Books · China

Two interesting articles, of significantly differing lengths. The London Review of Books has this massive book review (over 4,000 words!) on 2 books dealing with the murky offshore banking industry and the equally murky role of American politics in serving the super-wealthy. The first book focuses on London and how it became a center of world trade and even has a bit about Muammar Gaddhafi’s son. The second looks at how the super-wealthy, say the richest 0.1 percent rather than the top 1 percent, of Americans, have continued to prosper while the middle class have languished thanks to politicians and government policies that favor the latter (isn’t this surprising?). I have to say this review only caught my eye because of the first book’s author, Nicholas Shaxson, who wrote an excellent book about the “dirty politics” of oil wealth on Africa a few years back that I read in my last year of university.

The second link is TimeOut Hong Kong’s little look back at HK history, when Deng Xiaoping showed British PM Margaret Thatcher just who’s boss over the then-lingering Hong Kong question back in 1982. While the outcome of this moment lead directly to some of my family leaving HK, I see it as a proud moment for China and one in which justice really was served. One of my university profs actually spoke of this event, claiming to have been told by someone who was there, how Deng uttered a warning to Thatcher about Hong Kong leaving no doubt about China’s willingness to fight for Hong Kong (We’re not Argentina, woman), causing her to literally stagger a bit after their meeting.

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