US Secretary of State/Ex-CIA director Mike Pompeo: We lied, we cheated, we stole’



https://youtu.be/DPt-zXn05ac

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: “I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. We had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.”

Pompeo said this at an event at Texas A&M University on April 15, 2019. Here is the official State Department transcript:https://www.state.gov/secretary/remar…. https://thegrayzone.com

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‘Glory of American experiment’: What did Pompeo mean by that?

Mike Pompeo is loved by the Koch brothers, big oil, Islamophobes, people against  marriage equality, and of course, Donald J. Trump. Narrated by Judy Gold. » Subscribe to NowThis: http://go.nowth.is/News_Subscribe
With business ties to foreign governments, connections to the defense and oil industries, nonchalance towards torture, and hatreds of entire cultures, it’s no surprise Mike   Pompeo’s run as Trump’s CIA Director was short lived – but his time in the White House continues on as U.S. Secretary of State and head of all U.S. diplomatic relations.

Pompeo: ‘I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole’

 ‘I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. It’s – it was like – we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment’ – Pompeo

Mike Pompeo says, “Lying, cheating and stealing reminds you of the glory of the American experiment”

Pictured above: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, telling it like it is: lying, cheating and stealing are the glory of the American experiment. It’s what the capitalist West does best. He was adored by the audience like a success guru.
Source article with all the images and hyperlinks: https://chinarising.puntopress.com/20…
Mike Pompeo says, “Lying, cheating and stealing reminds you of the …

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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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A new cold war in trade wars also is a tech war and currency war now !


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China warns the U.S. of tariff ‘countermeasures’

Poised for correction: A file picture showing a woman walking by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo. After 10 years of continued rise in asset prices, markets are poised for correction. — AP

Tariffs are here to stay and likely to disrupt the 10-year economic cycle

IF investors ever needed a reminder that not all is right with the equities market, the shock waves the world capital markets, including Bursa Malaysia, had to endure earlier this week are proof enough.

Most stock markets are at the tailend of a 10-year bull run, although the same cannot be said for Bursa Malaysia which has generally has been more bearish than others in the last five years. Going by the current trends, Bursa Malaysia is likely to finish the year lower, which if it happens will be the fourth time in the last five years.

But the leading platform in the world which sets the pace for global flow of capital – the Wall Street – has been hitting new highs although it corrects from time to time largely due to the tweets from President Donald Trump.

Wall Street’s run started in May 2009 and seems to have the strength to carry on for a few more legs, defying conventional logic that economic boom-bust cycles corrects after 10 years. Other stock markets have had good and bad times since 2009 but the US has been consistently on the rise.

The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Nasdaq and S&P 500, which charts the broader market, have all hit news highs. Bursa Malaysia on the other hand has languished between the 1, 600 and 1, 700 levels, with only one year of positive returns since 2014.

There are several reasons for Bursa Malaysia’s poor performance compared with other markets. For instance, the United States slashed tax rates, which spurred earnings of companies and has the best technology companies listed there. It’s not the same elsewhere in the world.

Nevertheless, after 10 years of continued rise in asset prices due to the combination of a low interest rate environment and advancement in technology, the markets are poised for correction. Until earlier this week, nobody had an inkling of an idea where and how the correction will take place.

However, after President’s Trump latest statement that the US would impose 10% tariff on an additional US$300bil worth of exports from China, it clearly underlines that the trade war is here to stay.

If anybody had a view that the trade war would end if President Trump does not retain his position in the US elections next year, they are wrong. Even some Democrats are leaning towards imposing tariff as measure to help the US keep its competitive edge in the world economy.

Reverse globalisation is no longer a bad word in world trade.

A 25% tariff has already been imposed on US$250bil worth of China’s exports to the United States since March this year.

It is bringing in billions to the US coffers with some going towards helping the farmers overcome the woes of the trade war. The person who takes over from Trump is not likely to dismantle the structure.

Any other president will want to get more from China, which is led by the influential President Xi Jinping, who is seen as the most powerful man that rules the second biggest economy in the world after the late chairman Mao Zedong.

China has retaliated by imposing tariffs on US$110bil worth of imports from the US so far including the produce from farms. It has also allowed the yuan to weaken, sparking concerns that the trade war is evolving into a currency war.Latest data from China shows that the exports are still growing and imports dropping in July even though there is a trade war, suggesting that President Xi will not yield to pressure from the US easily.

A new cold war in the form of the trade war has emerged. As a result, it has caused upheavals in the capital markets that should worry investors.

There have been significant shifts in asset prices from bonds to equities and commodities such as oil. Among all asset classes, dramatic movement in bond prices of government debt papers is the first to feel the impact from the trade war.

This is on the back of increasing certainty that the Federal Reserve and other major central banks will reduce interest rates more aggressively to stimulate the sagging economy. It has caused for money to seek safe haven such as US government debt papers.

For instance the yields on the 10-year US debt paper is 1.69% now. It was 1.9% a week ago and 2.06% a month ago. The yields moves inversely with the price of the bonds.

