafe.

“There is a very expensive type of coffee known as mao shi kafei (Indonesia’s kopi luwak) in the world.

“If rich people can sit at a stinking pig pen while tasting a cup of expensive coffee, isn’t this another way of enjoyment?” asked the trainer.

He was motivating the class cadres to be creative and to transform abandoned poultry farms into money-making businesses as well as preserve old buildings that have witnessed special events.

The trainer also showed the class modern farming techniques known as the Integrated Rice-Duck Farming by raising ducks in the paddy field.

“With modern technology, we are able to calculate the suitable number of ducks for a paddy field of a particular size and the timing of releasing the birds,” he added.

With over 100 trainees but only a handful of female cadres, the class also learned about homestay and handicraft-making programmes.

In a tea session with the media, vice-head of academic affairs of the school, Wang Gang said currently, there are some 1,600 cadres undergoing training at the campus.

Asked why men outnumbered women trainees by a large margin, Wang Gang said they have another programme catering for female cadres.

He, however, did not elaborate.

The CCPS – also known as China National Academy of Governance – was set up in 1933, 12 years after the founding of the CPC.

Over the decades, it has groomed a large number of governing elites and talent for the party and the country.

State leaders such as the late Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi and Hu Jintao have served as its president.

The CCPS campus houses a museum, a sports centre with various facilities including swimming pool, squash court, ping pong tables and a gym for the trainees, who are required to stay in the campus throughout their training period.

Apart from providing training to the cadres, the CCPS also serves as a high-end think-tank for the party and a national research institution for philosophy and social science.

It has also taken part in exchange programmes and activities with political parties from 159 nations, 21 international and multilateral organisations.

Last year, the school received 1,248 visitors.

CPC, with over 90 million members, is the biggest political party in the world.

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Hong Kong in decline


Losing ground: China’s spectacular rise has affected Hong Kong’s thriving financial services industry, along with development of port services. – Reuters

https://youtu.be/elH1PrASTAU

 

TWO generations ago cheap goods from Hong Kong were labelled simply “Made in Hong Kong,” but their poor quality soon made that embarrassing.

For marketing reasons they were then labelled “Made in the British Empire” or “Empire Made.” Britain, home of the First Industrial Revolution, was better regarded than any Far Eastern outpost.

However, manufacturing could never suffice for Hong Kong’s economy because of limited land and rising property prices.

Enter the space-efficient financial services industry, along with development of port services. Then a generation ago Hong Kong began to face its biggest challenge: China’s spectacular rise.

But if Hong Kong would be part of China again, wouldn’t it also enjoy the mainland’s rising fortunes?

Hong Kongers always had a problem with the first part ever since Britain’s takeover in 1841.

From the late-1970s the West was all for China’s “opening up” policies. Hong Kongers looked across the water to see Shenzhen’s phenomenal rise from old market town to bustling modern metropolis.

Shenzhen had twice Hong Kong’s population and a much faster rate of development. As just one cog in China’s production behemoth, Shenzhen soon buried Hong Kong’s prospect as a manufacturing centre.

In global references Hong Kong-Shenzhen-Guangzhou is the world’s biggest productive mega region, demographically twice the size of the next biggest in Nagoya-Osaka-Kyoto-Kobe.

But Hong Kongers still regarded themselves as a breed apart from the mainland – a “Made in the British Empire” attitude dies hard.

Surely Hong Kong still had superlative status as a leading port and financial services centre?

Not quite, especially when Shanghai would soon outclass it on both counts.

Hong Kong slipped to fifth place among the world’s busiest container ports. Among the world’s Top 10, six are now on China’s mainland.

The Shanghai Municipality’s population is 3.5 times Hong Kong’s, with an area 5.7 times as large, meaning a more relaxed population density of just 62% of Hong Kong’s.

Shanghai’s 2018 nominal GDP was US$494bil (RM2.04 trillion), which was 136.1% of Hong Kong’s. Even Shenzhen is catching up with Hong Kong, falling short by just 3.3%.

Business is Hong Kong’s business, but the mainland is doing better in both performance and prospects.

The Hong Kong stock market is not necessarily stable. Since the 1960s it has experienced a dozen market crashes.

Shanghai’s Stock Exchange market capitalisation of US$5.01 trillion is larger than Hong Kong’s by 26.5%. Hong Kong’s exceeded Shenzhen’s by only 12.8%.

Hong Kong as business enclave has been eclipsed and outdone by the mainland. At the same time its future increasingly depends on the mainland.

Since 1997, Hong Kong dropped from representing 20% to just 3% of China’s GDP.

For China today Hong Kong is just another Chinese city, meaning it is dispensable. Shenzhen and the rest of the mainland do not need a nettlesome Hong Kong for China’s continued rise.

Hong Kong protesters have committed at least a dozen strategic errors.

