Kin-ming Liu at PostGlobal

Kin-ming Liu

Hong Kong

Former Washington-based columnist for The Hong Kong Standard, The New York Sun, and Insight on the News, an online weekly published by The Washington Times. Covered economic and political relations between the United States and East Asia, with an emphasis on China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Former chairman of the Hong Kong Journalists' Association. Currently a business executive at a Chinese-language newspaper in Hong Kong. Close.

Kin-ming Liu

Hong Kong

Former Washington-based columnist for The Hong Kong Standard, The New York Sun, and Insight on the News, an online weekly published by The Washington Times. more »

Main Page | Kin-ming Liu Archives | PostGlobal Archives




September 26, 2008 11:47 AM

Market Freedom Takes a Break

The Current Discussion: Will the current financial crisis discredit free-market policies in your country? Is socialism an echo of the past or a preview of the future?


Bank run is never fun, anytime, anywhere. And bank run amid the current financial tsunami would be worse than a nightmare. A major Hong Kong bank, Bank of East Asia, suffered from this fate just this week. The authorities reacted quickly and injected a lot of cash into the financial system; things have returned to "normal," more or less, for the meantime. These days, governments in Hong Kong or elsewhere wouldn't hesitate to do anything they see fit to help the financial sector. And the population at large would also go along.

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September 18, 2008 10:23 AM

No Better Option Than American Capitalism

A year ago, when the Chinese stock markets were allowed to exist in a parallel universe, many suggested that perhaps China, growing ever stronger and stronger, was "decoupling" from the West. China would follow its own path, the thinking went, and leave the West behind in the dust.

Not quite. Hong Kong's local Hang Seng Index, like those in Shanghai and Shenzhen, has taken a free fall. Like it or not, our fate is still tightly tied together with the U.S.

There's no doubt that the American style of capitalism is suffering a major setback. But like democracy, while it was never perfect in the first place, it still is the best model we have. Its strength lies in its strong ability for self-correction.

I have no reason to believe it won't recreate itself, and for the better, this time. The U.S. will remain the model for the world until a better one can be found.




July 29, 2008 11:14 AM

The No-Fun Olympics

The Current Discussion: The Olympics open in two weeks, and offer a perfect platform for anti-government protests by ethnic minorities and dissident groups. Who's likely to protest and how should Beijing respond?

HONG KONG -- Short of declaring martial law, Beijing is doing all it can to ensure the Olympic Games -- to be opened at 8:08pm on August 8 -- will be a protest-free pageant. While the Chinese communists look very likely to achieve this aim, it's also turning the Games into a "no-fun Olympics."

As reported by Maureen Fan of the Washington Post: "In the run-up to the Games, authorities have jailed dissidents, warned activists not to cause trouble, closed bars frequented by foreigners, and deported or denied visas to people connected with groups critical of Chinese policy in Tibet and on the issue of Darfur." Setting up three designated protest zones, far away from the main stadiums, is a joke.

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May 29, 2008 10:21 AM

My Vote on Intellectuals

The Current Discussion: The American magazine Foreign Policy and British magazine Prospect have published a joint list of the world's Top 100 Public Intellectuals. The list includes several PostGlobal panelists. Who's missing from the list? Who would you take off?

Five influential public intellectuals I have voted for: Anne Applebaum, Christopher Hitchens, Robert Kagan, Bernard Lewis and Bjørn Lomborg.

Five people I would add to the list: John Bolton, William Kristol, Simon Leys, Joshua Muravchik and Norman Podhoretz.

Five people I would take off the list: Daniel Barenboim, Pope Benedict XVI, Al Gore, Lee Kuan Yew and David Petraeus.




May 15, 2008 11:51 AM

Happy Birthday, Israel – and Many More

HONG KONG -- Sixty years ago today (May 15, 1948), David Ben Gurion declared the independence of the State of Israel. Happy Birthday! I hope and believe it will survive to celebrate its 100th. But this is far from certain.

A senior diplomat from Singapore once told me: 50 years from now, Hong Kong, with China the supportive motherland behind it, will still be here. But the Lion City, with neighbors who are not totally friendly, might or might not be around. I think he has a point.

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May 6, 2008 10:21 AM

China's Fall From Grace No Surprise

The Current Discussion: In his recent PostGlobal blog post, "The Ugly Chinese," commentator John Pomfret says the world's perception of China isn't as rosy as it used to be. Do you see China as a threat? Why? Why not?

