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Samizdata quote of the day

The ASI has renewed its call for British passport holders in Hong Kong to be given the full rights of British citizens, including the right to settle here. If this were to be done, the People’s Republic would denounce it as post-colonialist interference, but it might well make them tread more carefully.

Madsen Pirie

22 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • bobby b

    I must be missing something here, because the idea that China would be displeased if all of the HK dissidents moved away seems wrong.

  • Phil B

    Britain cannot, not should it, attempt to right the worlds problems by giving sanctuary to anyone and everyone.

    What they SHOULD have done when HK was due to be handed over to the Chinese was to give the HK Chinese the right to settle in somewhere like British Guyana (same climate, easier access to markets – USA and Europe –
    and the rest of the world, much more land area and more suitable for development etc.) and let them make that country into the same powerhouse that they made of HK.

    But now? A quarter of a century too late. Neither do I think that the HK Chinese would take too kindly to the regulatory systems, taxation etc. that exists in the UK in contrast to the economically easy environment of HK.

    No, it is not Britain’s problem.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “I must be missing something here, because the idea that China would be displeased if all of the HK dissidents moved away seems wrong.”

    They’re not bothered about losing the dissidents, they don’t want to lose the wealth-creators. The issue is the extent to which they’re the same people.

    Although, apparently, Britain doesn’t want any more productive wealth-creators, either – judging from Phil’s contribution.

    No, it’s not Britain’s problem. It’s the libertarians’ problem, if libertarian free market wealth creators are not welcome anywhere, not even in Britain. It means we’ve lost to the Protectionists.

  • CaptDMO

    Phil B

    Britain cannot, not should it, attempt to right the worlds problems by giving sanctuary to anyone and everyone.

    I have a few folks I’d like you to speak to in the US.

    I’d like to think GB would welcome ANY proven wealth (and taxes) creators, for when the nice folks in Brussels are
    informed to sod right off.

  • bobby b

    “They’re not bothered about losing the dissidents, they don’t want to lose the wealth-creators.”

    Ideologically, that has to bother the hell out of them.

    The logical progression of the idea that China wants the wealth creation of Hong Kong is that China should make the rest of China into Hong Kong, and that’s never going to be acceptable to them. What HK stands for is the antithesis of what communist China stands for, and allowing HK to continue to be a wealth driver – right there on their own landmass, in full view of their citizenry – has to be seen by them as a craven capitulation to the running dogs.

    I’d guess that allowing that taunt to be seen by the rest of their population has to cost them dearly in political terms. For that reason alone, I think they’d gladly pay for the airline tickets to get the HK’ers gone. HK doesn’t bring in all THAT much money for China. (A quick and dirty lookup indicates that – in 2014 – HK brought in 3-4% of China’s GDP.)

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    You can’t do that! Those HongKongers would never vote Labor, creating a voting imbalance! How about you only let in a HK ex-resident if you also let in a Chinese Communist Party member?

  • Itellyounothing

    Out of just self interest, we should offer sanctuary to HKers.

    We desperately a bunch of freedom loving economically active folk.

    They ain’t gonna be voting for Communists or Socialists after all.

    If China don’t like it, well never mind.

    I love the way we let in all and sundry, except the really oppressed…..

  • Nullius in Verba

    “The logical progression of the idea that China wants the wealth creation of Hong Kong is that China should make the rest of China into Hong Kong, and that’s never going to be acceptable to them.”

    No, China wants to be able to sell the story that China can create wealth. They just want it under their own control, tamed, on tap.

    I don’t really know – I’ve not investigated modern China in any detail. But I’ve seen it argued that the Chinese Communist Party realised some time ago that Communism was a bust, and are in the slow process of developing capitalism. Like perestroika, but less dramatic. Their fear, however, is that if you release the brakes too suddenly, that China will rip apart. It’s too large to easily share one culture. And revolutions, even economic ones, are times of turmoil and dissent. If they let go the controls too suddenly, you would instead get a mass of smaller states fighting one another for dominance as various oligarchs and warlords seized control. Their argument has therefore been for gradual liberalisation while maintaining tight control, crushing any signs of imminent rebellion or insurrection. Their belief is that if they can turn China into a Western-style economy but still unified and under their control, they will find themselves sitting astride the new global economic superpower. That’s their ambition, and indeed their only hope for personal survival.

