China Advisory Body Boots Hong Kong Lawmaker James Tien – WSJ – WSJ

From Isabella Steger and Fiona Law in Hong Kong and
Chun Han Wong in Beijing:

A leading Hong Kong politician was stripped of his seat on China’s main advisory body after contradicting Beijing’s views, in another step to quiet dissent during month-long protests in the former British colony.

The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference voted Wednesday to boot Hong Kong lawmaker and businessman James Tien, who last week called on the city’s chief executive to resign over his handling of demonstrations seeking freer elections.

Mr. Tien, the head of Hong Kong’s pro-business Liberal Party, was removed over “improper remarks,” according to China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency.

A telltale sign of a leader about to crash and burn: when they sack advisers who speak out and question the official party line.

Read more at China Advisory Body Boots Hong Kong Lawmaker James Tien – WSJ – WSJ.

We Should Be Protesting Too |

Lawrence Lessig compares pre-selection in America’s “green primary” to Beijing’s 1200-strong “nominating committee” proposed for Hong Kong elections:

To run in any election, primary or general, candidates must raise extraordinary sums, privately. Yet they raise that money not from all of us. They raise it from a tiny, tiny few. In the last non-presidential election, only about .05 percent of America gave the maximum contribution to even one congressional candidate in either the primary or general election; .01 percent gave $10,000 or more; and in 2012, 132 Americans gave 60 percent of the superPAC money spent. This is the biased filter in the first stage of our American democracy….

America’s government is demonstrably responsive to the “economic elite and organized business interests,” Gilens and Page found, while “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”…..

There is no doubt that because of the way we fund campaigns, the “economic elite” — what conservatives call “the cronies” and progressives “corporate power” — have hijacked American democracy…..

Read more at We Should Be Protesting, Too |

Russian Oligarchs Shift Cash To Hong Kong Dollars On Sanctions Concerns | Zero Hedge

From Tyler Durden:

Last week we noted the very significant activity by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority as it bought USDollars in size to support its peg. It appears we have found at least one smoking gun for why they were forced to do this. In what appears to be another sanctions-blowback, Russian oligarchs are de-dollarizing their cash holdings and shifting to Hong Kong Dollars.

Read more at De-Dollarization Continues: Russian Oligarchs Shift Cash To Hong Kong Dollars On Sanctions Concerns | Zero Hedge.

China will never support Putin on Crimea

Offering the people of Crimea a referendum — on whether to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation — may appeal to Vladimir Putin but he should not expect support from China. For two very simple reasons: Hong Kong and Taiwan. China claims these two territories as part of China, but there are no prizes for guessing the outcome if a similar referendum (to secede) were held in either territory.