Why China may not want to ‘become more like a western country’

by Rashmee

Posted on July 9, 2020 / The Focus


Just the other day, Sir Malcolm Rifkind was on the BBC World Service, fulminating about China. Britain’s former foreign secretary  spoke in tones of righteous indignation (starting at 03:53 minutes) about Beijing’s behaviour towards Hong Kong. Rifkind had been responsible for the negotiations leading up to the British handover of Hong Kong back to China on June … Continue reading “Why China may not want to ‘become more like a western country’”

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The post-pandemic restaurant

by Rashmee

Posted on June 26, 2020 / The Focus


Robot cooks and servers. Mannequins to enforce social distancing. Two ideas for the post-pandemic restaurant nearly 6,000 miles apart. They go much further than more conventional takes on coronavirus-induced safety and sanitation procedures — hand sanitiser; individually wrapped cutlery; al fresco dining; permanent takeout windows and kerbside pick-ups. The robot-staffed café in Hong Kong has machines whipping … Continue reading “The post-pandemic restaurant”

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A year in protests. It underlined our interconnectedness

by Rashmee

Posted on December 13, 2019


As the year hastens to an end, journalists like me are trying to discern the defining patterns of 2019. One of these has to be the slew of protests that roiled various countries. Three broad points can be discerned: Some of the protests were in unlikely places Many of them were about the same sorts … Continue reading “A year in protests. It underlined our interconnectedness”

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The only real link between Chile, Lebanon, Algeria, Hong Kong is the word ‘protest’

by Rashmee

Posted on November 3, 2019


  The editor of Open Democracy, the UK political website, pointed out a crucial point the other day: “Over the past month, the list of countries engulfed by mass protests has grown ever longer – Chile, Lebanon, Iraq, Algeria, Haiti, Hong Kong and Spain, to name a few. There’s a temptation to draw connections. Each … Continue reading “The only real link between Chile, Lebanon, Algeria, Hong Kong is the word ‘protest’”

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Hong Kong, Paris and Santiago are relatively rich but restive. A development economist explains why

by Rashmee

Posted on October 30, 2019


I’m rivetted by Jeffrey Sachs’ analysis of why rich cities rebel. Paris, Hong Kong and Santiago, he recently pointed out, have been unquiet, mutinous places this year mostly because they’re burdened by “a sense of unfairness”. Quite. How and why is this the case? According to Professor Sachs, who teaches sustainable development at Columbia University, … Continue reading “Hong Kong, Paris and Santiago are relatively rich but restive. A development economist explains why”

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Hong Kong’s last British governor offers a pragmatic view of how to fix things

by Rashmee

Posted on October 7, 2019


The Chinese probably won’t want to be taking anyone’s advice on Hong Kong and certainly not that of Chris Patten, the territory’s last British governor, but he’s got a few ideas worth noting. Mr Patten, who went on from Hong Kong to EU commissioner for external affairs, and is currently chancellor of the University of … Continue reading “Hong Kong’s last British governor offers a pragmatic view of how to fix things”

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Kashmir and Hong Kong are not the same

by Rashmee

Posted on August 18, 2019


With protests in Hong Kong going into their 11th straight week and the Kashmir issue having been raised at the United Nations on Friday, August 16, many are linking the two as an example of imperialist over-reach. The argument goes that both China and India are behaving like Britain, only just not as savvy. Britain is, … Continue reading “Kashmir and Hong Kong are not the same”

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The focus on Hong Kong’s protests rather than Sudan says a lot

by Rashmee

Posted on July 2, 2019


How much have you heard and read about frenzied street protests recently? If you have, chances are the protests were in Hong Kong. Not Sudan, where 11 people are said to have been killed in clashes with security forces during mass demonstrations demanding a transition to civilian rule. Not Sudan, where tens of thousands of … Continue reading “The focus on Hong Kong’s protests rather than Sudan says a lot”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK