Our old friend Jiang Shigong is out with a really important new piece. Jiang is an influential legal theorist at Peking University Law School, very active in thinking about Hong Kong (in a very “we need to do much more ‘One Country’, much less ‘Two Systems’ way)... /1
...and about China’s “imperial” future. I wrote about his quasi “National Socialist” tendencies here credibletarget.net/notes/Jiangand… /2
In this new piece he takes on HSBC, following CY Leung’s warnings about the bank not supporting the HK National Security legislation. But this is only the pretext for a broader argument. Here’s the piece mp.weixin.qq.com/s/RiL_L70xKWcs… /3
First up, note the historical set-up; HSBC was an Opium War-supporting imperial bank and it was only China’s bountiful spirit of forgiveness which allowed it to continue business in HK, with quasi-sovereign money-printing rights. /4
But in Jiang’s view, HSBC is still an imperial British bank. And worse than that-it’s a ‘Five Eyes’-supporting bank. (Five Eyes constitute in Jiang’s view the western “deep state”, of which banks are a key part.) He claims HSBC gave up information about Huawei/Meng Wanzhou.. /5
...to the US authorities - a claim that’s been around since the arrest. So HSBC is a deeply ‘political actor’. Now, in Jiang’s view, this presents a threat to China’s “financial and informational security”. So here you have a bank which cannot be trusted... /6
...which constitutes a national security threat - operating on China’s soil. He asks, why would other firms, organisations, governments trust their key information to HSBC? (Or why would Beijing let them...?) /7
In Jiang’s view HSBC’s future in China will depend on its “sincerity and choices”. No veiled threat there, no siree. Friend or enemy, one or the other. /8
I think this has profound implications. For HSBC it’s business in China is seen as political. It will depend on whether it is seen as loyal to the “imperial US/UK” or China? If it can’t prove it’s loyalty, then what? If I had to guess, it really won’t be good. /9
You might think this is paranoid thinking - but the author is a senior figure in China’s best law school, and he’s quoting the guy Beijing trusted to run Hong Kong - and still trusts, apparently, to tell them what to do. And the passage of the NSL.../10
...suggests that this school has won the argument: HK is in a mess because foreign forces have turned the youth perversely against Beijing. So the solution is to crush the opposition and then, Beijing thinks, everything will be fine. /11
Imperial history is not over. It’s here and now; it’s going to be used as a means to sow distrust, a cudgel to demand loyalty. & a bank is not just a bank; it’s a vector of dangerous foreign influence. Others In Beijing talk about “Opening up”, esp. to western banks. /12
US investment banks are super keen to believe this is just a market they’re entering, that they’re being welcomed with open arms. But national security will trump everything, they’ll be seen as part of “Five Eyes deep state”, and once they’re sufficiently embedded.../13
...they’ll get the same treatment. Show us your loyalty, or else. /14 end.

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More from @You_Shu_China

Dec 22, 2020
I’m a big fan of Gao Xin’s Nighttime-chat Zhongnanhai (夜谈中南海). Recently he’d been digging into Zhao Leji (赵乐际). Zhao runs the Central Discipline & Inspection Commission (CDIC), the tip of the anti-corruption spear, is sixth on the Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC).../1
...& is a whipper-snapper at the age of 63. Wang Qishan gets attention, but Zhao – who Xi entrusted with the critical CDIC machinery after Wang – gets far less. He’s the quiet man of the PBSC. Some of the following is a bit gossipy – for those who like their politics more.../2 Image
...tied down here’s Zhao’s CV (chinavitae.com/biography/Zhao…) and Cheng Li at Brookings wrote up the CV here brookings.edu/wp-content/upl…. For those who like a story, read on./3
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Nov 23, 2020
Tweets on how Chinese politics really work seem to be popular, so here’s another one, again based on the excellent Gao Xin’s 'Zhongnanhai Nighttalk' (中南海夜谈) over at RFA, plus bits & pieces from me & other sources. Today’s puzzle is how does a local leader burnish his... /1
...reputation up in Beijing, enough to get factional opponents to consider him as a future national leader. And again, Mr. Gao tells the story of an unknown official who made a big difference to Xi’s rise. Comrades, meet Xu Lingyi (徐令义). /2 Image
The original piece is 'Xi Jinping's Zhejiang direct descendants in the CCDI' (习近平安插在中纪委里的浙江嫡系)and its here: rfa.global.ssl.fastly.net/mandarin/zhuan… /3
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Jan 30, 2020
Chen Qiushi is a citizen journalist and hero. This is a 26-minute vlog from him in Wuhan. It’s in Mandarin, and I’m not up to translating/subtitling all. Someone should. here are some of the things he says. He’s clearly exhausted, afraid; its very moving.
Btw, this is a very rough translation, I’ve reorganised the flow a bit, as he jumps around, & I’ve also missed things out etc. I’ve kept him speaking as “I” etc. I think it was recorded yday (29 jan). With those caveats. /2
“This video is a bit long. Usually I do short videos for WeChat etc. I’m in Wuhan, this is my 6th day. My name is already a ‘sensitive word’, so I can’t put anything on Wechat. Don’t put any of my videos on Wechat, or your account will be frozen. Mines already been frozen. /3
Read 19 tweets

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