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Thread: Protesters besiege Hong Kong plaza as crisis over ‘national education’ mounts

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithridates View Post
    The Daya Bay nuclear plant opened in 1994, long after the Thatcher-Deng negotiations were completed. It's not really such a big deal to put up coal- or gas-fired power plants. Hong Kong buys its power from China because land in Hong Kong can be put to other uses. Hong Kong thrived based on trade with countries other than a poverty-stricken China long before China opened up its economy in 1979. As to desalinated water being expensive, per capita usage of water in Hong Kong is roughly 48 cubic meters per year. At $1 per cubic meter, that's $50 per year, a pittance to a Hong Kong with a per capita GDP of around $6K in the 1980's, a number China reached just a few years ago, almost 30 years later. As to food, countries that import their food don't pay much of a premium, if that food is transported over water, thanks to the invention of the shipping container.
    Pardon me DOR for butting in but, I was just a bit curious about some of Mithridates' points

    You can't build too well in the leased territories (at least not power plants, its pretty mountainous).

    Sources for Hong Kong not being dependent on the China trade pre 1979 (and exclude manufactured exports please, they aren't relevant today)?

    And as for desalination, that's the cost of energy per cubic meter of water. Guess how much money it would take to build enough desalination plants to supply some 7 million people? Furthermore, that 43 cubic meters per capita annual consumption applies only to households. If you build thermal power plants in the SAR, they also need water.
    Last edited by Skywatcher; 03 Sep 14, at 03:44.

  2. #32
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skywatcher View Post
    Considering that the Occupy Central is going to draw in about 10,000 at most (according to the organizers), the SAR will probably be about as relevant to the future demise of the CCP as the German-Hindu WWI plot was to Indian Independence.
    You comment as though I am talking about this year. Far from that as I look at change over there in generational periods which is 20 year increments.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skywatcher View Post
    Pardon me DOR for butting in but, I was just a bit curious about some of Mithridates' points

    You can't build too well in the leased territories (at least not power plants, its pretty mountainous).

    Sources for Hong Kong not being dependent on the China trade pre 1979 (and exclude manufactured exports please, they aren't relevant today)?

    And as for desalination, that's the cost of energy per cubic meter of water. Guess how much money it would take to build enough desalination plants to supply some 7 million people? Furthermore, that 43 cubic meters per capita annual consumption applies only to households. If you build thermal power plants in the SAR, they also need water.
    This is stuff you can look up on your own if you're even remotely interested:

    List of power stations in Hong Kong - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    List of countries by past and projected GDP (nominal) per capita - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Prior to its economic reforms, China was a pimple on the rear end of the world economy. It just wasn't that big a deal. If Hong Kong had been mainly dependent on the China trade, it would have starved. My background is in economics, finance and history, both macro and micro, rather than defense. The bottom line is that the idea that Hong Kong wasn't economically viable without China doesn't pass the laugh test. It was smack in the middle of East Asia, the fastest growing region in the world, and home of the second largest economy (at the time) Japan. There was no way it wouldn't thrive, short of military hostilities with China. Hong Kong was Singapore, without a defense budget that took up 10% of its GDP.

    It's not just Hong Kong. Take any Chinese city, wall it off from China, put in a British governor or British-style administration and watch it thrive. Ultimately, Hong Kong's edge was that it was a free-market economy run by an efficient, honest and responsive government, and it was populated by Chinese, some of the highest IQ people on the planet. It took the Communist party to bring Chinese per capita output to the levels of sub-Saharan Africa's bottom dwellers.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithridates View Post
    The Daya Bay nuclear plant opened in 1994, long after the Thatcher-Deng negotiations were completed. It's not really such a big deal to put up coal- or gas-fired power plants. Hong Kong buys its power from China because land in Hong Kong can be put to other uses. Hong Kong thrived based on trade with countries other than a poverty-stricken China long before China opened up its economy in 1979. As to desalinated water being expensive, per capita usage of water in Hong Kong is roughly 48 cubic meters per year. At $1 per cubic meter, that's $50 per year, a pittance to a Hong Kong with a per capita GDP of around $6K in the 1980's, a number China reached just a few years ago, almost 30 years later. As to food, countries that import their food don't pay much of a premium, if that food is transported over water, thanks to the invention of the shipping container.
    Seriosuly, can you shut the fuck up! I don't fucking care how cheap fresh water you can make it. The fucking point is the Brits can't supply enough fresh water to Hong Kong in the time reference being made!