  1. One, they assume Hong Kong is essential to the mainland’s future when only the reverse is true. There is no equivalence between Hong Kong and the mainland in any way that works for Hong Kong.
  2. Two, protest appeals to mainlanders for support mistakenly attempt to rekindle the spirit of Tienanmen Square protests a generation ago. Those protesters are now part of the system in a prosperous new China, actively engaged in business or government. Their original 1989 complaint of corruption in high places is keenly addressed by Beijing.
  3. Three, attempts to solicit mainlanders’ support are badly confused with prejudice against them. Within days of trying to spread the protest message to mainlanders in July, protesters attacked mainland traders, shoppers and tourists.
  4. Four, protesters violently attacked police personnel, alienating many Hong Kongers including most protesters. It signalled a slide towards civil disorder.
  5. Five, vandalising the Legislative Council building established illegal conduct and further alienated everyone else.
  6. Six, more violence was targeted at the liaison office when sympathisers had thought protesters would never do that. It confirmed the criminality discrediting the protests as a whole.
  7. Seven, besides disrupting traffic and commerce, harassing passengers at the airport and train stations. It did nothing to promote their cause to the general public but quite the opposite.
  8. Eight, protests did not subside even after Hong Kong’s Executive backed down on the extradition Bill. It revealed the unreasonable nature of the protests.
  9. Nine, no protester had demanded democracy for Hong Kong in 156 years of British colonial rule. If they had, they may have a legitimate basis for demanding democracy today.
  10. Ten, it was foolish to unfurl the Union Jack and call for reverting to British rule. Seeking the denial of democracy by a foreign hand exposes the hypocrisy of the protests.
  11. Eleven, it was foolhardy to unfurl “Old Glory,” calling for US intervention during a US-China trade war. With trade a major basis of Hong Kong’s survival, it was politically suicidal.
  12. Twelve, protesters fail to understand that no other country can or would do what is necessary to boost Hong Kong’s fortunes. Only the mainland can do that if it wants to.

Young protesters still to find employment amid poor conditions and rising costs may think they have legitimate grievances.

Yet all the solutions – more investment, better job prospects, even improved governance – can come meaningfully only via the mainland.

Beijing can deploy troops to Hong Kong, but to what end?

Hong Kong’s worst punishment is getting exactly what the protesters want – isolation. That will leave it further behind as the mainland prospers, surging ahead.

Hong Kong can stew in its own juices until tender. Beijing may let the anger fester and rot until then.

Hong Kong’s strength as money-making hub is also its weakness. Its stock market can crash again, which can also send a message to Taiwan.

Hong Kong tycoons are already looking for more places abroad to stash their fortunes. Without decisive mainland investment, the economic enclave can die a natural death.

What’s left of Hong Kong’s Establishment will then surely discipline rowdy mobs. The triads have already shown leadership here, symbolising the decline.

By Bunn Nagara, a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia. The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own.

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China orders US to remove ‘black hands’ from Hong Kong


Escalating violence in Hong Kong over the weekend opened new fronts in its crisis over an extradition Bill that could see people sent to China for trial in Communist Party-controlled courts.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

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China said on Tuesday (July 24) that US officials were behind the violent chaos in Hong Kong and warned against interference, following a series of protests in the city, including bloody clashes on the weekend.

“We can see that US officials are even behind such incidents,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying at a regular press briefing on Tuesday.

She was referring to violence related to weeks of protests spearheaded by pro-democracy activists against a Bill that would allow people to be extradited from the city to stand trial in courts in mainland China.

“So can the officials tell the world what role did they play and what are their aims?” Hua asked.

On Sunday, groups of men in white T-shirts, who opposition politicians suspect were linked to Hong Kong criminal gangs, assaulted some pro-democracy protesters, after some protesters had vandalised Beijing’s main office in the city.

Hua, asked about criticism of violence by the United States and Hong Kong’s former colonial ruler, Britain, said China would not tolerate any interference.

“The US should know one thing, that Hong Kong is China’s Hong Kong, and we do not allow any foreign interference,” she said. “We advise the US to withdraw their black hands.”

On Monday, a British junior foreign minister said Britain “will be keeping a close eye” on Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam’s investigation into the vicious assault on pro-democracy protesters.

“I welcome Carrie Lam’s statement today saying she has asked the Commissioner of Police to investigate this incident fully and pursue any lawbreakers,” Andrew Murrison told the House of Commons.

Britain, which signed a treaty handing over control of the territory to China in 1997, “remains fully committed to upholding Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, rights and freedoms”, he added.

Earlier this month, the US State Department urged all sides in Hong Kong to avoid violence after protesters ransacked the territory’s Parliament on the anniversary of its handover to China.

Following that episode, US President Donald Trump said that the protesters who stormed Hong Kong’s Parliament wanted democracy for the semi-autonomous territory.