The yields on the five- and two-year government debt papers have also moved by up 18 points in the last one week. Such movements on billions of dollars will have an impact in the months to come.

The trade war has caused a major disruption in the global supply chain, evidence of the economy slowing globally.

If anybody wants any evidence of the disruption in global supply chain, they only need to go to the KLIA cargo complex and see for themselves the number of idle lorries that do not have enough cargo to move about.

In Malaysia’s case, apart from a slowdown in movement of goods around the world, the uncertainties in Hong Kong have exacerbated the situation.

The combined effects of the trade war, China’s economic uncertainties and Hong Kong’s future as Asia’s financial hub will only be felt in the fourth quarter of this year.

Until then, asset prices will continue to adjust to the new norm.

The views expressed here are solely that of the writer. Source link 

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All countries, including Malaysia, losing in US-China trade war


“The US may settle into the malaise it found itself in, during the 1970s, before the present wave of globalization. It may survive but not thrive,’’ said Pong Teng Siew(pic) head of research, Inter-Pacific Securities.

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) may have identified China as having more to lose in the US-China trade war, but the real loser is the world which has become economically more dependent on China.

The initial impact is seen in emerging economies, where a fresh slowdown in the world economy has been concentrated.

Asian economies, in particular, will feel the pressure from slowing Chinese demand for their exports.

Commodity producing countries will also suffer as prices decline in the wake of sluggish demand from China.

In 2016 and 2017, China’s share of world demand came to 59% of cement, 56% of nickel, 50% each of coal, copper and steel, aluminium (47%), cotton (33%), rice (31%), gold (27%), corn (23%) and oil (14%), said Visual Capitalist that publishes data using visual methods.

While the IMF, in its half-yearly World Economic Outlook, had upgraded its forecast of US growth this year from 2.3% to 2.6%, it had downgraded China from 6.3% to 6.2%.

Growth expectations for emerging and developing economies is now cut, since April, by 0.3 percentage points to 4.1% this year.

China’s economy grew at an annual pace of 6.2% in the second quarter, the weakest in nearly three decades, while exports rose by just 0.1% in the first half.

Throughout the closely linked supply chains, these weak exports which registered the biggest drop to the US, also dampened demand for imports of components used in finished products.

Increasingly vulnerable to any slowdown in China, dubbed the Asian powerhouse, is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) economic bloc, for which China was the biggest trading partner.

Trade between Asean and China hit US$587.87bil last year.

As there are expectations for Chinese growth to slide between 5% to 6%, the rest of Asia which have prioritized trade with China, may have to look elsewhere for growth.

Making matters worse, there will be no more super stimulus programme such as the US$586bil unleased after the 2008 financial crisis, which had a positive impact across the export-oriented region.

“There are, therefore, concerted efforts to try and resolve the US-China trade war,’’ said Nor Zahidi Alias, associate director of research, Malaysian Rating Corp.

But Asean is already a recipient of trade investment diversions from China, and it is likely that Asian countries will ramp up efforts, including improvement in infrastructure and the ease of doing business, to attract foreign direct investments from the United States and China.

In the short term, China, being a large trading nation, may have more to lose but it is already transitioning away from being dependent on trade.

Consumption had contributed to more than 60% growth in China during 11 out of 16 quarters from January 2015 to December 2018, said CNBC, quoting a July report by McKinsey.

Indicating its increased self-reliance, China had exported only 9% of its output in 2017, compared with 17% in 2007, the study found.

The three groups with most exposure to China are the Asian economies within the global supply chain (South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam); the resource rich countries that export to China (Australia, Chile, Costa Rica, Ghana and South Africa); and emerging markets with investments from China (Egypt and Pakistan).

The trade war has complicated China’s efforts to find a balance between sustaining decent growth and tackling problems of high corporate debt and massive shadow banking risks.

As a result, these ‘highly dependent’ countries will probably have to suffer more.

In the end, nobody gains especially those that want to ‘hide’ behind tariff walls, de-globalise and move away from the current global interdependence and integration.

The effects of de-globalisation can be serious.

Think of a 1970s type of scenario, said to be the worst decade for the US economy which, since the Great Depression, had experienced the worst downturn from November 1973 to March 1975.

“The US may settle into the malaise it found itself in, during the 1970s, before the present wave of globalization. It may survive but not thrive,’’ said Pong Teng Siew head of research, Inter-Pacific Securities.

The current wave of globalization is said to feature modern technology and global democratic processes, with increased movement of capital and adoption of free trade.

Consumers will be the ultimate loser; they have to face a decade or more of higher prices (on US and retaliatory tariffs) with little or no compensating increases in employment and income.

The huge job cuts happening around the world, with talk nearer home of layoffs and headcount freezes in the Singapore semiconductor industry, should give us an indication of some potentially alarming consumer downtrends.

By Columnist Yap Leng Kuen, who reckons nobody should be under the illusion that he is the winner. The views expressed here are solely that of the writer.

Source link 

 

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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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The founder of modern China chairman Mao Zedong.

 

 

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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