    You cannot make a fresh water plant overnight ... and Hong Kong needs fresh water by the day!
    Chimo

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Seriosuly, can you shut the fuck up! I don't fucking care how cheap fresh water you can make it. The fucking point is the Brits can't supply enough fresh water to Hong Kong in the time reference being made!

    You cannot make a fresh water plant overnight ... and Hong Kong needs fresh water by the day!
    Even today, Hong Kong supplies 30% of its own water needs. As to short term issues, it takes no special effort to lease several tankers to transport water from foreign sources. It would certainly be no more expensive than shipping oil to its final destination. Water rationing would have to re-imposed until a more permanent and less costly solution could be found, but only a successful Chinese blockade of Hong Kong could prevent it from getting the water it needed. Note that the total storage capacity of Hong Kong's reservoirs is 586 million cubic metres, or more than six months' worth at current daily usage levels.

    Note that we are not talking about an individual doing these things. This is the British government with the full resources of the Exchequer, the government that requisitioned tankers for use during the Falklands campaign. The resolution of any temporary water issues should cost way less than hostilities with Argentina, which amounted to $1.2b. This isn't like sending men to Mars. With enough resources allocated, it can be done.
    Last edited by Mithridates; 03 Sep 14, at 07:03.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithridates View Post
    This is stuff you can look up on your own if you're even remotely interested:

    List of power stations in Hong Kong - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    List of countries by past and projected GDP (nominal) per capita - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Prior to its economic reforms, China was a pimple on the rear end of the world economy. It just wasn't that big a deal. If Hong Kong had been mainly dependent on the China trade, it would have starved. My background is in economics, finance and history, both macro and micro, rather than defense. The bottom line is that the idea that Hong Kong wasn't economically viable without China doesn't pass the laugh test. It was smack in the middle of East Asia, the fastest growing region in the world, and home of the second largest economy (at the time) Japan. There was no way it wouldn't thrive, short of military hostilities with China. Hong Kong was Singapore, without a defense budget that took up 10% of its GDP.
    Can you just man up and provide statistics about Hong Kong's 1949-1979 trade, as opposed to spouting off youtube comments? All I have is your word on it, and that means less than nothing, since you're obviously too dense to understand the meaning of "enterpot".

    How much of Hong Kong's actual power do those power plants provide? All the statistics you've "cited" point that Hong Kong is dependent on outside electricity? Do you have any idea of how expensive it would be to build more power plants on Hong Kong?

    It's not just Hong Kong. Take any Chinese city, wall it off from China, put in a British governor or British-style administration and watch it thrive. Ultimately, Hong Kong's edge was that it was a free-market economy run by an efficient, honest and responsive government, and it was populated by Chinese, some of the highest IQ people on the planet. It took the Communist party to bring Chinese per capita output to the levels of sub-Saharan Africa's bottom dwellers.
    If the British are so wonderful, than why is Nigeria such a mess today despite all its oil?

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    You comment as though I am talking about this year. Far from that as I look at change over there in generational periods which is 20 year increments.
    I said future. Occupy Central won't contribute jack to 20 years down the road.

  8. #38
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    My point wasn’t that Hong Kong should build its own power plants. Rather, it was that Beijing has a very firm grip on our *ahem* “vital infrastructure,” not just water. We’re having discussions right now about the future electricity fuel mix, and one proposal is to use an LNG terminal outside of Hong Kong. Lots of pros and cons, including things like political considerations.

    But, imagine being the investment banker who is asked to help finance a power plant being built in the New Territories for the express purpose of ensuring Beijing can’t push Hong Kong around. And, since that’s the reason for the plant, we would be fools to think Beijing is going to be supportive – or even neutral – on the idea.

    Mr Investment Banker would laugh politely and tell you that it’s an interesting idea, worthy of further consideration and right up there on his priority list with financing desalination plants. After all, we have to be very sure Beijing knows exactly who is helping Hong Kong stick its thumb in Beijing's eye.

    BTW, there’s plenty of room for new power plants, but only if parkland is sacrificed . . . and if Hong Kong is going to tell Beijing to piss off, that would be the least of our worries. We’d probably need to revive the idle farmland (hundreds of acres) to feed ourselves, too.

