The forthcoming Chinese charter city?

From Bloomberg BusinessWeek:

The government intends to ring-fence Port City from Sri Lanka’s legal system to facilitate currency movement and create favorable tax and investment incentives. Harsha de Silva, a state minister who once campaigned against the project but is now one of its most vocal supporters, is involved in drafting the separate legal structure. “This must be a top-10 city for doing business in the world,” he says. “Otherwise, what’s the point?” Sri Lanka is currently ranked 111 out of 190 nations on the World Bank’s ease-of-doing-business index.

And here is the take on one of the nearby port projects:

Today, Hambantota handles about one ship a day, not enough to make it commercially viable, and wild elephants regularly breach the perimeter fencing. At a nearby airport, which CCCC also helped build during Rajapaksa’s administration, the only commercial flight was canceled in June because of frequent peacock strikes and low demand.

Is it fair to call all this a “hegemon charter city“?


It's fair to call this just a publicity stunt. Kind of like that Romer charter city that blew up in Honduras. A good excuse to pay some consultants some money, knowing nothing will happen.

Romer has been out for many years, but the project is still alive and has been kicking in the last few months. Important news will come pretty soon from Honduras.

Donald Trump: "The government intends to ring-fence Port City from Sri Lanka’s legal system to facilitate currency movement and create favorable tax and investment incentives."

Colonial outpost comes to mind as a term too.

The whole belt and road initiative is hegemonic soft-power projection albeit more transparent than China's back-channel meddling in the US midterm elections.

"more transparent than China's back-channel meddling in the US midterm elections."

And in Brazil's presidential elections.

Unlike the United States with its "hopefully the lesser of two evils takes all" electoral system, Brazil is blessed with a true representative democracy in which all people are represented. Morevoer, Brazil is blessed with strong protections against the voting fraud that is rampant in the United States. And in addition Brazil has meaningful federalism rather than the hagiocracy of the US legal system. Brazil is much more better situated to resist Chinese imperialism than is the US where they may have already won in key sectors.

Fascist Brazilian propaganda.

No, it is not. Red China is planning the takeover of Brazil and we are doing nothing to prevent it. It is a shame.

If you want to stop Chinese "imperialism" then just stop buying Chinese products and overpay for locally made ones. Stop thinking like you are some kind of victim, you have a choice you know.

Such is life in Trump's America.

We can cchange it. Send an email to your Representative. Tell him/her to support Representative Captain Bolsonaro.

Wouldn't this be a lot like the International Settlement in Shanghai, in which the British, Germans, French, etc. were responsible for enforcing British/French/German law within the legations?

Actually you are wromg, the world needs to fight the godless Red Chinese with all of its might. There should be a nuclear strikw there to bring them to surrender.

No, they must be allowed to surrender!!!!

That is enough from you, imposter! Of course we must nuke Red China to make them surrender, they will not do it if we just ask. All of my neighbors and friends in Tennessee say the same

They want to enslave mankind!!!!

xiao long bao > pao de quiejo

Not true. Brazil's pão de queijo is awesome.

This post reminds me of a conversation I had about Neal Stephenson the other day--what are his best works? Somehow, "Diamond Age" has always seemed second tier, but its enclaves and phyles, which in the novel have replaced nation states, seem less impossible now. Although it's not my favorite of his novels, it's the one I talk about most often lately. (The ending still seems kind of odd.)

Diamond Age is really spot on about the trend to computerize/personalize education, too. It's always been my favorite Neal Stephenson novel.

Definitely my favorite as well, although when I reread I don't read the ending. The one story line jumped the shark when the guy went and lived underwater with the drug cult (I think that is what was happening) and the mouse story line should have just gotten a sequel novel rather than cramming all of the action in at the end.

In addition to the personalized education and the phyles, the other thing I really liked was his exploration of the idea of morality trends as a pendulum.

Diamond Age is actually my favorite Neal Stephenson book and think its underated. As time passes much of the events and ideas in the book seem more likely and prescient.

Isn't this sort of thing called a concession?

My internet here in rural Philippines is too slow so I can only see the headline in Bloomberg, something about a Chinese company, so it seems indeed a concession is what to call this 'charter city'. I was under the impression it was set up by Sri Lanka alone.

Bonus trivia: Ceylon and Siam, or "Sri Lanka" and "Thailand"? What's more romantic, more catchy? I say the former. And bring back Bombay! Mumbai sounds like somebody mumbling their words.

"I was under the impression it was set up by Sri Lanka alone."

Yes, but if one believes the articles that are critical of Sri Lanka's leadership as well as of China, the Sri Lankans are either being played for patsies by China, or are knowingly betraying their country's sovereignty. China can't do this unilaterally; they have to get the agreement of the Sri Lankan government.

I do lean towards the critics here, the Sri Lankan government seems to be too compliant with China's wishes.

Anyone notice the whole discussion on the poverty and race in Puerto Rico was censored from this site? What happened to the GMU bloggers rules of truth, statistics, and data over emotional comfort? Clearly we aren't understanding Caplan's culture here.

Even before The Diamond Age, there were entities like Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong in Snowcrash.

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