    Hence, it’s grossly inaccurate to ascribe motives to them thinking they’re still anti-capital Maoists. They are quite happy nowadays with the wealth creation aspects of places like Hong Kong, and they want that to spread to their other cities. What they fear and hate is any indications of rebellion and independence, of the empire fragmenting, and that’s exactly what Hong Kong are showing them. That part is *not* an example they want spreading in mainland China.

    So far, they’ve shown surprising restraint. There was a time they would already have sent in the tanks, and I think it’s still pretty certain that nobody would have been surprised or done anything about it beyond making condemnatory speeches if they had. I think they want to resolve the situation peacefully, and get the HKers back to work making money. The problem is they can’t lose face in doing so. If they give other Chinese cities the impression that all one has to do to get freedom and independence is to riot for a year or so, they’ll have fires to put out all over the country. And then, yes, the tanks *will* go in, and a lot of the economic progress they’ve made will be knocked back. Hong Kong was already making them nervous – why they were gradually sneaking in more controls, I’m sure. And I’m sure they’re not going to give up trying. But no, I don’t think they’d be at all happy if the HKers all left, either.

    “A quick and dirty lookup indicates that – in 2014 – HK brought in 3-4% of China’s GDP.”

    Yes, from about 0.5% of the population.

  • Snorri Godhi

    What i don’t get is how one can hold a British passport without being a British citizen.

  • Mr Ecks

    This fellow shows it is all over not just HK–that SOS Xi is the cause.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ed4ryYokLzU

  • Neither do I think that the HK Chinese would take too kindly to the regulatory systems, taxation etc. that exists in the UK in contrast to the economically easy environment of HK.

    I imagine not, which is why I would love to have a million Hong Kongers move here, helping to make us all richer and voting for political parties that offer to make the UK a freer wealthier less regulated less taxed place to live. And if that pisses off the people who like the UK being more regulated, that is just a happy bonus.

  • You can’t do that! Those HongKongers would never vote Labor, creating a voting imbalance! How about you only let in a HK ex-resident if you also let in a Chinese Communist Party member (Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray, September 20, 2019 at 12:42 am)

    And what if, instead of importing communists for balance, the HKers arrival were made more welcome to locals by a corresponding refusal to take in welfare tourists from terrorist hotspots – making the only fresh arrivals from such areas those Coptic Christian refugees fleeing them. Much does Labour fear that a people racist enough to vote for Brexit are quite racist enough to justify such appalling prejudice by the crude dogwhistle of saying, “Well, we’ve just taken in all these people from Hong Kong so …”. The imbalance would be even less rectified then. In their worst nightmares, Labour even see an expulsion of illegals and Blair-lied-to-parliament welfare tourists from terrorist hotspots being done to conciliate the bigoted electorate, all justified by the need to make room for those from Hong-Kong. These are not the new voters they’re looking for – to replace the ones the polls say they’re losing. 🙂

  • Sigivald

    Yeah, I’m with Snorri.

    Why do people have British passports and not already have the right to be in Britain?

    Isn’t that sort of the whole point of passports, and nationality-establishing documents?

  • Gavin Longmuir

    Perry de H: “…[Hong Kongers] voting for political parties that offer to make the UK a freer wealthier less regulated less taxed place to live.”

    That would be great! I guess Hong Kongers would have to bring political parties like that with them?

  • Phineas Phosgene

    Perhaps we should deal with the existing problems caused by mass immigration before creating any new ones.

  • Importing lots of high initiative high IQ people from a rich first world city with a entrepreneurial culture will solve a lot more problems than it causes

  • I guess Hong Kongers would have to bring political parties like that with them?

    We are seeing a Great Realignment of British politics, so I suspect this would just help move that process in better directions.

  • Quentin

    The population of Hong Kong is 7.4 million. The UK could not cope with an influx of that many people. And you better believe that everyone eligible for a BNO passport would apply for one.

  • Offer 100,000 passports per year then.

  • Mr Black

    A libertarian is someone who will sell out you, your family, your city and your country for an extra 0.1% on the GDP. The west is currently being crushed under the weight of population-replacement levels of libertarianism when it comes to immigration and despite the shocking and terrible actual consequences of it, all we get are theoretical benefits proposed in a future that never arrives.

  • Stuart

    We don’t want them here. Too many people already.

  • Perhaps we should deal with the existing problems caused by mass immigration before creating any new ones. (Phineas Phosgene, September 21, 2019 at 6:31 am)

    Brutal reality does not always give time to solve one problem before facing another. That was why I floated the idea of using the solution to one to solve the other (Niall Kilmartin, September 20, 2019 at 7:35 pm).

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