    - - - - -

    China trade. In the 1970s, two-way trade with China comprised 9.9% of Hong Kong’s total two-way trade. In the 1980s it was 25.2%, in the 1990s 35.5% and in the 2000s 45%. Since 2010 it has been 49.7%. Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department data.

    See Hong Kong External Merchandise Trade | Census and Statistics Department
    And for 1952-2014 data, Table 055 : External Merchandise Trade Aggregate Figures | Census and Statistics Department


    Bear in mind that China’s two-way trade with the world finally surpassed that of Hong Kong in . . . 1999.

    = = = = =

    Mirhridates,

    I’ve been following China on a daily basis for 35 years, including 30 years professionally. My work sometimes involves advising the Hong Kong SAR Government on electric power policy (e.g., the 2006 consultation on the electric power scheme of control), among a very wide range of other issues.

    Hong Kong was founded for the sole purpose of trade with China. There was a strange, 30 years period (1949-79) when China was not the only thing that mattered to the economy. So, we learned manufacturing, finance and how to be an attractive place for professional service providers to set up. That’s why today, after China came back into play, Hong Kong is one of the three global business and financial centers.

  9. #39
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    Thanks DOR.

    Wouldn't building a bunch of new power or desalination plants be very problematic, given that most of the flat land is urbanized already?

  10. #40
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skywatcher View Post
    Thanks DOR.

    Wouldn't building a bunch of new power or desalination plants be very problematic, given that most of the flat land is urbanized already?
    What gave you that impression?

    40% of Hong Kong is country park, what we call National Parks in America. There are people living there, but they can't build without jumping through regulatory hoops that tend to be very small and quick moving.

    Change the rules and there are many, many acres of land that can be changed from wild and beautiful to ugly and functional.

    = = = = =

    I've seen civet, wild boar, porcupines, 9-foot snakes, owls, egrets, barking deer and feral cattle in Sai Kung . . . less than an hour from the financial center.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post
    What gave you that impression?

    40% of Hong Kong is country park, what we call National Parks in America. There are people living there, but they can't build without jumping through regulatory hoops that tend to be very small and quick moving.

    Change the rules and there are many, many acres of land that can be changed from wild and beautiful to ugly and functional.

    = = = = =

    I've seen civet, wild boar, porcupines, 9-foot snakes, owls, egrets, barking deer and feral cattle in Sai Kung . . . less than an hour from the financial center.
    Mountainous terrain, those parklands seemed pretty hilly to me, when I visited back in 2006.

  12. #42
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    Lots of folks here have a ton of experience flattening mountains and filling in valleys. High Island Reservoir was built by filling in the area between some small islands, and draining out the sea. First (only?) one in the world.

  13. #43
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    Sunday, Sept 28' 11pm: Tens of thousands of protesters have closed down traffic around the Admiralty MTR Station, Government Offices and Pacific Place shopping mall (not to mention my office). It seems that 99% of the protesters are nonviolent, and the police response -- pepper spray and tear gas -- has been against surges against their lines.

    Update.
    Monday, Sept 29 10:10am

    I managed to get to my office, after a pleasant but warm hour-long walk through Hong Kong Park and down through the Pacific Place Mall. On the Queensway (north) side of Admiralty, the street is empty except for a few dozen pedestrians. No police, no protesters. There are roadblocks, but I can also see cars coming out of the area around Lockhart Road and heading further into Wan Chai (east). Not sure how far they will get.

    On the South side, where to Government Offices are, there are perhaps 500 people sitting in the street. The view from our office boardroom looks through the two executive and legislative office buildings to the water. The park in between is empty as well.

    At least for today, this demonstration seems to have lost it's energy. But, I expect it will not go away.
    Last edited by DOR; 29 Sep 14, at 03:09.

  14. #44
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    I hope everyone stays safe over there.

    It sounds like the students and the Occupy Central don't seem to have a coherent game plan (not to mention the former accusing the latter of stealing their thunder).

  15. #45
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    Monday, 2:40pm
    The crowds at the shopping center across the street were pretty normal, particularly for the start of a week with a Weds-Thurs holiday. Over on the other side of the building, it was pretty quiet, too. Only about 300-500 people within eyesight through the morning.

    But, around lunchtime, the numbers started to build, and instead of sitting in the shade of an overpass (that pavement must be HOT!), they've been standing more. In the last 20-30 minutes, the numbers have doubled, now up to a thousand or maybe two FIVE (I have a limited line-of-sight), and chanting slogans at the police. No signs of violence at the moment.

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