Yeah, its tough to be a respectable dictatorship.
The Guardian, the NY Times, and the German Süddeutsche Zeitung are currently on the wrath list of the censors:
Yeah, its tough to be a respectable dictatorship.
There may be a bit more to this than meets the eye. The fact is, if you want to start any sort of company in a third-world dictatorship, you have to avoid its laws. Poor countries are poor largely because the law prevents ordinary people from accessing the wealth-generating mechanisms of legitimate business. You only have three choices under those circumstances: pay a shitload of money to comply with the rules (it’s not just a one-off; it’s a continual flow of wealth into the pockets of the gov’t); stay completely extralegal (in which case, you’re limited to a business no bigger than a hot-dog stall) or offshore your company and operate, as far as possible, within the jurisdiction of a saner legal regime.
Poor people either work for rich people, or they choose option 2; either way, they remain poor, as they should (in the eyes of the elite). Rich people choose option 1 if they’re honest, and generally get shafted until they go out of business; this is the route typically taken by foreign investors who don’t fully grasp the point of the rules - ie., to suck as much cash as possible out of any large enterprise. Local rich people choose option 3, and get even more disgustingly rich. The state looks the other way, since said rich people generally are the state.
Not trying to justify this behaviour: just pointing out that some of those people may be legitimate businessmen, and their modus operandi is just an inevitable consequence of systems like China’s. If your smart, you don’t submit yourself to the legal jurisdiction of a bunch of predatory crooks.
China getting upset about foreigners pointing out their ongoing status as a backward shithole is just par for the course.
An added (negative) side effect of option 3 is that the benefits from such successful economic activitiy accrue elsewhere and that people who can afford to leave will do exactly that, thereby contributing to a drain of skill and know-how.
Of course, regimes that really suck suffer from the added problem of not realizing how badly they suck - humans are amazingly good at deluding themselves…
The owner of Want want China Times is also named by these studies, and he devoted today’s entire front page to tell Taiwanese journalists in other companies that their own bosses are likely to have offshore accounts. It is a legal practice, thus is not avoiding taxes. Those doing illegal things are the ones people need to point their fingers at:
Quite. An awful lot of people who achieve success in China just up sticks and leave; of those who don’t, they’re often paying at least some taxes to foreign governments.
Ah, thing is though, they don’t suck. They’re very, very successful at doing what they do: screwing people over. They only suck in the sense that their leaders are so stupid that they haven’t realised you can get the desired result (ie., getting stinking rich) without turning your country into a wasteland run by thugs and thieves.
I thought this was kind of fun to play with: offshoreleaks.icij.org/search
I didn’t find anything earthshaking, though. I don’t know enough.
I got that URL here: taipeitimes.com/News/front/a … 2003582001
In China, too? If so, why the censoring? Nah… it’s so bloody hard to keep a dictatorship going these days…
Found this report (from the WSJ) by chance while looking for some other information:
blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2013 … ch-abroad/
In Switzerland they do it, too:
tagesanzeiger.ch/wirtschaft/ … er_id=1900
(click on your favourite politician’s head to see his/her connections)
You can always improve dictatorship, though:
Position Paper on Working Conditions for Foreign Correspondents in China
fccchina.org/2014/09/12/fccc … aper-2014/
Hu Jia and his wife’s nightmares
huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/2 … 64248.html
But how will dictatorship survive if its security apparatus begins to grow in unconstrained ways like cancer?
China will like the Guardian even more now:
theguardian.com/world/2014/n … dplay-puns
So, the government will crack down on puns because they can be used to circumvent censorship?
Sounds like April fool’s stuff to me…
But should it be true it would be time to start worrying about an impeding implosion: when governments get that much down to micromanagement you can tell that they are running out of steam.
Didn’t know which thread to put this in, as there are two, if MOds could merge, most grateful.
The story is making the rounds again:
businessinsider.com/chinas-o … les-2015-1
[quote]While Chinese officials aren’t required to disclose their assets publicly, citizens have remained largely in the dark about the parallel economy that can allow the powerful and well-connected to avoid taxes and keep their dealings secret. By some estimates, between $1 trillion and $4 trillion in untraced assets have left the country since 2000.
Nearly 22,000 offshore clients with addresses in mainland China and Hong Kong appear in leaked files obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Among them are some of China’s most powerful men and women — including at least 15 of China’s richest, members of the National People’s Congress and executives from state-owned companies entangled in corruption scandals.
Read more: icij.org/offshore/leaked-rec … z3OmPnrA48
Problem is most of the ones holding the Big Bunches of Money are also glorious descendants or relatives of high PRC officials.
[quote]The growing onshore and offshore wealth of China’s elites “may not be strictly illegal,” but it is often tied to “conflict of interest and covert use of government power,” said Minxin Pei, a political scientist at Claremont McKenna College in California. “If there is real transparency, then the Chinese people will have a much better idea of how corrupt the system is [and] how much wealth has been amassed by government officials through illegal means.”
Read more: icij.org/offshore/leaked-rec … z3OmQ9Q5z1
And the same number of Taiwanese account holders is given (as discussed here: forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtop … e#p1579400):
[quote]Along with the China and Hong Kong names, ICIJ’s files also include the names of roughly 16,000 offshore clients from Taiwan. ICIJ will continue to publish stories with its partners in the next few days and will release the Greater China names on its Offshore Leaks Database.
Read more: icij.org/offshore/leaked-rec … z3OmQJHfx9
Now those I bet would include the same names as the food scandals stars.