“Well, they are looking for democracy, and I think most people want democracy. Unfortunately, some governments don’t want democracy,” Mr Trump told reporters at the White House on July 1.

But on Monday, he praised Beijing’s handling of the protests, saying he believed Chinese President Xi Jinping has acted responsibly.

“I know that that’s a very important situation for President Xi,” Trump said, adding that “China could stop them if they wanted”.

“I think that President Xi of China has acted responsibly, very responsibly,” Trump told reporters. “I hope that President Xi will do the right thing.”.

Hong Kong, a global financial hub, returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” formula that allows freedoms not enjoyed in the mainland, including freedom to protest and an independent judiciary. .

But many in Hong Kong resent what they see as Beijing’s creeping control and its refusal to let its residents directly elect their leader. .

China denies interfering in Hong Kong and has warned that the violent protests over the proposed legislation allowing extraditions to mainland China were an “undisguised challenge”to the formula under which it is ruled. – (Straits Times, REUTERS, AFP)

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Trump’s racist tweets


 Malaysians must learn from this ugly episode in the American history and be mindful not to do the same to our fellow Malaysians in any circumstances

PRESIDENT Donald Trump singled out four coloured members of the United States House of Represent­atives in his recent tweets.

He told them to “help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came from”.

He had accused them before of “spewing some of the most vile, hateful and disgusting things ever said by a politician”.

He even told them, “If you hate our country or if you are not happy here, you can leave.”

Trump’s action is beyond the pale of decency in politics.

For someone holding the highest office in the mightiest country in the world, making such a statement shows how the United States has changed since he took office three years ago.

The United States has been a country beyond recognition of late.

Under Trump, it has compromised all the principles it held true – openness, tolerance and magnanimity.

He fanned the anti-immigrant sentiments.

His stand on Muslim countries is worrying, so the “Muslim ban” he imposed isn’t too shocking. The list goes on.

But calling the four congresswomen who criticised him “haters of America” is something else.

Except for Ilhan Omar, a Muslim born in Somalia and a naturalised US citizen, the rest are all US-born.

Other than Ilhan, Rashida Talib is also a Muslim.

In fact, they are the first Muslim women to be elected as members of the House.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came from a Puerto Rican family and Rashida’s family are Palestinian immigrants.

Ayanna Pressley is a black representative from Boston.

The attacks on Ilhan since she was elected have been particularly harsh.

Jeanine Pirro, a Fox News host, was yanked from the air for making an unprovoked attack on Ilhan and her religion.

Tucker Carlson, also of Fox News, called her a “grievance monster who hates the United States”.

Thanks to Trump, we are witnessing a new low in American politics.

To speak ill of sons and daughters of immigrants in a country of immigrants is something else.

For Trump, it is almost a pattern now – making remarks uncalled for as a president.

Naturally, the country erupted in bitter recriminations over those tweets.

But knowing Trump, he will not apologise; in fact, he boldly proclaimed: “I don’t have a racist bone in my body.”

To which Ocasio-Cortez responded in a tweet, “You’re right, Mr President – you don’t have a racist bone in your body. You have a racist mind in your head and a racist heart in your chest.”

In the United States, toxicity is in the air.

Racism is rearing its ugly head. The white supremacists are emboldened. The voice of anti-immigrant groups is getting louder.

Bigotry knows no borders. Immigrants as a whole are facing a backlash in countries where fervent nationalistic sentiments are at play.

In predominantly white countries, the voices of right-wing and supremacist groups are becoming deafening.

Australian-born Brenton Tarrant, who filmed himself on a shooting rampage at a Christchurch mosque, is the kind of right-wing extremist we fear.

As much as the rise of militancy in any religion is condemned, we must be on the lookout for the Tarrants of the world.

But more important is the rise

of ferocious identity contestation based on race and religion the world over.There is nothing wrong with nationalist or religious zeal. But taking it to the level of undermining and marginalising others is something else.

The rise of nationalist parties in Europe is one example.

There is always the argument about the changing landscape of the “European character” with the influx of immigrants.

Immigrants, too, have changed the United States, and not necessarily for the worse.

The talk about “if you are not happy, go back to your country of origin” is nothing new.

We have heard that uttered many times by individuals and groups to minorities. We have seen it happen here in Malaysia, too.

There are some who are taking that path, conveniently telling individuals from the other races to do so.

Those targeted are born here. They have no other place to go. Criticising a policy is not being disloyal.

Speaking their minds as what the four congresswomen in the United States did should not be construed as disrespectful or hating the country.

As much as we must register our outrage against Trump, we must also be mindful not to do the same to our fellow Malaysians in any circumstance.

That is the lesson we should learn from this ugly episode in American history.

By Johan Jaaffar, a journalist, editor and for some years chairman of a media company, and is passionate about all things literature and the arts. The views expressed here are entirely his own.

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Michelle Obama and President Donald Trump. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: AP, Leah Mills/Reuters)
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