The ragening: Angry China loses friends and alienates everybody

The gloves are off now. All UBS said was:

But that’s the end of a big bond deal with China Railway Construction Corporation because, well, just because. Via the FT:

… cultural sensitivity is important for any multinational. But it is an absurdity to translate an innocent English phrase in a certain way and then take offence at it. Mr Donovan’s original remark was merely a factual explanation of what has caused inflation — swine flu — followed by a droll aside that inflation more generally was not a problem and therefore that only pigs, because of the risk of flu, need worry. The explanation rather kills the witticism.

Mr Donovan can feel rightly sore about his enforced leave of absence, though if UBS continues to kowtow, and accedes to demands to convert suspension into sacking, it will be another level of injustice.

…UBS is naturally keen to protect its business in China. In response to similar instances in the past, western banks have acted decisively — or brutally, depending on your point of view. In 2006 Morgan Stanley parted company with respected economist Andy Xie, after he made critical comments about Singapore which were leaked to the authorities.

UBS cannot go down the same path. Mr Donovan is highly rated, has had a 26-year career at the bank and has done nothing wrong. His employer must stand by him and resist a misguided bullying campaign stoked by social media and mistranslation.

Too late! Let’s hope he doesn’t end up here:

An independent tribunal sitting in London has concluded that the killing of detainees in China for organ transplants is continuing, and victims include imprisoned followers of the Falun Gong movement.

The China Tribunal, chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, who was a prosecutor at the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, said in a unanimous determination at the end of its hearings it was “certain that Falun Gong as a source – probably the principal source – of organs for forced organ harvesting”.

“The conclusion shows that very many people have died indescribably hideous deaths for no reason, that more may suffer in similar ways and that all of us live on a planet where extreme wickedness may be found in the power of those, for the time being, running a country with one of the oldest civilisations known to modern man.”

He added: “There is no evidence of the practice having been stopped and the tribunal is satisfied that it is continuing.”

The tribunal has been taking evidence from medical experts, human rights investigators and others.

Among those killed, it has been alleged, are members of religious minorities such as Falun Gong. Persecution of the group began in 1999 after it had attracted tens of millions of followers and came to be seen as a threat to the communist party.

Meanwhile, Angry China is sticking to its guns in Hong Kong, via Reuters:

China redoubled its support for Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Monday after days of protests against a planned extradition bill, and a source close to Lam said Beijing was unlikely to let her go even if she tried to resign.

Lam’s attempts to pass a bill that would allow people in Hong Kong to be extradited to China for trial triggered the biggest and most violent protests in decades in the former British colony, now under Chinese rule.

As the crisis entered its second week, demonstrators and opposition politicians braved intermittent rain to gather near the government’s offices and urge her to kill the bill and quit.

And the CPC Foghorn won’t let it go:

A commentary to be published on Sunday’s People’s Daily expresses firm support for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Chief Executive Carrie Lam and the HKSAR government to govern in accordance with the law.

The commentary says the central authorities firmly support the HKSAR government in safeguarding the rule of law and legitimate rights of its residents, firmly oppose external forces in interfering with Hong Kong’s affairs and China’s internal affairs and support the HKSAR’s decision to suspend amending ordinances concerning the transfer of fugitive offenders in order to solicit more opinions.

The Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, which was promulgated before Hong Kong’s return to the motherland, does not apply to other regions of China including the mainland, Macao and Taiwan, according to the commentary, adding that the loopholes in the Hong Kong legal system was exposed last year in a Taiwan murder case involving a Hong Kong suspect.

It wants more war:

The CPC prefers lies to moderation, at SCMP:

In an interview with British broadcaster the BBC, Liu Xiaoming, China’s top envoy in London since 2009, said Beijing never instructed Hong Kong to amend the legislation.

“[The media] portrayed the story as the Hong Kong government made this amendment [as a result of the] instruction of the Beijing government,” Liu said.

“As a matter of fact, [the] Beijing central government gave no instruction, no order about making [the] amendment. This amendment was initiated by the Hong Kong government, it was prompted by a murder case in Taiwan.”

Of course. That’s why Beijing, which had no say in it, pulled it.

The love is just not coming for Angry China, via WaPo:

Days after he pushed through a measure that would grant him lifetime rule, Chinese President Xi Jinping closed the Communist Party’s 19th Congress in 2017 with a sweeping address that touched on the thorniest issues of all: Hong Kong and Taiwan.

In semiautonomous Hong Kong and practically independent Taiwan, Beijing would “develop and strengthen the ranks of patriots who love our country,” Xi promised the gathered party elite, to thunderous applause.

“Blood,” Xi added, “is thicker than water.”

Historic numbers of protesters in Hong Kong’s streets and a political crisis engulfing its leader, Carrie Lam, in the past week have highlighted an enduring conundrum faced by Xi: For decades, Beijing has asked the former British colony for loyalty, if not love. Time and again, its people have responded with distrust, if not loathing.

 No love at all, at the NYT:

Mr. Xi’s trip fortuitously gave him some distance from the events in Hong Kong, where the leadership on Saturday suspended its push for legislation to allow extraditions to mainland China. But the measure had been backed by Beijing, and there was no mistaking that the reversal was a stinging setback for him.

The move, the biggest concession to public pressure during Mr. Xi’s nearly seven years as China’s paramount leader, suggests that there are still limits to his power, especially involving events outside the mainland, even as he has governed with an increasingly authoritarian grip.

“This is a defeat for Xi, even if Beijing frames this as a tactical retreat,” said Jude Blanchette, a consultant and the author of a new book on the revival of revolutionary ideology in the country, “China’s New Red Guards.”

And the fear and loathing now stretches back to Taiwan:

Kaohsiung mayor and presidential hopeful Han Kuo-yu vowed Saturday that China’s “one country, two systems” formula for unification with Taiwan will never be put in place in Taiwan if he is president.

“‘One country, two systems’ can never be implemented in Taiwan. Taiwanese people can never accept it, unless, unless, unless it’s over my dead body,” Han told tens of thousands of supporters at a rally in Douliu in Yunlin County, saying “over my dead body” in English.

At the rally, Han of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) led the crowd in chanting “reject ‘one country, two systems'” and asked his supporters to have faith in him.

“If I am given the opportunity to lead the Republic of China and become the president of the Republic of China, I promise that ‘one country, two systems’ will never be carried out on the land of Taiwan,” Han said.

It was Han’s most forceful public rejection of Beijing’s “one country, two systems” formula. The mayor has been criticized by his opponents for what they perceive as his overly pro-China stance and reluctance to criticize Beijing.

Just as well kow towing Australia has China’s back. Increasingly, nobody else does.

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