Hong Kong Financial Centre, Michelle Yeoh, and More Week 11 Update

China has decided to protect Hong Kong as a financial centre (OMFIF)

Western visitors returning to China for face-to-face meetings, as OMFIF did last week, will find a country as keen to attract outside investment as it is to develop a self-sufficient financial and technological ecosystem. Hong Kong’s role in this complex process seems more important than before. …

Though some suggested that the resumption of face-to-face business meetings would improve East-West estrangement by osmosis, most Chinese bankers are under no illusions about American political antipathy. …

Our interlocutors are still trying to work out whether Europe is in the same camp. …

… But there is also frustration at the unpredictable nature of the rules as the ruling Conservative party under an assortment of prime ministers zigzags between crass mercantilism and American-sponsored Sinophobia.

The PBoC, which emphasised to OMFIF the importance of Hong Kong to the Chinese capital markets ecosystem, dismissed the idea that China seeks to supplant the dollar. But it raised the not unreasonable suggestion that China’s $18tn economy might conduct trade with partners in its own currency.

Meanwhile the ‘mBridge’ cross-border central bank digital currency project, which includes the UAE as well as PBoC, looks to some like the potential evolution of a financial ecosystem outside the control of the West – as Swift is perceived to be and was obliged to sanction Russia. mBridge includes Hong Kong, whose currency remains pegged to the dollar and whose financial markets are still underpinned by ‘Common Law’, praised by President Xi Jinping last year despite its colonial origins.

Hong Kong’s twin life between Chinese and Anglo-Saxon financial systems is only going to become more important as those ecosystems diverge, while needing still to do business.


‘She deserves it’, Chinese internet cheers Michelle Yeoh’s Best Actress Oscar (The China Project)

Chinese internet users reacted with joy after Malaysian-born Michelle Yeoh, a beloved actress in the country, became the first performer of Asian descent to win Best Actress at the Academy Awards.


Negotiating with the Party-State, Q&A with veteran banker Weijian Shan (The China Project)

Weijian Shan is a longtime China investor based in Hong Kong. We discussed his recent book about taking control and turning around a Chinese bank.

Veteran dealmaker Weijian Shan (单伟建 Shàn Wěijiàn), now at PAG, has just published his third book, Money Machine: A Trailblazing American Venture in China. The book is an account of the only instance of a foreign entity taking a control stake in a Chinese bank that provides an inside view of negotiating with China’s Party-State apparatus.


Xi proposes a Global Civilization Initiative (sinocism.com)

Xi proposed the “Global Civilization Initiative (GCI) ….

Chinese modernization has broken the myth that "modernization = Westernization", presented another picture of modernization, expanded the options for developing countries to achieve modernization, and provided a Chinese solution for mankind to explore a better social system. …

We should jointly advocate respect for the diversity of world civilizations, adhere to equality, mutual learning, dialogue and tolerance of civilizations …

We should jointly advocate and carry forward the common values of all mankind. Peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom are the common pursuits of people of all countries. …

We should jointly advocate attaching importance to the inheritance and innovation of civilization, fully tap the historical and cultural values of all countries …

We should jointly advocate strengthening international cultural exchanges and cooperation …


Near-full transcript of Premier Li Qiang's press conference (gingerriver.com)

Li Qiang today - Monday, March 13, 2023 - held his first press conference as Chinese Premier after the closing of an annual National People’s Congress session.

Honestly speaking, most people do not keep their eyes on GDP growth all the time. What they care more about are the things that happen in everyday life, like housing, employment, income, education, medical services, and the environment. Therefore, the government must always plan and carry out its work in light of what the people feel and act according to people's wish.


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This compilation is put together by DeLisle Worrell, President of the ABCF. Previous updates may be found at commentary | Association for Barbados China Friendship (abcf-bb.com)