Tough luck for Hong Kong. This is really the attitude Filipinos should be applying to their regard for the circus going on in Hong Kong. One country’s crisis is another’s bonanza and Manila can profit massively at the regretful but necessary expense of the erstwhile shopping mecca of their chi chi elite classes. Unlike the migrant Chinese workers now employed by the Philippines’ weed-like Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs), Hong Kong refugees are high-quality immigrants who could bring in a bounty of capital into the Philippine economy. These are the sorts of migrants every government wants and the Philippine government should step up and compete for this coming harvest.
See, the Philippines’ Opposition really aren’t looking out for what’s good for the Philippines. The situation in Hong Kong can go pear-shaped in two ways: (1) People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops can start goose-stepping into the territory to crush the protest and/or (2) the anarchist infestation within the ranks of the Hong Kong protesters can intensify and accelerate the torching of much of what makes Hong Kong a nice place to visit and do business.
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The Australian government already gets it…
There are two main reasons that a new exodus from Hong Kong could be a great opportunity for Australia. First is that Hong Kongers generally are quality candidates for immigration. As a senior official put it to me: “They are educated, they have money, they’re very savvy and we like getting them. The quality of the applicants tends to be very good.” They are valued for their entrepreneurial skills and professional qualifications as well as their commitment to education.
Second is that the Hong Kongers seeking to leave are likely to be people who value liberty. They are likely to want to live in a country where liberty is protected. And that means they are not likely to be supporters of the Chinese Communist Party and its system of infiltration.
Granted, Australia and other excellent countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand represent tough competition for the Philippines where people, over their lifetimes, spend the equivalent of prison sentences for murder stuck in traffic jams. However, the timeframe to get the national shit together need not be limited to the tactical horizons represented by this most recent activist circus. Hong Kong, as a bastion of liberal Western values, is strategic toast. If not already within the grip of Beijing, its two-system (blah-blah, whatever) status will come to an end one way or another. Even if this current circus ends, there will be others in the future. As the quality of its citizenship declines, the anarchic component of such “activism” will proportionately increase and the hand applied by Beijing to “manage” crises there will only get heavier. The ship has already sailed as far as Hong Kong’s future is concerned.
The way Filipino politicians are regarding China represents the sad old umbilical cord that nourishes their society’s colonial mentality. Western media has been serving barrels of Kool Aid to “inform” the world of the “evil” of China’s approach to managing Hong Kong. Perhaps it is time Filipino politicians become real nationalists and cut this Western supply of Kool Aid and regard the Hong Kong situation with independent minds. There are aspects of the Hong Kong circus that can work in the interests of the Philippines and, possibly, could be strong political agendas that could serve as winning components in future national elections. All it takes is to eradicate the small-minded snowflakery in the political chatter surrounding Hong Kong.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.