HONG KONG – Clear-eyed observers of China are a rare breed, but Steven Mosher is one of them. In his brilliant 1991 book, China Misperceived: American Illusions and Chinese Reality, Mosher wrote:

"For the past two centuries, American perceptions of China have oscillated between the poles of love and hate. In brighter moments China was seen as the land of Marco Polo and Pearl Buck, peopled with wise, industrious, and courageous folk. But regularly, almost cyclically, the pendulum swung back, and the cruel and violent China of the Mongol hordes, the Boxer Rebellion, and the 'human wave' attacks reasserted itself. The Chinese heroes of the anti-Japanese resistance became the totalitarian masses of the 1950s, the riotous young rebels of the 1960s, the public-spirited proletarians of the 1970s, and the poor but deserving folk of the 1980s. The Tiananmen massacre has once again tilted the balance, and the pendulum has swung to the other dark extreme."

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April 30, 2008 12:57 PM

One Compromise Could Win Tibetan Independence

HONG KONG -- Tibetan independence, as well as Taiwanese independence, are not lost causes, though their chances for success are very dim, at least for now. But Tibetans could make one fundamental compromise that would greatly enhance their chance of getting rid of Chinese rule: deal with what Tibet is today, and don't get bogged down in history.

In the Soviet Union's heyday, anyone who dreamed of the independence of any of the republics was considered insane. Then the USSR collapsed; today, Russia doesn't control any of the former republics. I certainly thought Indonesia would have never let East Timor go free, but I was very glad to be proven dead wrong. And Kosovo, amid very daunting circumstances, has recently declared its independence. China certainly won't give up Tibet given China’s current state of mind and status. But who knows what China will become in future?

In theory, Tibet is entitled to self-determination. A censored article written by a well-known human rights lawyer in Hong Kong presents a sound case for self-determination under international law. The question, as the current PostGlobal discussion is asking, is what its supporters should do to win it.

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March 17, 2008 10:29 AM

China's Business as Usual in Tibet

The Current Discussion: The U.S. State Dept. says China's no longer one of the world's worst human rights offenders. Are they right?

The current situation in Tibet seems to be vindicating those who decry China’s being left off the U.S. State Department's Top Ten list of human rights offenders. I view it differently.

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March 12, 2008 9:30 AM

Spitzer's Spectacular Fall

Client-9 has already resigned from the Emperors Club VIP. Eliot Spitzer will also resign from the State of New York soon. It's inconceivable that he could hang on to the governor's seat much longer.

If Mr. Spitzer has broken the laws, which seems likely, he would have to step down whether he likes it or not. Even if Mr. Spitzer can prove that he hasn't done anything illegal, he still should go. For "Mr. Ethics," a former prostitution ring-busting state attorney general, to remain in office is simply too cynical and hypocritical for one to imagine. How could he carry on his duty with any moral authority? Who would take him seriously anymore?

The Fall of the House of Spitzer is as spectacular as the many surprises in the U.S. primary season.

Fairly or unfairly, public figures can't really separate their private and public lives. That seems to be true anywhere. In Hong Kong last summer, the head of the government-funded broadcasting network was forced to take an "early retirement" amid a sex scandal. He was caught not having sex with a prostitute like Mr. Spitzer, in fact, but merely "emerging from a karaoke bar with his arm around a woman and holding a wig in his other hand." This married man reacted by hiding behind his companion, then locked himself in a toilet. He simply couldn't continue his job normally even though he might not have done anything illegal.




February 25, 2008 1:54 PM

Kosovo = Taiwan

The Current Discussion: Are the U.S. and Europe right to recognize Kosovo and continue to poke Russia with a stick?


I'm very glad the U.S. and Europe have regained some guts in international politics and recognized Kosovo. It's the right thing to do even though Russia may understandably feel being poked with a stick.

I could only wish the U.S. and Europe would have the same courage to poke a stick to another big power in order to support another independence-seeking smaller nation. But I share with the sentiment in this editorial from Taiwan's Liberty Times that the island state won't be able to follow Kosovo's footsteps anytime soon. In fact, Taiwan has already extended it recognition towards Kosovo but Pristina has yet to reciprocate Taipei.

Kosovo poses a dilemma for China. If Beijing is to recognize Pristina, the Chinese communists worry that it would set another precedent for Taipei's cause. If China is to make life more difficult for Kosovo, there's a chance for Pristina to establish ties with Beijing's enemy at the end of the day.

Without the support from the U.S., Kosovo would not have been able to become independent. In the same vein, Taiwan won't be able to formalize its independence without the support from the U.S. Washington has just done a right thing in Europe. Washington should follow suit in Asia.


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