Before I knew, it was nearly a month since I posted my last blog when I stopped short of saying that it seemed inevitable that the West would continue to decline; and indeed, since then, a number of friends had forwarded me a video on an interview on LBC with a Chinese official who, in response to a question by the interviewer on whether China was a competitor, a rival, an ally or a threat to Britain, categorically affirmed that China was none of the above and confidently said that Britain was simply another country in the world with whom China would like to get together in peace and friendship and with mutual respect, adding that how Britain viewed China was simply a matter for the British. He then cited examples that China was superior in many areas, implying that Britain could never be a threat or a competitor to China in this day and age. LBC is a British phone-in and talk radio station owned and operated by Global headquartered in London and had operated since October 1973.
Some other friends had revived a video of an interview with Kishore Mahbubani – albeit somewhat dated, for people were still wearing face masks – who lambasted the journalist’s typical western cold-war mindset about China being a repressive regime etc. Mahbubani is the author of “Has China Won?” published in 2020, and was a distinguished politician and diplomat and scholar, based in Singapore, with unrivaled access to policy makers in Beijing and Washington. In his book, he chronicled the massive geopolitical contest between China and America where the latter was trying hard to retain her primacy and superiority in the world, but when facts and trends were indicating a somewhat otherwise conclusion. One tell-tale fact was that China had allowed 10% – 1.4 billion – of her people to leave the country, but none, not one, had defected, which can hardly be evidence that China was operating a repressive regime.
Meanwhile, other friends had brought up Douglas Macgregor (born January 1953), a retired US Army colonel and government official and author, consultant and TV commentator, who described as lies, with so much confidence and so convincingly, his country had been perpetrating on the situation in Ukraine with the conclusion that Russian could not be defeated or that the West could never win the war. Still others had brought up Jeffrey Sachs – whom I had referred to in an earlier blog – on his views about the world having turned mad and that he couldn’t believe that his country was under the control of POTUS.
Which brings me to today’s article on SCMP by Alex Lo who said that “a divided US needs an ‘enemy’ like Beijing more than it ever did,” noting that “denigrating or demonizing an enemy can boost self-esteem, and a sense of common mission” and concluded that “when thing get too complicated, psychologists say we go for the ‘rule of the thumb.’ Sadly, in Washington today, that rule id ‘the China threat’.”
I can go on, but It appears that the West is increasingly turning away from the law of nature or reason that John Locke (1632 – 1704) had championed. Locke recognized the importance of self-preservation, but argued and preached that beyond that, all mankind ought to believe and uphold the principle that no one ought to harm another in his maintaining his life, liberty, or possessions. Locke was different from Thomas Hobbes (1588- 1679), also an English philosopher, who preached that the state of nature was a state of lawlessness and chaos, so that without any government intervention, mankind is to compete for things it needs for survival, such as food and shelter, which apparently had many followers who believe in the theories embodied in “survival of the fittest”.
Anyway, since my last blog, a few things had happened in our lives. First, the weather. Hong Kong was struck by a severe typhoon and the Number Ten Typhoon Signal was up for a rather long time, but thankfully without too much disruptions t the city, unlike what followed which was described by the authorities as the worst rainstorms that had hit the city in 500 years. We in Mei Foo were lucky that we were not much affected except having been kept indoors for longer periods. Second, we went to Macau for a weekend to join our friends in the Rotary community for some celebrations that they had not been able to host for three years during the pandemic. Indeed, we met up Rotary friends from Hong Kong whom we had not seen for a while too. We stayed in a newly opened hotel and went to our favourite eateries, and Su took home, in addition to a rather cute Mid-Autumn lantern, her first Covid attack, or so she believed, which she had nursed until the Mid-Autumn Festival proper. We stayed home during the period. Su never left the flat, while I made the daily trips to get food and groceries, including the RAT test kits which were out of stock even at Watsons. Su stayed in the bedroom, while I used the kitchen and dining and living areas, as she reminded me that she had experienced that arrangement earlier and much longer than I had. True. Luckily, Su had not suffered too much or too long, her symptoms went away pretty soon. Third, we went next door to our friendly neighbor’s flat to watch the fireworks last night. They had left the flat to us as they went to visit their relatives in the New Territories, very generous of them. It was the first time in some years we watched a display live and with the background explosions audible. Fourth, we caught up with Emily whom we last met some six months before after an incident in Middle Island. She introduced her husband Willie to us, who later brought their daughter Winnie along for a catch-up. These were interesting meetings, and they were good people with interesting background. It goes to prove that everyone has a story to tell which is unique and is probably more interesting than the individual would imagine. Fifth, we had our new and fourth Cardinal from Hong Kong – Stephen Chow – installed last Saturday by the Pope in Vatican; and we watched the ceremony live on YouTube, feeling blessed. He reminded people of his mission to be a bridge between China and the Vatican.
I would sign off for now; and I hope to talk to you again soon.