Category: Australia

Hong Kong, a cautionary tale

The fireworks are done, the barricades are down and the PLA has returned to barracks.

The weekend celebration of Hong Kong’s two decades under Beijing rule was marked by Xi Jinping himself, joining local dignitaries in the obligatory toasts to the ‘success’ of one-country two systems.

From their viewpoint it is a success – Hong Kong remains a source of wealth and under direct party control.

But most citizens would labour to identify any aspect of their lives that has improved. The city today is vastly more unequal, unfair, unhappy and unstable than in 1997. Once a freewheeling trading port with no interest in politics, political tension now infects even the smallest of local affairs. Continue reading

Aust-China #1: The stupidest thing ever

China’s problematic role in Australia is finally get an airing. But the most astonishing thing of all is that Australia actually welcomes foreign political donations.

Only when I came across this story 18 months ago, with photos of vapid grinning politicians and their foreign-born sponsors, did it occur that this was possible.

Not even the wildest internationalist can conceive of a ‘democracy’ in which non-citizens get to vote with their wallets and where politicians adjust policy in pursuit of largess from foreign billionaires. Continue reading